If you’re a caregiver for a disabled senior, it’s natural to worry about the additional challenges your loved one faces. You want to be sure that even when you’re not around, mom or dad will be safe and able to get help if they need it.
We recommend a medical alert for all seniors, especially those living along. The reasonable cost is more than worth the peace of mind that comes from knowing help is only ever a button press away. For seniors who have a disability, a medical alert device means someone has their back at all times.
Reassurance Is A Button Press Away
There’s something so reassuring about knowing help is available at the touch of a button. If a senior falls or feels ill, one press of the medical alert button puts them in touch with the call center. Seniors can then talk with a customer care operative via the base station, or the device itself (depending on the model.) In the event the wearer is unable to talk, most companies will dispatch EMTs at once.
Some alerts also offer automatic fall detection, triggering an alarm automatically if the device thinks the wearer has fallen. These do sometimes trigger false alarms, and it’s good to be aware of that. However, call center staff are used to the occasional false alarm, and it’s worth the slight risk.
Help For Every Stage Of Life
Being disabled is just one aspect of a senior’s life. Depending on the specific circumstances, seniors can have a wide range of needs.
That means no one medical alert system is a good fit for all disabled seniors. In this article, we’ve picked a range of systems to highlight, including ones that are ideal for seniors that spend most of their time at home, and others that are good for seniors who are still active.
A medical alert for disabled seniors helps older adults retain independence. For some, that means the independence to keep going out and about and being active in their local community. For others that means being able to live independently and delaying the move to a nursing home.
Some medical alerts also offer caregiver tracking or alerts if the device is removed. This helps caregivers monitor their loved ones and stay up to date on how often they’re using their device.
What To Look For When Choosing A Home Medical Alert
A medical alert represents a financial investment, and of course, you want to be sure it works exactly as you need it to. We recommend you look for all the following features when choosing an alert:
Straightforward pricing. You shouldn’t be left wondering what you’ll pay and what that covers. Choose a provider that keeps things upfront.
Comfortable to wear. Not all medical alerts are created equal. Some can be worn on a pendant, or as a wrist button. Some mobile options can only be worn as a pendant, while others can be clipped to a belt. You want mom or dad to wear it as much as possible, so comfort is a key deciding factor.
Water-resistant. The bathroom is a prime risk for slips and falls, so it’s important that seniors don’t’ remove their device to bathe. Choose one that’s water-resistant or, even better, waterproof.
No long term contracts. Never let a company tie you into a long term contract.
Backup battery. Look for a backup battery of 24 hours or more, so if the power goes out the device will keep working.
Decent range. You want to know mom or dad will be protected when checking the mailbox, or going on the porch or in the garden. Make sure the range is suitable for the size of the home.
Questions To Ask Before Buying A Medical Alert For Disabled Seniors
Before buying a medical alert, we recommend asking:
Do I have to pay an equipment or setup fee?
Can I cancel my contract at any time?
How easy is it to cancel?
Will I be penalized for canceling early?
How long is the battery life?
What is my monthly cost?
What happens if the system stops working?
What is the typical response time for a call?
What happens if mom or dad is unable to speak after pressing the button?
How much do I have to pay to add fall detection?
How We Chose The Providers On This List
To make the list, providers have to offer:
Reliable equipment that works as advertised
No long term contracts, ever
Straightforward pricing with no hidden fees
Excellent customer service.
Top Picks for Medical Alert Systems for Disabled Seniors
#1. Medical Guardian
Largest In-Home Range
Medical Guardian offers two in-home systems, one for landline users and another for those without a landline. The large in-home range (13oo ft from the base station) ensures that even the largest homes are covered. Call to hear current Medical Guardian offers and pricing.
Medical Guardian has been providing medical alert services for some time, and are known for their range of options. For now, however, we’re going to concentrate on Medical Guardian’s Family offering, which was specially designed for seniors who need a little more caregiver monitoring.
What do they offer: Medical Guardian offers in-home cellular and landline options, two mobile options, and a smartwatch. For this article though, we want to focus on Family, an in-home system that comes with activity sensors. Why we picked it for disabled seniors: The activity sensors make it easier than ever for caregivers to keep watch over their loved ones. This is an ideal solution for those looking for medical alert systems for disabled seniors. What’s included: The base station plus a button, and three activity sensors. Caregivers get alerts direct to their email or smartphone, letting them know if their loved one is going about their normal routine, or if they’ve used their medical alert. Button type: Wrist or pendant. Water-resistant: Yes. Add-on features: Extra buttons, wall-mounted buttons, voice-activated wall buttons, and a lockbox to store keys in case EMTs need them. Fall detection: Yes, $10 monthly. Range: 1300 ft from the base station (impressive!) Battery: 32-hour backup battery. Cost: $79.95 monthly (options without the sensors are cheaper – you can check those out on Medical Guardian’s website.) Long term contracts: No Equipment / set up fee: No What customers are saying:
“I live alone in a senior community and my sense of balance isn’t as good as it used to be. I looked on the internet and it seemed like I could take Medical Guardian with me. I wear one around my neck and when I’m wandering around my two-bedroom place, I have a sense that if I fell and if I couldn’t get up, I could push the button and it would call them”
“We live out on a farm near Juneau, and often my husband has things to take care of somewhere else. And so if anything happened to me, at least I’d have something I could depend on. Knowing I have my Medical Guardian device I feel more at ease. I’m 89 and I would recommend it to a friend my age.”
“When I set the device off once by accident, the response was great. The reps were very courteous and right on the ball. I’ve advised many older people living alone that they should certainly have one.”
Pros: We love the sensors and caregiver monitoring options, and the range is excellent. Cons: The cost could put some people off. The Verdict: A reliable option with added peace of mind built-in for seniors who need extra care and monitoring. Read the entire Medical Guardian review to learn more.
#2. Bay Alarm Medical
Practical and Affordable Medical Alert Systems
Bay Alarm Medical has long been a top provider of medical alert systems. This family-run company has been around since 1946 and they are passionate about providing practical and affordable medical alert solutions for seniors everywhere. Call to hear current Bay Alarm Medical offers and pricing.
Regular readers will know how fond we are of Bay Alarm Medical. They have a great range of options for seniors, and we love their commitment to excellent customer care.
What do they offer: Bay Alarm Medical offers in-home, mobile, and even in-car systems. Today we’re focusing on their 360 Protection bundle which offers all of the above. Why we picked it for disabled seniors: 360 protection is ideal for seniors who are still active. As well as being covered in the home, they also have access to help when out and about, and even get a medical button designed specifically for the car. What’s included: Base station, button, in-care button, mobile device, lanyard and carrying case. Button type: Wrist or pendant. Water-resistant: Yes Add-on features: Wall buttons, extra insurance in case of loss or damage, and a lockbox. 360 protection customers also get access to a caregiver tracking portal. Fall detection: Yes, $10 monthly Range: The home button works up to 1000 ft from the base station Battery: The base station has a 32-hour backup battery, and the mobile device lasts up to 72 hours on one charge. Cost: $59.95 monthly Long term contracts: No Equipment / set up fee: No What customers are saying:
“We installed the system, then did the system check, which went well. We checked both necklaces from the far corners of my property. Easy to use for elderly people.”
“Bay Medical Alarm provided a great service and the Customer Service is very helpful. The equipment worked perfectly and the operators were very professional and competent when called upon.”
“Bay Alarm guided us gently through the ordering process patiently and cheerfully answering all our questions along the way.”
Pros: We love that 360 Protection looks after you in the home, in the car, and out of doors. The caregiver tracking portal is a great touch, too. Cons: It’s hard to find anything to dislike about this package! The cost is a little higher than an in-home system, but still reasonable for what’s included. The Verdict: A wonderful option for seniors who are still active (especially those who still drive) but who need to know help is at hand.
Smartest Medical Alert System
QMedic goes beyond the basics with their 24/7 proactive data alerts for caregivers. When you’re setting up your QMedic system, you can choose to have caregivers or family members alerted when your mobility or sleep patterns deviate from your normal range. Call to hear current QMedic offers and pricing.
QMedic was designed with disabled seniors in mind. The discreet, easy to wear, the button can be programmed on how to route calls for help. For example, seniors can have calls routed straight to preferred care contacts rather than the call center. The system also monitors for unusual activity and initiates a wellness call.
What do they offer: QMedic offers three options. At-home landline, at-home cellular, and GPS mobile. Why we picked it for disabled seniors: The caregiver monitoring options make it easy to keep an eye on loved ones. What’s included: Both in-home systems include a base station and a button. Button type: Wrists or pendant for at-home systems, pendant only for mobile. Water-resistant: The home system buttons are waterproof. The mobile buttons are water resistant in the rain. Add-on features: Caregivers get access to a caregiver portal at no extra charge. They can monitor device usage, whether it’s been worn, activity levels and more. Fall detection: No Range: Up to 1000ft from the base station. The mobile pendant is an all-in-one device, no need to wear a separate pendant. Battery: 24-hour backup battery at home. The GPS unit runs for 14 days on a single charge (which is amazing!) Cost: Both at home options are $30 monthly. The mobile option is $45 monthly. Long term contracts: No Equipment / set up fee: No Pros: We love the monitoring options for caregivers. We’re also very happy to see QMedic have added a mobile option, and the 14-day battery charge on it is fantastic. Cons: We love the caregiver portal, but there isn’t much in the way of other add-ons. The Verdict: A high-quality option for seniors who need a little extra care, and plenty of peace of mind for caregivers. Read the entire Qmedic review to learn more.
Whether the senior in your life is active or stays mostly at home, these medical alert systems for disabled seniors help them retain their independence, while letting you keep an eye on them. That means peace of mind all around, which is good for caregivers and seniors alike. Read the entire Bay Alarm Medical review to learn more.
Best Overall Medical Alert System
4.8 / 5
Medical Guardian sets the standard in the medical alert industry for not only providing best-in-class equipment but also for offering the highest level of customer service. Call to hear current Medical Guardian offers and pricing
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here