Medical Guardian and Medical Care Alert both offer a range of medical alert systems for seniors. Each company is known for quickly connecting older adults to help during emergencies. Additionally, both these brands offer affordability, contract-free service, and award-winning customer care.
Despite the abundance of similarities between the two brands, Medical Guardian and Medical Care Alert also have some notable differences that you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop for the right system for you or your loved one. Read on for a more in-depth look at each brand, their systems, and how they compare.
Pro Tip: Wondering how to pay for a medical alert system? Then read my guide: Does Medicare Cover Medical Alert Systems?
Medical Guardian Overview
After only 15 years on the market, Medical Guardian has become one of the most popular and highly regarded medical alert system brands in the industry. Founded in 2006, Medical Guardian takes a customer-first approach and strives to empower its users “to live a life without limits.” The company offers six unique medical alert systems for both in and outside the home. It is one of the few brands that provides a smartwatch option, and its newest product, Mini Guardian is one of the smallest medical alerts on the market.
Medical Guardian’s 24/7 monitoring centers are UL listed and U.S.-based. Other features Medical Guardian will add for an additional cost include fall detection, lockboxes, wall-mounted boxes, and more.
FYI: To learn more about this company, read my full review of Medical Guardian.
Medical Guardian Systems
|System||Monthly Starting Cost||Connection||For Use||Ideal For|
|Classic Guardian||$29.95||Landline||In-Home||Users who spend most of their time at home and have a landline.|
|Home Guardian||$34.95||Cellular||In-Home||Individuals who spend most of their time at home.|
|Mobile Guardian||$44.95||Cellular, GPS||On-the-Go||An active person who spends most of their time at home, in their yard, or chatting with a next door neighbor.|
|Active Guardian||$44.95||Cellular, WiFi, and GPS||On-the-Go||Users who spend a lot of time out and about who prefer a lightweight wearable with fall detection.|
|Freedom Guardian||$44.95, plus one-time $299.95 equipment cost||Cellular, WiFi, and GPS||On-the-Go||Active older adults who want a stylish smartwatch medical alert at-home and on the go.|
|Mini Guardian||$39.95, plus one-time $124.95 equipment cost||Cellular, WiFi, and GPS||On-the-Go||Individuals who want a small, sleek, and discreet medical alert with an unlimited range of coverage and fall detection.|
What We Love About Medical Guardian
What We Don't Love About Medical Guardian
- No trial period
- Equipment can get expensive (up to $300) for certain systems
Medical Care Alert Overview
Medical Care Alert is a family-owned, Michigan-based company that provides older adults a choice of four medical alert systems and a subscription rate that is locked for life.
Established in 2008, the company outsources its monitoring to an award-winning and U.S-based monitoring center, one that is available 24/7 and equipped with EMT/EMD-certified operators. The centers support both English and Spanish speakers, along with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Pro Tip: To learn more about this provider, read my Medical Care Alert review.
Fashion Forward Medical Alerts: If you or a loved one is worried about a medical alert putting a damper on your style, check out Medical Guardian’s demi-fine medical alert pendant or smartwatch.
Medical Care Alert Systems
|System||Monthly Starting Cost*||Connection||For Use||Ideal For|
|Home||$27.45||Landline||In-Home||Individuals who spend most time at home and have a landline.|
|Home (4G LTE)||$32.04||Cellular||In-Home||Users who are at home the majority of their time and do not own a landline.|
|Home & Yard||$32.04||Cellular/Landline||In-Home||A person who spends most of their time in and around their home but may be more active or garden frequently.|
|Home & Away||$36.62||Cellular, WiFi, GPS||On-the-Go||Users who want protection on-the-go or have a caregiver who wants to track their location.|
*Billing is quarterly, semi-annual or annual.
What We Love About Medical Care Alert
- Subscription price won’t go up
- EMT/EMD-certified monitoring center team is reachable 24/7/365
- Free shipping
- No contracts
- In-home system back-up battery lasts up to 72 hours
- 24/7 monitoring centers based in the U.S
- Useful caregiver app
- SMS service for caregivers
- Supports deaf and hard of hearing customers
What We Don't Love About Medical Care Alert
- No monthly payment option
- Must pay annually to receive greatest savings
- Monitoring center only supports calls in English or Spanish
Languages at a Lower Price Point: Speak a language other than English or Spanish, but can’t afford to spend $30 per month or more on an alert? Try MobileHelp, which supports 240 languages and starts at $19.95 monthly or Bay Alarm Medical, which supports 170 languages and also starts at $19.95 per month.
Medical Care Alert and Medical Guardian Similarities
Medical Guardian and Medical Care Alert both provide a variety of at-home and on-the-go personal emergency response services. These devices come with no contracts or activation fees, and they also offer options for additional tools and services such as fall detection, spouse coverage, and lockboxes.
Some other similarities include:
- No contracts or activation fees
- Less than 45-second average response time
- Wide range of system options
- Variety of wearable devices, including smartwatch option
- Two-way talk capability
- Fall detection available
- Customer-friendly return policies
- UL-Certified 24/7 monitoring centers
- Highly trained monitoring center employees
- Wall-mounted help buttons
- Capable of supporting multiple users
- GPS-enabled devices
- In-Home landline systems
- Free activation
- Optional wall-mounted help buttons
- Availability of additional help buttons
Medical Guardian and Medical Care Alert Differences
Systems & Prices
Emergency buttons for Medical Guardian’s six systems come as pendants or wristbands. Most equipment is free with a system subscription; however, the Mini Guardian has a one-time equipment charge of $124.95, and the Freedom Guardian, the company’s smartwatch, costs users an extra $299.95 upfront. Medical Guardian’s in-home systems have approximate ranges of 350-1,300 feet from their base station, depending on your chosen system. Additionally, each system tests itself monthly to ensure it’s functioning properly. Should you experience a power outage, you can still feel secure, as each home-based system has a 32-hour backup battery. On-the-go systems have battery lives ranging from 48 hours with Freedom Guardian smartwatch to seven days with the Mini and Active Guardian.
Medical Care Alert has four systems, three meant for older adults who spend most of their time in or around the home and one for more active individuals who enjoy getting out and traveling or participating in community activities. Equipment is included in Medical Care Alert’s subscription costs, which begin at about $26, only $3 less than Medical Guardian’s cheapest subscription. Emergency buttons come in the form of wristbands, necklaces, and wall buttons. In-home ranges from the base station to emergency pendant reach up to 1,000 feet. Impressively, Medical Care Alert’s in-home system backup battery lasts roughly 72 hours while Medical Guardian’s will last up to 32 hours. However, its on-the-go Home & Away system’s battery must recharge every three days.
Save More With a Lockbox: Whether you choose Medical Care Alert or Medical Guardian, adding a lockbox could save you roughly $2,000 in door replacement and installation should you be unable to let first responders inside during an emergency.
Emergency Response & Call Centers
When pressed by their user, these emergency buttons connect with a highly-certified operator at one of Medical Guardian’s round-the-clock and TMA Five-Diamond Central Station Certified centers. Typically, you’ll be speaking with an actual human in 30-45 seconds. Once you’re connected with a Medical Guardian operator, they will ask if you are experiencing an emergency. If so, they’ll dispatch first responders and/or contact the individuals who are part of your established Care Circle.
In most cases, it only takes about 25-30 seconds from the time a user presses a Medical Care
Alert alarm to reach an expertly trained operator at either the company’s New York or California-based monitoring center. By outsourcing to TMA Five-Diamond Central Station Certified monitoring company with centers on opposite sides of the country, Medical Care Alert provides users with a strong redundancy, making it so you’ll still be able to reach a monitoring center even if one region of the country experiences a blackout or other type of crisis.
Ultimately, both Medical Guardian and Medical Care Alert present a valuable personal safety solution for older adults. Each equipped with award-winning customer service and monitoring teams, a wide array of systems, and wearable device choices, it’s no surprise Medical Guardian and Medical Care Alert are among the top systems we recommend.
In terms of differences, Medical Guardian offers a more recognized brand and more options for active users, such as a smartwatch option, additional choices for stylish and discreet wearables, and support for additional languages. Medical Care Alert offers marginally lower monthly costs that are guaranteed to never increase, a 14-day free trial, a tracking app for caregivers.
Fortunately, both companies are contract-free and boast customer-friendly return policies, keeping your risk quite low for whichever system you choose.