Safety and security at home and on the go allows seniors to remain independent and age in place as they grow older. One tool that can help make this possible is a medical alert system, which is an emergency response device or button you wear or install in your home. These devices allow you to alert a caregiver or emergency response monitoring center in case of a medical emergency like a fall, seizure, heart attack or other chronic health condition. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four older adults experiences a fall every year. When worn regularly, a medical alert system can help you make contact with emergency services immediately if a fall or other accident occurs.

If you’re considering purchasing a medical alert system, you might be wondering which to choose. While the best device is one you will use regularly, there are some features to consider and brands to compare. With that in mind, use this review of the 10 best medical alert systems for 2022 to find the device that’s best for you.

The 10 Best Medical Alert Systems of 2022

Why Trust Our Expert Review?

Hours of research

Experts consulted

Brands considered

Brands selected

1,700

4

15

10

Our experts research and recommend products that can help give you a better quality of life. Using our high standards and rigorous testing methodology, we’ve spent 1,700 hours, collectively, researching the best medical alert systems to help you find the device that’s best for you. Throughout our research process, we did the following:

  • Engaged in ongoing independent research
  • Consulted with geriatric physicians
  • Consulted with adult caregivers
  • Mystery shopped the brands
  • Surveyed 1,000 medical alert system users
  • Tested various medical alert systems
  • Interviewed experts in the field
  • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports 

Best Overall: Medical Guardian

  • Cost: $29.95–$49.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 1,300 feet
  • Battery Life: Five days for mobile 
  • Fall Detection: $10 per month
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Neck pendant, wrist button, wall button, voice-activated wall button 
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: No
  • Equipment Fee: No, unless you purchase the Mini Guardian for $124.95 (one-time fee)
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Mobile app for family members and caregivers, wall-mounted and wearable buttons, voice-activated wall-mounted buttons, customer care portal, lockbox 

Pros:

  • Long battery life 
  • Home-based unit has long signal range
  • Several devices to choose from

Cons:

  • May be more expensive than other medical alert systems
  • Smartwatch has an additional fee

When it comes to overall quality, device options, pricing plans and extra features, Medical Guardian is a clear top choice. With both an on-the-go and at-home medical alert system, you get protection, safety and security in all settings. The on-the-go battery lasts an industry-leading five days, and the at-home system has a range of 1,300 feet — longer than almost any other medical alert system on this list.

For active seniors, the Active Guardian, which is an all-in-one wearable device, has a help button and two-way speaker. And the Freedom Guardian provides users with a smartwatch-style medical alert button that also has voice-to-text messaging. You have the ability to add to your system with wall-mounted buttons and voice-activated wall-mounted emergency buttons. 

You can even personalize any of your medical alert buttons with the Limitless Icons Collection of pendant jewelry. In addition to the standard in-home and on-the-go systems, the company sells the Mini Guardian, a small and lightweight device that is half the width of the traditional devices. 

Best for Multiple Languages: Bay Alarm Medical

  • Cost: $19.95–$39.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 1,000 feet 
  • Battery Life: 18–24 hours for smartwatch
  • Fall Detection: $10 per month 
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Neck pendant, wrist button, car button, SOS smartwatch, wall-mounted button 
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: No 
  • Equipment Fee: No
  • Contract Required: No 
  • Special Features: Location tracking, automatic crash detection, small on-the-go button, charms to personalize device, functional and attractive SOS smartwatch, bundle packages available 

Pros:

  • Risk-free, 30-day trial
  • Free spouse coverage 
  • Support for more than 170 languages

Cons:

  • Premium features cost extra
  • Not as many devices and accessories as other medical alert systems

If you or a loved one need access to multilingual dispatchers, then consider Bay Alarm Medical. This TMA Five Diamond Certified monitoring facility employs call center employees who provide support for more than 170 languages. 

Bay Alarm Medical offers four medical alert systems including the in-home, on-the-go, on-the-road and SOS Smartwatch device. All systems come with a medical alert button to press in an emergency. The on-the-go device is worn around your neck and the car device plugs into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. If you go with the SOS Smartwatch, you’ll have easy access to the SOS button which connects you to the emergency response center and also has the ability to count your steps.

Plus, Bay Alarm features the Splitsecond® In-Car Alert­ which gives you 24/7 in-car monitoring with automatic crash detection and location tracking — something unique to this company. This monitoring feature is an add-on, and costs about $20 per month with any system. 

Best for Budget: MobileHelp

  • Cost: $19.95–$44.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 1,400 feet 
  • Battery Life: Three days for mobile
  • Fall Detection: $10 per month 
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Neck pendant, wrist button, wall-mounted button
  • Monitoring Center: Security Industry Association Certification 
  • Activation Fee: No 
  • Equipment Fee: No
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Connect app helps families track loved ones, lockbox, no landline required, two-way communication capability with Wired Home

Pros:

  • Risk-free, 30-day trial
  • Long in-home range 
  • No landline required 

Cons:

  • Premium features cost extra
  • May require an activation fee
  • Some devices do not offer fall detection 

Many seniors are on a fixed income, which means that every penny counts. MobileHelp offers one of the lowest monthly monitoring fees with the longest in-home ranges. Monthly fees start at $19.95, plus additional fees for features like automatic fall detection. 

Despite the low price, you get a 1,400 foot range, power outage backup, multiple alert systems to customize your plan and no equipment or activation fees. You also get the MobileHelp Connect app, which provides notification and tracking for family members and caregivers. However, with the budget-friendly price comes extra costs for premium features and activation fees with certain devices.

MobileHelp provides monitoring through Rapid Response, which consistently receives best-in-class ratings. Plus, MobileHelp offers several medical alert device systems to meet your needs including the Classic, Wired Home, Solo, Mobile Duo, MobileHelp Duo and Touch.

Best Protection Plan: Medical Alert

  • Cost: $19.95–$42.95 per month
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 800 feet
  • Battery Life: Five days for mobile 
  • Fall Detection: $10 per month 
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Neck pendant, wrist button
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: No
  • Equipment Fee: No
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Lifetime warranty, water-resistant buttons, $1 monthly fee for protection plan, mobile app for caregivers, multiple button options, lockbox 

Pros:

  • Money-back, 30-day guarantee
  • Button devices are lightweight and water-resistant 
  • Generous protection plan

Cons:

  • In-home range shorter than other brands 
  • Premium features cost extra 

Warranties and protection plans provide peace of mind when purchasing electronic devices like a medical alert system. Unfortunately, they often come with a hefty price tag. Medical Alert offers a protection plan for $1 per month that covers out-of-pocket expenses up to $350 in case your system is stolen, damaged or lost. Medical Alert also provides a generous lifetime warranty. And with plans starting at $19.95 per month, Medical Alert is also an affordable option for seniors looking for a budget-friendly medical alert system. 

The company offers two at-home devices — one with a landline and one that works without a landline — and an on-the-go system. All three come with access to the Medical Alert Connect app which gives caregivers and loved ones the ability to check in, receive notifications and monitor usage.

Best for Hands-Free Devices: GetSafe

  • Cost: $24.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home
  • In-Home Range: N/A
  • Battery Life: Five years for pendant 
  • Fall Detection: $10 per month 
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Voice-activated button, wall-mounted help button, lanyard button
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: No
  • Equipment Fee: Yes, a one-time fee; $79 for zero to one bedroom; $149 for two to three bedrooms; $229 for four to five bedrooms 
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Voice-activated speakers, fall detection, smoke detector, lockbox 

Pros:

  • 30-day, money-back guarantee
  • Simple pricing plan
  • Devices don’t need to be worn

Cons:

  • In-home only
  • One-time equipment fee required 

Seniors looking for an innovative medical alert system that uses voice-activated, two-way speakers instead of wearable emergency buttons may like what GetSafe has to offer. GetSafe is the only medical alert company on this list that works with voice-activated emergency monitoring — which means that, instead of pressing a button, the user simply tells the device to call for help.

The company offers three plans: the Starter, Standard and Select. With each plan, you get the base unit, voice-activated system and wall-mounted button. Even though the system is designed as hands-free and voice-activated, you can still choose to wear a pendant. 

This medical alert system is a good choice for seniors who are home-bound and don’t want to wear a help button. However, GetSafe does not have an on-the-go system for seniors who go outdoors or leave the home.

Best for Remote Caregivers: Aloe Care Health

  • Cost: $24.99–$49.99 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 200 feet 
  • Battery Life: Five days for mobile 
  • Fall Detection: Yes, no extra fee
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Voice-activated Smart Hub or Care Button 
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: No
  • Equipment Fee: Yes
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Built-in air quality sensors and temperature control, caregiver app, mobile app

Pros:

  • 30-day, money-back guarantee
  • Free caregiver app
  • Voice-activated system 

Cons:

  • In-home range is low
  • Requires one-time equipment fee

Being able to check in remotely with a loved one is critical. The Aloe Care Health medical alert system is a high quality emergency response device that comes with one of the best mobile apps on the market. With the Aloe Care Health App, both the user and caregiver can communicate through the care hub device — caregivers can use the app to call users through the hub device, see the user’s activity in the home, call the Aloe Care emergency service team and manage the user’s medication.

The company offers four options including the Mobile Companion, Essentials, Essentials Plus and Total Care. They all come with a wearable button and at-home monitoring, but the Essentials Plus also has on-the-go coverage. Taking it one step further is the Total Care package which includes all of the same perks as the Essentials Plus along with automatic fall detection and two help buttons.

Best for AARP Discount: Philips Lifeline

  • Cost: $29.95–$49.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 800 feet 
  • Battery Life: Three days for mobile 
  • Fall Detection: Yes, no extra fee
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Pendent button, wrist button 
  • Monitoring Center: No certification
  • Activation Fee: $50–$99.95
  • Equipment Fee: Yes 
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Multilingual call center, free caregiver platform, automatic fall detection, 15% AARP discount, caregiver app 

Pros:

  • 30-day, money-back guarantee
  • AARP discount
  • Multilingual response team 

Cons:

  • Requires a one-time device fee
  • In-home range is limited

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) does not endorse or recommend a specific medical alert system, but it has partnered with Philips Lifeline to offer AARP members a 15% discount on certain monthly fees. 

Philips Lifeline offers four systems including the AutoAlert, HomeSafe, HomeSafe Standard and GoSafe 2. All systems come with access to Philips Cares which allows you to connect a circle of family and friends via the app to easily provide support and share information. Other notable features include multilingual operators, automatic fall detection and a quick response time (average of 12 seconds).

Best Response Time: LifeStation

  • Cost: $22.95–$37.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 500 feet
  • Battery Life: Five days for mobile 
  • Fall Detection: $5 per month 
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T cell service 
  • Device Options: Neck pendant button, wrist button
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: For some packages 
  • Equipment Fee: No 
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Lifetime warranty, Amazon Alexa, automatic alerts to caregivers

Pros:

  • Quick response time
  • Extra loud speakers

Cons:

  • Low in-home range
  • Installation fee

During an emergency, response time is critical. The LifeStation medical alert system combines at-home and on-the-go services with one of the quickest emergency response times in the industry at 20 seconds.

With the Find My Loved One app, caregivers can locate a loved one anytime as long as they are wearing the medical alert button. LifeStation even works with Amazon Alexa to help caregivers check on family members while at home. 

LifeStation also owns both of its monitoring centers (other companies work with third parties), so customer support is top notch. It is worth noting that LifeStation does have one of the shortest in-home ranges on this list at 500 feet and charges for installation.

Best for Spouse Coverage: LifeFone

  • Cost: $24.95–$39.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: 1,300 feet 
  • Battery Life: Varies depending on device 
  • Fall Detection: $5 per month 
  • Connection Type: Landline; mobile via AT&T or Verizon cell service 
  • Device Options: Neck pendant button, wrist button, wall-mounted buttons 
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: No
  • Equipment Fee: No
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Protection plan, lockbox, bathroom and hallway wall buttons, activity assurance, smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector alerts  

Pros:

  • 30-day, money-back guarantee
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Long in-home range

Cons:

  • Higher price for add-ons and premium features 

Couples planning to age in place safely can get a two-for-one deal with LifeFone. The company’s customer-friendly policies feature no activation or equipment fees, lifetime customer price guarantee and spouses get free monitoring with basic service (many medical alert companies charge full price to cover a second person).

LifeFone has four medical alert devices to choose from including the at-home landline plan, at-home cellular, at-home and on-the-go GPS and the at-home and on-the-go GPS and voice-in-necklace device — making this medical alert device easy to customize for your needs. And, you can choose from several add-on options including a lockbox, wall-mounted button, activity assurance and a home package that comes with a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector.

Best for Health Features: WellBe Hands Free

  • Cost: $34.95–$44.95 per month 
  • Services: In-home and on-the-go
  • In-Home Range: N/A
  • Battery Life: Two days for speaker; one day for watch 
  • Fall Detection: No
  • Connection Type: T-Mobile cell service 
  • Device Options: Smartwatch, smart speaker  
  • Monitoring Center: TMA Five Diamond Certification
  • Activation Fee: No
  • Equipment Fee: Yes
  • Contract Required: No
  • Special Features: Hands-free care, virtual health assistant reminds you of prescription refills and appointments, speaker can double as entertainment center, remembers family members  

Pros:

  • 30-day return policy
  • Innovative smartwatch and speaker 
  • Speaker is virtual health assistant 

Cons:

  • No fall detection
  • Limited warranty
  • Setup is lengthy 

Seniors looking for an innovative at-home and on-the-go medical alert system that doubles as an entertainment center will appreciate the tech-forward features of WellBe Hands Free.

Unlike other medical alert systems, WellBe uses a voice-enabled smart speaker and smartwatch for monitoring. The WellBe Watch is your mobile emergency alert device that provides two-way communication for emergency response. Plus, the watch has a built-in pedometer to track steps. The Smart Speaker acts as a virtual assistant, alerting you to upcoming appointments, prescription refills, medication reminders and other daily notifications. 

Because this system is more technologically advanced, it does require more time and experience with setup. You can purchase each device separately or buy the WellBe Medical Alert Plus packages, which will help you save money by bundling devices.

The Best Medical Alert Systems At a Glance

Provider

Services

In-Home Range

Battery Life

Fall Detection

Connection

Activation Fee

Equipment Fee

Long-Term Contract

Medical Guardian

In-home; on-the-go

1,300 feet

5 days

$10 per month

Landline; AT&T cell

No

No; Mini Guardian $124.95

No

Bay Alarm

In-home; on-the-go

1,000 feet

18–24 hours (watch)

$10 per month

Landline; AT&T cell

No

No

No

MobileHelp

In-home; on-the-go

1,400 feet

3 days

$10 per month

Landline; AT&T

No

No

No

Medical Alert

In-home; on-the-go

800 feet

5 days

$10 per month

Landline; AT&T cell

No

No

No

GetSafe

In-home

N/A

5 years (pendant)

$10 per month

Landline; AT&T cell

No

Yes

No

Aloe Care

In-home; on-the-go

200 feet

5 days

Yes, included

Landline; AT&T cell

No

Yes

No

Philips Lifeline

In-home; on-the-go

800 feet

3 days

 Yes, included

Landline; AT&T cell

Yes

Yes

No

Life Station

In-home; on-the-go

500 feet

5 days

$5 per month

Landline; AT&T cell

For some packages

No

No

LifeFone

In-home; on-the-go

1,300 feet

Varies

$5 per month

Landline; AT&T and Verizon cell

No

No

No

WellBe

In-home; on-the-go

N/A

2 days (speaker); 1 day (watch)

No

T-Mobile cell

No

Yes

No

What Is a Medical Alert System?

A medical alert system is an in-home and mobile emergency response device that allows you to alert caregivers and emergency services when you need help. Some also give caregivers the option of remotely monitoring a loved one. 

These wearable and wall-mounted devices have a button that users push in case of an emergency. The button sends a signal to a monitoring center that can call for help. 

How Do Medical Alert Systems Work?

Medical alert systems have a home or base unit that stays in one location. In general, these are plug-in devices. Most medical alert systems come with a wearable button for your neck or wrist. In an emergency, you push this button to activate the system. This puts you in touch with a call center dispatcher who can assess the situation and seek emergency services immediately if you need them. 

Many medical alert systems also come with fall detection, which automatically calls for help without having to push the button. Medical alert systems also have a mobile option with GPS that allows you to continue coverage and protection when outside of the home.

How to Choose the Best Medical Alert System for You

The best medical alert system is one you will use. That said, there are some important features to consider when evaluating providers:

  • Mobility (at-home or on-the-go): If you are house-bound, an in-home device will suffice. But if you go outdoors or leave the house, opt for a system with both in-home and on-the-go capabilities. 
  • Monitoring: If you want 24/7 monitoring, you need a system that offers a round-the-clock dispatching center. Take some time to research each monitoring center. Consider response times and certifications. The gold standard in monitoring center certifications is the TMA Five Diamond Certification.  
  • Automatic Fall Detection: Automatic fall detection gives you peace of mind that the dispatch center will be alerted even if you don’t activate the button. Not all medical alert systems have this feature, so make sure to read the fine print. Additionally, some companies include this in the cost of the monthly fee, while others charge a $5–$10 monthly fee for this feature. 
  • Budget: Have a budget in mind before you research medical alert systems. Look at equipment fees, activation fees and monthly fees. Several companies do not require any fees other than the monthly monitoring fee. 

Ease of Use: Depending on how tech-savvy you are, consider setup and daily use. Some medical alert systems are more complex and come with several features you may not need if it makes operating the system too complicated.

How Much Do Medical Alert Systems Cost?

The cost of a medical alert system varies depending on the features and monthly fees. Some companies require a one-time activation fee or equipment fees, while others only charge a monthly monitoring fee. It’s important to read the fine print before signing on the dotted line so that you’re not surprised by any hidden costs. 

To make it easier to compare costs, consult the table below that summarizes the 10 medical alert systems included in this review.

Provider

Monthly Cost

Medical Guardian

$29.95–$49.95

Bay Alarm Medical

$19.95–$39.95

MobileHelp

$19.95–$44.95

Medical Alert

$19.95–$42.95

GetSafe

$24.95

Aloe Care Health

$24.99–$49.99

Philips Lifeline

$29.95–$49.95

LifeStation

$22.95–$37.95

LifeFone

$24.95–$39.95

WellBe Hands Free

$34.95–$44.95

Payment Assistance for Seniors 

Many seniors are on a fixed income and affording a costly medical alert system might seem like a stretch. The good news is there are some payment assistance programs you may be able to access. Here are some options to consider:

Who Would Benefit from a Medical Alert System? 

Any senior who desires to age in place or remain independent can benefit from a medical alert system. It’s also a beneficial tool for anyone with dementia, Parkinson’s, MS, diabetes, low blood pressure, heart disease, seizures, vertigo or any other medical or chronic health condition that may affect your balance and mobility. 

Additionally, some seniors use medical alert systems when recovering at home after surgery.

Tips for Caregivers

If you’re a caregiver helping a friend, family member or loved one choose a medical alert system, you may be asked to help interpret contracts, explain features and make the final decision. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Check for monthly and long-term contracts
  • Ask about monthly monitoring fees
  • Determine the best button options (wearable and wall-mounted)
  • Find out if there are trial periods or return policies
  • Make sure the system is compatible with the home environment (landline or cell service)
  • Get referrals from friends, elder support services or a doctor
  • Look for medical alert systems that have a reliable caregiver app
  • Ask about monitoring response times 
  • Read online reviews

Useful Tips to Save You Money

Saving money is always a good thing when making a major purchase. Once you narrow your search or decide on a medical alert system, consider the following tips to save you money. 

  • AARP members should check the brand’s benefits section. Some medical alert systems offer discounts on the monthly fees to AARP members. 
  • Look at all add-on services that require monthly or one-time fees, such as fall detection. If this is a feature you need, remember to factor in the additional cost or choose a medical alert system that does not charge extra. 
  • Don’t be afraid to negotiate a better price. When talking to customer service, ask about discounts or fees that can be waived. Let them know you want to go with their product, but can’t afford the total price. They may waive equipment or activate fees. 
  • Try to avoid long-term contracts. There are plenty of medical alert systems that do not require any contracts. Make sure to ask about any contracts or terms of service before agreeing to a plan. 

Criteria for Choosing the Best Medical Alert Systems

We determined the best medical alert systems based on the following criteria:

  • Price of installation and monthly service
  • Warranties, contracts, and (whether the company has any) hidden fees
  • Monitoring center reliability
  • Comfort and wearability of mobile devices
  • In-home range of equipment
  • Water resistance of wearable devices
  • Battery life and recharging requirements
  • Ease of installation and use
  • Expert opinion
  • Customer service accessibility and performance
  • Customer satisfaction reviews on trusted sites like BBB and Trustpilot
  • Company reputation
  • Special features such as automatic fall detection, smartphone apps for family members, and location tracking

The Bottom Line on the Best Medical Alert Systems

Medical alert systems help seniors live at home longer and with better peace of mind. Finding the right system to fit your needs and budget is critical to the success of using one of these devices. 

That said, there are several medical alert systems that stand out as top performers. Medical Guardian is an excellent choice for seniors who want a generous in-home button range, waterproof wearable pendants and several button options including wrist, neck, wall-mounted and voice-activated wall-mounted. For seniors who drive, the car-alert feature from Bay Alarm Medical makes this system worth considering. And if hands-free features top your list of must-haves, then GetSafe is a great medical alert system to try. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best medical alert device on the market?

You can find hundreds of reviews and recommendations on the best medical alert device. But the bottom line is the best medical alert device on the market is the one you will use. However, there are a few brands that stand out as leaders in the industry. Medical Guardian, Bay Alarm, and Medical Alert are three of the top rated medical alert systems on the market. 

Does AARP recommend a medical alert system?

While medical alert systems are strongly recommended by AARP, it does not recommend a specific brand or system for its members. Yet some medical alert systems, like Philips Lifeline, do offer a discount to AARP members. 

Is a medical alert system covered by Medicare?

Original Medicare does not cover the costs associated with a medical alert system. However, if you have Medicare Part C, also called Medicare Advantage, the coverage is not as clear. Since Medicare Advantage is private insurance, refer to the benefits section of your plan or contact a representative to find out if it covers equipment costs or monthly call center fees. 

Will my insurance pay for a medical alert system?

The equipment costs and monthly service fees for a medical alert system can add up. This leaves many seniors wondering if their insurance will pay for a system. Unfortunately, it depends. You will need to call a representative from your insurance company or visit the plan’s website and read through your benefits. That said, a majority of health insurance providers do not cover the costs associated with a medical alert system. 

Are medical alert systems expensive?

The amount you spend on a medical alert system depends on equipment costs, start-up or activation fees and monthly service fees. In general, monthly service plans cost between $19.95 and $49.95 per month. This does not include any add-on features such as fall detection or extra buttons. Some companies require a start-up or activation fee. This can range from $50 to more than $200. If you purchase a medical alert system that does not require a monthly service fee, you will only have a one-time equipment cost.

Are there any free medical alert systems?

There are no free medical alert systems. Some companies provide the equipment as part of the contract and you pay a monthly call service fee. Other companies require an up-front cost for the equipment, but don’t have a monthly service fee. These systems call a selected person or the local 911 operator when activated. 

If you can find financial assistance that will cover the equipment cost and monthly fee, then you may be able to have a “free” medical alert system. 

Are medical alert systems worth it?

The decision to purchase a medical alert system is not an easy one, especially if cost is an issue. This leaves many people wondering if these systems are worth it. If the device is worn consistently and you understand how the system works, then yes, they can be a good investment in your health and safety. However, if the necklace or wrist button spends more time on the dresser than it does on your body, or you don’t use it when needed, then you might need assistance from a friend, family member or senior advocate to get into a routine or habit of using the system. 

How do I choose a medical alert system?

Choosing the right medical alert system is a big decision that may require a bit of time and research on your part. But reading reviews, talking to your doctor, asking a trusted friend or family member and calling the company directly can help with the process. 

It’s also helpful to compare start-up or equipment costs, monthly fees, contract requirements and any add-on fees required by the company. 

Which medical alert system is best for seniors?

In general, most medical alert systems are designed with seniors in mind. So, when looking for the best medical alert for seniors, the first thing to do is decide which features are important, how much you want to spend and if you need a system for in-home only or one that works both in-home and on-the-go. 

Are medical alert systems a good idea for seniors with memory impairment? 

If you or a loved one is living with memory impairment, feeling safe at home is critical. A medical alert system worn regularly is one tool that may help with daily living and safety. 

Since landline devices only offer coverage for a limited range from the base station, consider a mobile system that covers a wider area. Also, make sure there is a caregiver or family member that can monitor usage, help with any technical difficulties and check on battery life. Depending on the degree of memory impairment, this is something that may need to be monitored daily. 

What type of phone service do I need?

Medical alert systems work with a landline or a wireless cellular network. Not all medical alert systems offer both options, so make sure to read the fine print. And, if you’re using an on-the-go medical alert system, you will need to have a wireless plan. 

What is a medical alert necklace?

A medical alert necklace is a medical alert button you wear around your neck. When activated by the user, it sends a signal to the call center or other pre-programmed number to request help. This necklace replaces the medical alert button worn on the wrist.