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Medical Alert Systems
July 21st, 2021
Medical Alert Systems
July 21st, 2021
Medical Alert Systems
May 17th, 2021
If you've heard of medical alert systems, you're likely familiar with the common phrase "I've fallen and can't get up!" Originating from a Life Alert commercial in the early 1990s, the company coined the catchy saying and has since been one of the most prominent companies on the market. Aside from its clever marketing, we wondered, "what does Life Alert have to offer?" Has Life Alert earned its top spot in the medical alert industry because its offerings are the most competitive, or is it simply because the company's marketing was so well done that consumers choose it for the sole fact that it's the most well known? Unfortunately, after looking into Life Alert's offerings and reviews, the latter seems to be the most likely. Here at Best Company, we have a list of top-rated medical alert systems. To earn a top spot on that ranking list, a company needs competitive industry offerings, such as an affordable monthly price, quality equipment, a robust equipment warranty, a reasonable contract, and, most importantly, a medical alert company should have positive customer reviews. On our ranking list, 75% of a company's overall score is determined by its customer reviews. Basically, if you don't have positive reviews from your customers, you won't be a highly rated company on BestCompany.com. With more than 80 medical alert companies ranked, Life Alert pops in at position 21. The company not only falls behind its competitors in regards to pricing and other industry offerings, the majority of its customer reviews are also negative. We compare Life Alert against its top 10 competitors below, who are much more affordable, have better overall offerings, and have many more positive reviews, making them the best life alert alternatives on the market. Just because Life Alert is the most well known, that doesn't mean it's the best option. To help you determine which life alert alternative is right for you, we provide a breakdown of the top 10ranked medical alert companies below. We'll also give you a breakdown of Life Alert as well, so you can compare the company against these competitors. #1 rated: Medical Guardian #2 rated: MobileHelp #3 rated: One Call Alert #4 rated: BlueStar SeniorTech #5 rated: Medical Alert #6 rated: LifeStation #7 rated: Alert1 #8 rated: Florida Telehealth #9 rated: LifeFone #10 rated: ADT Home Health #21 rated: Life Alert For each company, we'll expand on plan information, contract requirements, equipment warranty lengths, and just about everything you need to know about each company to make an informed decision. First, we'll compare the #1 and #2 ranked medical alert companies, Medical Guardian and MobileHelp, against Life Alert. As you can see in the comparison chart above, Medical Guardian and MobileHelp blow Life Alert out of the water in regards to their overall score and customer review ratings. Nearly 90% of Medical Guardian's and MobileHelp's reviews are 4 and 5 stars, making negative feedback for both companies minimal. Life Alert, on the other hand, has barely any positive reviews, with only 8% of its total reviews being 4 or 5 stars. Monthly Monitoring Price: $29.95–$44.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$10 per month Equipment Fee: None* Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: +$6.99 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: 1,300 *The Freedom Guardian and the Mini Guardian have equipment fees #1 rated medical alert company Ranked against more than 80 competitors, Medical Guardian ranks at the top of the charts at #1. Its pricing is on par with competitors, if not better than most. You can choose from multiple plans, giving you the option to choose the more basic package if you're looking for a standard medical alert system, or opting to upgrade to one with more features. Medical guardian equipment is completely free unless you opt for the smartwatch option or the Mini Guardian, and there are no activation fees or long-term contracts. Medical Guardian's offerings are customizable and are some of the best in the industry. $100 satisfaction guarantee If you purchase Medical Guardian and are not satisfied after 30 days, Best Company will give you $100 — no tricks or loopholes about it. Since Medical Guardian has been ranked #1 on BestCompany.com for years, we've seen the company's reviews continue to outshine the competition and its offerings continue to improve and exceed what else is on the market. Because customers are so happy with Medical Guardian, we wanted to create an extra guarantee for consumers so they could have additional peace of mind. Learn more about our Best Company Guarantee and buy with confidence. Smartwatch medical alert option If you want your medical alert equipment to go beyond a simple alert button, Medical Guardian is a great option because its medical alert technology is one of the most competitive in the industry. In addition to your typical medical alert button and fall detection options, Medical Guardian also has a smartwatch option that has multiple capabilities, including text-to-speech messaging, reminders and alerts, daily weather information, location tracking, etc. Nearly 90% of customer reviews are 4 or 5 stars Medical Guardian has some of the best customer reviews we've seen for medical alert companies and any type of company for that matter. With more than 11,000 reviews and 88% of those being 4 or 5 stars, Medical Guardian is at the top of our ranking list for a reason. We analyzed Medical Guardian's reviews and found that the most common feedback for the company included the following: Equipment quality and its ease of use Excellent customer service Fast response times Reasonable pricing Free spouse protection Medical Guardian protects spouses for free. If you purchase a second medical alert pendant, the company will waive the extra monthly monitoring fee. However, extra buttons cost an additional $2.99 per month. Whether you're purchasing Medical Guardian for you, a spouse, your parents, or whoever it may be, you can take advantage of the company's two-for-the-price-of-one discount. Learn More About Medical Guardian Find out more about Medical Guardian by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More Current Medical Guardian promotion Medical Guardian has a current promotion that gives customers the following: Free month of service Free ground shipping Free lockbox Free additional pendant To redeem the offer, get the four free gifts with the promo code "4FREE." Monthly Monitoring Price: $19.99–$44.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$10 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: +$5 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: 1,400 feet #2 rated medical alert company MobileHelp is similar to Medical Guardian in that it has multiple medical alert packages, an affordable monthly monitoring fee, no long-term contracts, free spouse protection, and free equipment. $100 satisfaction guarantee We also offer the Best Company Guarantee with MobileHelp. The same conditions apply as we explained with Medical Guardian's offering: if you're not satisfied after 30 days of purchasing MobileHelp's services, Best Company will give you $100. 4.6/5 customer review star rating MobileHelp has more than 10,000 reviews, averaging its star rating at 4.6/5. 92% of MobileHelp's reviews are 4 or 5 stars, making it clear the majority of its customers are happy and satisfied with its services. Refer-a-friend discount If you refer a friend to MobileHelp, the company will give you a $200 Visa gift card per referral. Keep in mind, your referrals do have to be customers for 60 days or more before you will receive the gift card. Full suite of certifications Sometimes it's difficult to find certifications for medical alert companies, and customers often wonder if the company has them at all. MobileHelp is completely transparent on its website and notes that it has the following certifications: FDA Registered — FDA Current Good Manufacturing Practice that regulates medical devices. FCC Certified — Federal Communications Commission certification that ensures wireless signals are legal and approved. PTCRB — Global cellular certification that ensures equipment meets standards and won't affect cellular networks. UL-1635 — Underwriters Laboratories Certification that regulates the safety of the digital alarm system. UL-1637 — Underwriters Laboratories Certification that regulates health care signaling equipment. AT&T Network Certification — Cellular network certification that gives MobileHelp access to the AT&T network. Learn More About MobileHelp Find out more about MobileHelp by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More Next, we'll compare the #3 and #4 ranked medical alert companies, One Call Alert and BlueStar SeniorTech, against Life Alert. As you'll see below, Life Alert's customer review scores are concerningly low compared to all of the other medical alert providers. It's difficult to trust a company when the majority of its customer review feedback is negative. One Call Alert and BlueStar SeniorTech both have high star ratings, close to 4.5/5, which is much better than Life Alert's 1.4/5. Monthly Monitoring Price: $19.95–$44.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$10 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: None Extra Protection Warranty: +$5 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: 1,300 feet #3 rated company With a few hundred reviews, One Call Alert has a 4.7/5 customer review star rating. More than 80% of its reviews are 5 stars, with customers appreciating its prompt service, stellar customer service, and quality equipment. Multiple payment options One Call Alert has flexible payment options, making it simple for customers to select the plan that works best for them. Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual payments are available. You'll save money if you go with the annual plans. Prices subject to change Although One Call Alert has competitive prices, the company notes on its website that "prices [are] subject to change without notice." This means One Call Alert does not offer a price-lock guarantee and if the provider decides to increase its prices, it isn't required to notify customers. Learn More About One Call Alert Find out more about One Call Alert by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More $100 satisfaction guarantee The Best Company Guarantee also applies to One Call Alert. You can purchase One Call Alert's services knowing you have extra protection with our $100 guarantee on top of One Call Alert's 30-day money-back guarantee. Monthly Monitoring Price: $23.95–$44.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$5 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: None Range/Distance from Base Station: 600 feet #4 rated company BlueStar SeniorTech is ranked fourth among our top-rated companies. Even though the company only has around 80 consumer reviews, more than 70% of its reviews are 5 stars, demonstrating a solid sample of satisfied customers. Discount for veterans Veterans founded BlueStar SeniorTech, and they are passionate about giving back. If you're a veteran, you can receive 10% off any of BlueStar SeniorTech's products and services. Competitive rates for fall detection Typically, medical alert companies charge $10 extra a month for fall detection capabilities. BlueStar SeniorTech charges half of that, making its fall detection one of the most affordable rates on the market. Stylish and discreet medical alert watch One reason BlueStar SeniorTech stands out against its competitors is its sleek medical alert watch. It's one of the most unique medical alert options on the market. It has a classic watch design with medical alert capabilities. You'd never know it was a medical alert device by looking at it, which is great for customers looking for a medical alert option that is discreet as well as functional. Learn More About BlueStar SeniorTech Find out more about BlueStar SeniorTech by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More The next two Life Alert alternatives are Medical Alert and LifeStation. Medical Alert ranks #5, and LifeStation ranks #6 on our medical alert rankings chart. Both companies have more than 1,000 reviews with the majority of the reviews being 4 and 5 stars. We'll break down each company's offerings below. Monthly Monitoring Price: $19.95–$42.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$10 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: Free (with purchase of fall detection) Range/Distance from Base Station: 600 feet Free protection plan if you purchase fall detection Most medical alert companies offer protection plans, but they often charge at least an extra $5 per month for the service. Medical Alert offers a free protection plan if you purchase fall detection for any product. This is especially convenient since most customers are interested in purchasing fall detection anyways. Next-day delivery If you want Medical Alert's equipment as soon as possible, the company offers overnight shipping so you'll receive your package the next day and can have medical alert coverage almost immediately. Multiple payment options This is somewhat common within the medical alert industry, but Medical Alert offers a variety of plan options that allow you to pay monthly, semiannually, or annually. If you pay annually, you'll be paying less than you would if you opt for the month-to-month package. You also receive free shipping and a free lockbox if you pay annually. Medical Alert mobile app Not all medical alert companies have their own mobile app to pair with their services. However, Medical Alert has a mobile app that allows you to check the medical alert device's status and receive push notifications when the customer is using the device. The app also shows if the device is in the middle of a test or if it's an actual triggered emergency. Medical Alert's mobile app is great for loved ones or caregivers who want to keep an eye on the medical alert user. Lastly, the mobile app allows for multiple subscribers, so if multiple loved ones want access in addition to a caregiver, that's a possibility. Learn More About Medical Alert Find out more about Medical Alert by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More Monthly Monitoring Price: $21.95–$37.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$10 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: +$5 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: 500 feet Voice prompts for battery level notifications The majority of medical alert companies have two-way voice technology, but they don't have voice-activated prompts for alerts such as battery notifications. LifeStation's medical alert pendant includes automatic voice prompts that give you battery-level updates. so you never have to worry about it dying before you're notified of the battery being low. Lightweight button For most medical alert users, size and convenience is an important factor when selecting a medical alert button. LifeStation has a miniature lightweight button that weighs less than half an ounce. This means you won't be distracted by a bulky pendant, whether you're wearing it as a necklace or watch. Hopefully, it'll be small enough that you won't even notice it's there most of the time. Positive reviews LifeStation has more than 2,000 reviews on BestCompany.com. Of those reviews, more than 80% are 4 or 5 stars. Customers are happy enough with the company's products and services that negative reviews are minimal. Partnership with Uber Health LifeStation is partnered with Uber Health to make sure medical alert users have transportation to get to their appointments. LifeStation's care specialists book rides to and from the user's appointment to make the process as seamless as possible. LifeStation's team will also stay on the phone with medical alert users if they desire until the ride is successfully completed. Learn More About LifeStation Find out more about LifeStation by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More Alert1 and Florida Telehealth have fewer reviews than the previously compared companies, but it is a big enough sample size to see general feedback from consumers. Florida Telehealth is especially impressive with 99% of its customer reviews being 4 or 5 stars. Find out more about both companies below. Monthly Monitoring Price: $19.95–$52.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$8 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: $19.95 Contract: None Warranty: Extended Extra Protection Warranty: +$8 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: 600 feet Cheaper if you pay for 10 months at a time If you pay for 10 months of service at a time, Alert1 will waive the $19.95 activation fee. All package prices are also more affordable if you opt for the 10-month plan. If you compare a month-to-month plan to a 10-month plan, you'll save upwards of $100. Alert1 also offers a free month of service and free shipping if you pay for the longer plan. Competitive pricing for fall detection Alert1 only charges $8 extra per month for fall detection. Most competitors charge $10 per month, so Alert1's pricing is a bit cheaper. Compatible with pacemakers All Alert1 medical alert pendants are compatible with pacemakers. This is convenient for any customers who already have pacemakers and want to continue to use them with their medical alert system. Refer-a-Friend discount Alert1 offers a referral program for all customers. If you refer a friend, both of you will receive one month of service for free. The discount will be applied at the end of your billing cycle. If you're enrolled in the 10-month plan, you may have to wait quite a while to receive the discount. Learn More About Alert1 Find out more about Alert1 by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More Monthly Monitoring Price: $39–$85 Fall Detection Cost: +$10 per month Equipment Fee: $99 Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: 1 year Extra Protection Warranty: +$5 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: Cellular only Family member text alerts Florida Telehealth's medical alert product is called RescueTouch and includes text message capabilities so loved ones and/or caregivers can receive updates in an emergency. Family monitored medical alert option In addition to a professionally monitored plan, Florida Telehealth also has a family monitored plan. If you choose this plan, rather than having a professional monitoring center respond to your emergency calls 24/7, you select family members to be notified instead. Fall detection available Florida Telehealth has fall detection available for family monitored plans as well as professionally monitored plans. It's not an add-on similar to what other medical alert companies do; the company instead offers fall detection as part of its more robust plans. You can't choose to opt-out of fall detection for a cheaper monthly fee. Discounts available Florida Telehealth offers discounts for AARP members, anyone with disabilities, nurses, first responders, as well as veterans. Learn More About Florida Telehealth Find out more about Florida Telehealth by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More The final two Life Alert alternatives are LifeFone and ADT Home Health. Both have mostly positive customer reviews and solid medical alert offerings we'll discuss below. Monthly Monitoring Price: $24.95–$39.95 Fall Detection Cost: +$5–$10 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: +$5 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: 1,300 feet High star rating LifeFone has a 4.6/5 star rating with 78% of its reviews coming in at 5 stars. Its customer reviews highlight the company as a great medical alert provider with an impressive and friendly staff, rapid responses, versatile equipment and plan packages, and more. Free spouse protection Similar to other leaders in the industry, LifeFone offers spouse protection for free. If you purchase an additional medical alert device, LifeFone will offer monthly monitoring completely for free so you don't have to pay an additional fee every month. Optional daily check-in You can opt into a daily check-in service that will ensure a Lifefone agent will give a call to the medical alert customer every day. This can be a simple check to see if the user is okay or it can be customized further to be more of a daily reminder call for whatever you'd like. You can also decide which time of day you'd like to receive the call. You can respond to the call by simply pressing a button on your base unit so it doesn't have to be a time-consuming call. Lifetime price and equipment guarantee Lifefone offers a lifetime price and equipment guarantee for all of its customers. This means your monthly price will never increase unless you add additional services. Your equipment will also be ensured for as long as you have it, so you don't have to worry about a short equipment warranty expiring during the lifetime of your medical alert service. Current LifeFone promotion LifeFone has a current promotion that gives customers the following: 1 month free Free shipping Free lockbox Free activation Price-lock guarantee To redeem the offer, use code Safe20. Learn More About LifeFone Find out more about LifeFone by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More Monthly Monitoring Price: $29.99–$39.99 Fall Detection Cost: +$10 per month Equipment Fee: None Activation Fee: None Contract: None Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: +$5 per month Range/Distance from Base Station: 600 feet ForeveRate™ guarantee ADT Home Health offers what it calls its ForeveRate™ guarantee. This ensures your monthly rate will never increase, no matter how long you have ADT's services. Free next-day shipping As long as your order is placed by 2 PM, ADT Home Health will ship your medical alert system package by the next business day. Home temperature monitoring A unique offering ADT has is home temperature monitoring for all its medical alert packages. This is great for customers who are also interested in home automation. Multiple payment plans ADT Home Health gives customers a discount if paid quarterly or annually. You still have the choice to pay month-to-month, but it is cheaper if you pay for more months of service upfront. Learn More About ADT Home Health Find out more about ADT Home Health by reading a full write-up of its pros, cons, and recent customer reviews. Learn More Monthly Monitoring Price: $49.95–$89.95 Fall Detection Cost: No fall detection available Equipment Fee: $95–$198 Activation Fee: None Contract: 3 years Warranty: Lifetime Extra Protection Warranty: Not available Range/Distance from Base Station: 800 feet Poor customer reviews Life Alert's review score is 206.9% lower than the average review score of the top-recommended medical alert company, Medical Guardian. With more than 100 reviews, Life Alert's customer review score is 1.4 out of 5, with 83% of its reviews being 1 star. In a nutshell, customers aren't happy with Life Alert. The most common complaint is the company's three-year contract. Out of all of the four Life Alert alternatives we've discussed above, none of them require a contract, whereas Life Alert binds customers into a three-year contract, which is almost unheard of in the medical alert industry. . . almost. Three-year contract Customers are being locked into this 36-month contract and they aren't happy. With the majority of medical alert companies having month-to-month plans, it's disappointing Life Alert forces its customers into a lengthy commitment. No fall detection available Life Alert is one of the few medical alert companies that does not offer fall detection. With fall detection being one of the main selling points of medical alert devices, Life Alert falls short by not offering this feature. Fall detection is the medical alert capability that will notify the emergency monitoring center if a fall occurs while the user is wearing a fall detection pendant. Without this, medical alert users have to press the medical alert pendant manually, which may be impossible if the user is unable to move or is currently unconscious. If you want extra peace of mind, we suggest selecting a medical alert company with fall detection capabilities, especially if the potential medical alert customer is ever left alone. Limited online information Life Alert has an outdated way of doing business. To receive pricing information, you have to request a brochure and you can't even request that the brochure be emailed to you; you have to wait for the company to mail the brochure to you and you must do this by calling Life Alert directly. This not only makes the researching and purchasing process more lengthy, but it's much more difficult when compared to all the Life Alert alternatives we've discussed in this article who state all of their pricing and package details online and even allow online ordering. Life Alert's website is also extremely outdated and provides little information. Unless you have the time to call and request a brochure and wait for it to be delivered, which may take weeks, Life Alert likely isn't worth it. Customer Review: Ginger Barnes from Boulder, CO "I called Life Alert twice to get some pricing as my mom just passed away and I needed something for my dad. They hung up on me twice because I would not give them my full address. I just had 2 questions and they would not answer them for me — I was told they are in 'the free brochure they will mail me.' So ridiculous. They just lost a customer."
Medical Guardian is a well-known medical alert system company from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 2005, Medical Guardian sets itself apart from its competition with its five core values: Customers above all else Innovation as motivation Passion for purpose Building meaningful relationships Excellence in results For nearly a decade, Medical Guardian has stayed at the top of our rating charts, earning the number one spot for the best medical alert system company on the market. With its high ratings never faltering, we wanted to ask how — how has Medical Guardian stayed consistent and remained at that top spot all of these years? The simple answer to that question is Medical Guardian has outstanding customer reviews. When we give a score to medical alert companies, customer reviews are the most heavily weighted factor when determining where companies land on our Best Medical Alert Systems List. Other aspects are considered as well, such as pricing, upfront fees, contract length, time in business etc. But customer reviews make up 75 percent of a company's score. We want to ensure the companies that are earning those top spots are giving customers the treatment they deserve. To earn that #1 medical alert spot year after year, Medical Guardian reviews have to be top-notch — and they are. A whopping 69 percent of Medical Guardian reviews are 5 stars, and 88 percent of Medical guardian reviews are either 4 or 5 stars. That tells us the company is doing something right for consumers to rate the company so high, especially more than seven years in a row. So what makes Medical Guardian so liked by its customers? We took a sample of Medical Guardian's reviews, delving into hundreds of ratings, separating them into categories, and identifying the specific areas where Medical Guardian excels. After reading through hundreds of reviews, we determined Medical Guardian excels in multiple areas. One-third of all sampled reviewers also cited at least two positive experiences that prompted their review. So quite often, consumers aren't appreciative of just one aspect of the company; they're satisfied with multiple. Below we'll break down each section and provide specific Medical Guardian reviews that highlight customers' thoughts about the company. Equipment Quality Customer Service Response Times Affordable Pricing Peace of Mind Review Responses Equipment quality and ease of use Because you or your loved one's life can depend on this device, medical alert equipment must be high-quality, trustworthy, and simple to use. Of the reviews we sampled, almost half mentioned Medical Guardian's quality equipment and its ease of use as a reason for the customer's high review rating. Customer Review: Martha from Lorain, Ohio "I went through the testing process of the equipment and it all went very smoothly. I followed the directions that came with what I was sent and it was very clear how to do the process. It was very easy." From initial set up to using the equipment on a day-to-day basis, you want the functionality to be straightforward, and that's exactly what consumers noted as a convenience of Medical Guardian is the simple yet high-tech equipment. Customer Review: Susan from Pennsburg, Pennsylvania "I had used another previously, and Medical Guardian is so much better in quality of product and customer service." For the equipment to be effective for customers, there needs to be versatility and customization, which is something Medical Guardian also makes a priority. The company knows that medical alert systems aren't one size fits all, so there are a variety of medical alert packages to choose from. Customer Review: Steve "They are responsive and very helpful in the setup process. They also helped in choosing the best equipment and appropriate response plan." Here's a breakdown of Medical Guardian's medical alert packages if you're interested in seeing what individual plans the company offers and what specific equipment comes with each one. All of Medical Guardian's medical alert packages include 24/7 professional monitoring, waterproof medical alert devices, and two-way communication. If you want to purchase a fall alert pendant, you need to upgrade your selected package. You also have the option to add extra medical alert buttons, wall-mounted buttons, voice-activated wall buttons, lockboxes, and more to your selected plan. In-Home Medical Alert Packages Classic Guardian ($0.97 per day) — Medical alert system for in and around the house that connects to your landline. Wearable medical alert button that can function up to 1,300 feet away from the base station. Home Guardian ($1.13 per day) — Medical alert system for your home that doesn't require a landline. Wearable emergency button functions up to 600 feet away from the base station. On-the-Go Medical Alert Packages Mobile Guardian ($1.35 per day) — Built-in GPS technology that keeps you protected up to 350 feet from the base station. Reliable cellular connection through AT&T with 24/7 professional monitoring. Mobile Guardian base can be worn around the neck or with a belt clip, while the pendant that comes with it can be worn around the neck or wrist. Active Guardian ($1.35 per day) — Portable medical alert system with built-in GPS and Wi-Fi technology. Not limited by a range. Worn around the neck or with a belt clip. Freedom Guardian ($1.45 per day) — Lightweight smartwatch medical alert device. GPS and Wi-Fi positioning systems that can determine your exact location. Text-to-speech text messaging, reminders and alerts, and weather forecast capability. Mini Guardian ($1.29 per day) — Lightest device Medical Guardian offers at half the width of the other devices. Built-in fall detection and a five-day battery life. GPS and WiFi location tracking. Worn around the neck or with a belt clip. Superior customer service Nearly 40 percent of reviewers mentioned a positive experience with Medical Guardian's customer service. That's a comforting number when you're trying to decide if Medical Guardian has a responsive staff you want to do business with. Medical alert devices aren't something you purchase once and then you never speak with the company again; you are going to be dealing with Medical Guardian at least monthly to do frequent system checks that ensure your system is working. You'll also likely contact the company with questions about billing or equipment, for example. You want to know the company takes consumer concerns seriously and makes a concerted effort to provide excellent customer service. Medical Guardian reviews demonstrate just that. Customer Review: Melissa Freeman from Elkin, North Carolina "Medical Guardian has the best ratings on the Internet. Customer service thus far has been tops!!" As the #1 rated medical alert provider, Medical Guardian strives to live up to its impressive reputation. A brand could easily be a disappointment if it didn't make the effort to impress the majority of its customers with treatment that is valued and appreciated. Customer Review: Hubert from Scarsdale, New York "Once or twice I have been called by them just to see if everything was okay. They were just testing the device and seeing if I'm okay so I found that to be terrific customer service." The above review demonstrates how Medical Guardian's customer service goes above and beyond what you typically see in companies. Medical Guardian contacts customers even when nothing has been reported, just to ensure they are doing okay and that their medical alert system is operating how it should be. That alone could save a life if for some reason the device wasn't working and that phone call was able to detect a problem before an emergency took place. Customer Review: Anthony "I think that their service is very good. We test it once a month and the people are very efficient, very nice, they answer very quickly and it just makes you feel confident. My every interaction with them has been a positive one." Quick response times A quick response time in a medical alert provider is key. If you or a loved one experiences a fall, you want to know the monitoring center will respond to your button push within minutes — even seconds. Of the reviews we sampled, 33 percent were impressed with Medical Guardian's response times, saying the company responds almost instantly every time their button is pressed. Customer Review: Linda "They answered the call immediately. I got stuck in the pantry and fell. I just pressed the button and my son came immediately and everything was taken care of. It was a good experience." With any medical alert system, you're most likely going to experience quite a few false alarms where you accidentally press your button and contact the monitoring center. Although this may seem inconvenient to both you and the company, it's actually a great way for both parties to test the medical alert device to not only ensure it's working, but also to check that the company's response rate is acceptable. Countless reviews we went through mentioned customers accidentally pushing their buttons but being thankful that they did because that showed them that Medical Guardian responded immediately and that their systems were functioning effectively. Customer Review: Mark "I never actually needed help, but have accidentally pushed the button a few times and someone responded immediately." Customers also appreciated Medical Guardian's response times weren't just quick for certain types of alerts. For example, if you push your button and/or experience a fall and make contact with Medical Guardian's monitoring center, you can tell the operator —or decide beforehand — if you want the monitoring center to contact an ambulance or one of your family members instead. This way, you don't need to worry about an ambulance showing up at your home if it's just a minor fall that a family member can help with. Customer reviews show that whether you opt for an ambulance or a family member to assist you, Medical Guardian's response times are equally quick. Customer Review: Julia "Unfortunately my dad fell, and he pressed his alert tag, within minutes I received a call that my dad fell, the operator was so kind and patient with me as I was on the way to his home! This company was everything we signed up for and more!! Extremely pleased." Affordable pricing Price is always going to be a major factor when deciding when to do business with a company. Thankfully, numerous reviews we looked at noted that Medical Guardian has an affordable price that is definitely worth the quality service you receive. Customer Review: Aaro Rice "Very good product and friendly staff! Product is quality and price is affordable." Medical Guardian's monthly price starts at $29.95 and ranges up to about $44.95. When compared to other top medical alert providers, like Life Alert that charges closer to $70 per month, Medical Guardian has one of the most affordable prices on the market. Medical Guardian also doesn't require any activation or equipment fees, unless you're purchasing the smartwatch medical alert device or the Mini Guardian. This means that with almost all of the company's packages, you won't have to spend any money upfront except for the monthly payment. Customer Review: Lynne Yates "Very good product and service. Like the pricing and the people are very nice." Medical Guardian also doesn't require a contract. Competing medical alert companies like Life Alert require up to three-year contracts, so it can provide peace of mind to customers that Medical Guardian doesn't lock its customers into long-term agreements. This means no hefty cancellation fees and no added stress for you or your loved one if you need to cancel the medical alert service. Customer Review: Linda Cox from Waterloo, Iowa "I found that Medical Guardian was less expensive than Life Alert. I think the customer service was knowledgeable, professional, helpful, and very nice." Peace of mind Medical alert systems can primarily be a precautionary measure that gives you and your loved ones peace of mind that if an emergency or fall takes place, help will be contacted and sent immediately. As we read through reviews around this topic, customers were noting that even if they haven't had to use their medical alert device yet, they were still thankful for the service. For most customers, paying a monthly monitoring fee is worth the peace of mind and sense of independence alone. Customer Review: Annabelle Weaver "It gave me peace of mind because I was all alone. It's a comfort to know that I have it hanging around my neck. All I have to do is push the button if I need it. Now I have family close by so I can get help if I fall. Most of the times I've used it was by accident when I turned over in bed. They have called me to make sure things are working right for me and that everything is ok." Detailed review responses Not only are customer review ratings important when determining if a company is trustworthy, but so are the company's responses to those reviews. If a business is receiving bad reviews online and making no moves to rectify its customers' concerns by responding to those reviews, that's a sign that you may not be able to trust that company. It's nice to see that Medical Guardian makes it a priority to respond to its reviews. Here are a couple of examples of Medical Guardian responding to specific customer concerns: Medical Guardian also sends reviewers a private message and provides contact information so the customer has a way to contact them personally regarding the problem they're having. Key Takeaway: Medical Guardian customer reviews reveal the company excels in multiple areas. Equipment quality and ease of use Superior customer service Quick response times Affordable pricing Peace of mind Detailed review responses Medical Guardian Medical Alert Systems Learn more about Medical Guardian's medical alert system offerings and read additional customer reviews. Learn More
Many humans desire to be independent. You may want to be able to live your life on your own terms. No matter your age or ability, independence remains important. As with choosing the best home insurance for seniors, there's more than just the benefit of security. Medical alert systems help older individuals stay independent and give their loved one's peace of mind in spite of potential emergencies. There are many companies that offer medical alert systems with a wide range of prices, so it can be difficult to choose the best option for your situation. This article will break down those medical alert systems and help you decide on the best options for you and your family. Medical Guardian Medical Guardian is the top-rated medical alert company of 2019 with the highest consumer rating and overall score on BestCompany.com. Since 2005, the company has been the best in the fall detection area — one of the most important functions of a medical alert system. Medical Guardian’s system also has no activation or equipment fees, making its system one of the most affordable on the market. Some of the best qualities of Medical Guardian’s medical alert system are the base station, the wearable emergency button, and two-way communication. Perhaps the most unique part of the system is the ability to operate on a cellular network. If your loved one wants to go to the store but is worried about a fall, Medical Guardian can provide mobile coverage with on-the-go medical alert systems for active individuals. The company also offers a lifetime warranty in case of any malfunctions. At an agreeable price of $29.99–$45.99 per month, Medical Guardian is an affordable option, and more importantly, a reliable company. Reaching in the thousands, positive Medical Guardian reviews prove that the company is trusted and appreciated by its customers. MobileHelp With a high overall score from BestCompany.com, MobileHelp has a great reputation and high ratings from consumers. The company offers low monthly fees starting at $19.95 per month and its service comes with no equipment fees, no activation fees, no long-term contracts, and a lifetime warranty on all equipment. The customer service at MobileHelp is renowned for its help, but the downside is the system is limited only to areas in which AT&T has cellular service. This can be troublesome if you’re in a bad service area. MobileHelp’s Mobile Duo offer, which is a two-for-the-price-of-one GPS alert system, is also a great option. The company offers a 30-day money-back guarantee on all products, which may make choosing MobileHelp completely risk-free. MobileHelp reviews highlight the company as an exceptional company with quality medical alert equipment, helpful customer service, and quick response times. LifeStation A long-running company since 1977, LifeStation gives families a sense of safety at the right price. Along with a solid 1,000-foot range for a monthly price of $19.95, the company offers free activation, no equipment fees, and requires no contract. The biggest positive of LifeStation is the variety of plans it has. At many different prices, you can choose what you actually need, customizing your medical alert plan to best fit your unique situation. An additional positive to LifeStation is its compatibility with Amazon Alexa devices. This gives your family even more functions to take advantage of, such as hands-free alerts. The downside to LifeStation is you have to pay an additional fee for extra alert buttons and fall detection. However, the fees are minimal and won’t significantly raise your monthly cost. LifeStation reviews make it clear that the minimal extra fees are not a problem and the company’s excellent customer service, quick response times, and quality medical alert equipment are definitely worth the cost. Medical Alert Medical Alert works under Connect America and is one of the largest providers of personal emergency response systems in the nation. Medical Alert also provides one of the best automatic fall detection systems as vouched for in hundreds of positive reviews. This is seen in Medical Alert's satisfactory score from BestCompany.com and experienced customers. Medical Alert’s system sends alert emergency dispatchers even if the alert button is not pressed. This is an essential component in medical alert systems for many consumers who want to make sure their loved ones do not have to press a button themselves to ensure their safety. The fall detection button detects a fall and alerts medical alert responders without the user having to do anything. Medical Alert also offers 24/7 customer service for any problems you may experience. Its products are lighter than most and are waterproof, which enables users to wear the medical alert button in places where falls often happen, such as the bathroom. Starting around $27.49 per month, Medical Alert’s downside is its range to the base. At only 600 feet, it can be easy to get out of range. Medical Alert is best for older adults looking for coverage specifically around the home. Medical Alert reviews note quick response times, a helpful staff, and quality equipment that provides peace of mind to customers and their families. Medical Care Alert Started in Michigan 11 years ago, the Medical Care Alert company provides a reliable system at a competitive price. Its services include a 30-day risk-free trial and a price-lock guarantee. The company offers a lifetime warranty with its products built by BOSCH Healthcare Solutions, one of the most well-known medical technology builders in the world. The company's goal since it began has been to make the best quality medical alert monitoring equipment. If you and your family are looking for well-built systems, Medical Care Alert may be a good fit. Some cons to its product are additional fees for automatic fall detection as well as warranty limitations. There is a lot of fine print when it comes to the warranty, so if you like everything else about Medical Care Alert, be sure to check what the warranty covers. The Bottom Line Medical alert systems save countless lives. They provide automatic fall detection and many other features that ensure a great deal of comfort for your loved ones. Independence is important for a healthy mind, so choosing the right alert system is an integral part of staying independent. Whether you choose the best-rated company or the cheapest monthly payment, all these companies are designed to provide a needed and appreciated service. Be sure to check the warranty, know what you’re buying, and research the perks of each company’s system. Knowing the facts, pros, and cons of each company will give you the safety net you need at a price you can afford. Guest Post by Ethan Lichtenberg Ethan Lichtenberg is a freelance writer for ExpertInsuranceReviews.com. He would love to say that he’s at the beach writing on a leather-bound notebook listening to Bob Dylan, but really he’s on his first cup of joe with too much cream and has Shark Week playing in the background. That should tell you all you need to know.
Pleasant Grove, UT - January 7, 2019 - Medical Guardian has been named the 2019 Consumer's Choice Award recipient in the medical alerts industry by BestCompany.com, an independent consumer review site. Medical Guardian was selected to receive this recognition from among 83 other medical alert companies based on a comprehensive market index score and the feedback of verified customers through reviews. "We wish to recognize Medical Guardian with the Consumer's Choice Award for 2019. They've earned it,” said BestCompany.com CEO Landon Taylor. “Our hope is that this recognition will highlight a company that is doing business the right way by taking care of its customers and always looking for ways in which it can improve." Medical Guardian distinguished itself from its competitors by offering affordable prices, innovative products, around-the-clock monitoring, and top-notch customer service. That, combined with an extremely high customer review score of 4.5 out of 5 based on more than 6,800 real customer reviews, propelled Medical Guardian to an impressive overall score of 9.3 out of 10, the highest in the industry. “We are honored to be recognized with the 2019 Consumer’s Choice Award in the Medical Alert Systems industry,” said Geoff Gross, Founder and CEO of Medical Guardian. “As we empower older adults to live a life without limits, it is our goal to go above and beyond for our customers every single day and provide the care and service they need, whenever they need it. This win reinforces and reaffirms our commitment to providing exceptional products, services, and support to our customers and their families.” To read consumer reviews for the top-rated medical alert systems provider, view Medical Guardian's profile on bestcompany.com. For additional information and comparisons, access the full list of medical alert companies considered for this award, as well as their respective scores and customer reviews. About Medical Guardian Founded in 2005, Medical Guardian is a leading provider of innovative medical alert systems that empower people to live a life without limits. Medical Guardian is headquartered in Philadelphia and provides support to more than 125,000 people across the country who are ready to take on the next chapter of life while remaining safe living in their own home. Whether it’s an in-home system, mobile device with GPS/Wi-Fi capabilities, or an all-in-one wearable medical alert smartwatch, Medical Guardian has the personal medical alert device to meet an array of needs and lifestyles. Learn more about Medical Guardian by visiting www.medicalguardian.com and following on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. About BestCompany.com BestCompany.com ranks and reviews companies across hundreds of different industries. Unlike many other review sites, companies listed on BestCompany.com cannot buy their position, nor is a company’s ranking manipulated or inflated by BestCompany.com for financial gain. Instead, a company’s ranking is based on BestCompany.com’s proprietary Best Rank algorithm, which is powered by verified customer reviews and an objective set of ranking criteria. For more information on how BestCompany.com scores and ranks companies, please visit the How We Rank page.
Saving for retirement is no simple task; not to mention responsibly handling your savings once you retire. Experts advise people to have at least 80 percent of their pre-retirement income if they want to sustain their lifestyle. Unfortunately, the average social security benefit for retired workers is only $1,409.91 per month as of March 2018. It is primarily up to you to build your retirement savings as well as manage that money as frugally as you can to make sure it lasts until the end of your life. It can be tough to think of ways to be frugal with your money, especially if you are retired and want to take this time in your life to relax. Well, don’t worry.You don’t have to brainstorm by yourself. We reached out to retirement experts to share their best tips for practicing frugality in retirement. The good news? The tips are all things you can begin doing right away. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to be frugal with your money and be fully prepared to make your retirement savings last. Grocery shop smart Raised by a mom who survived the Great Depression, repurposing, reusing, recycling and frequently “making do” has always been a part of my DNA. As such, these ideas have served us well. Retired from a second career six months ago, I've kicked up my frugality into high gear. With just my husband and me, I now separate large packages of meat into two, even three, separate packages depending on the size. For example, a package of six pork chops is broken into two packages of three. A chop a piece, plus a starch and vegetable is plenty. The third one serves as an after dinner snack for my husband. Purchasing hygiene items, soap, and razors at the dollar store often saves nearly as much as a dollar on some items. Purchasing paper goods (toilet paper, tissues, paper towels) at Sam’s Club lasts us nearly three months. I purchase paper towels with a perforation. A half sheet is plenty for hands and wiping up. I use paper towels instead of paper napkins. — Carol Gee, Author Limit eating out In the context of frugality, spending less money does not mean there are fewer benefits. In fact, frugal people manage to find ways to spend less money and get more profit at the same time.For instance, the advantage of making your own food at home goes beyond saving money; eating at home not only makes it cheaper, but it is healthier. Buying a smaller house costs less, but at the same time maintenance, lighting and electricity are less expensive. It also takes less time to clean and maintain, which gives you more time for other activities. Always invest in your savings first It is important to establish priorities from the start. For instance, before paying the mortgage, the services or any invoice, the frugal ones pay themselves first. It means investing in a savings fund or other savings accounts first, then paying other bills using the money that remains. Most people pay their bills in the first place and save the ‘spare’ money.Investing is the most important priority for frugal people, and they take care of it. If there is not enough money to pay the bills, then they will find ways to reduce their expenses or make their accounts smaller so that they can finance their savings and investment goals. — Sophie Miles, CEO & Co-founder of CalculatorBuddy.com Be systematic with money withdrawals Withdraw money systematically. Regulated monthly withdrawals will stop you from missing bills and help you stay on top of your grocery shopping and other expenses, avoiding any financial surprises down the road. Practice flexibility One of the best ways to live frugally in retirement is by not making yourself feel like you’re missing out. Put some extra money into your budget to allow you to buy that Starbucks coffee or treat yourself to an expensive gift every once in a while. Take care of your health A usually overlooked way to manage your finances is by staying on top of your health. Use your money wisely. It's worth investing in workout groups, or even just walking regularly, in order to save money down the line on exorbitant medical expenses. Do activities in moderation You don’t have to give up your nights eating dinner out at nice restaurants, or visits to the opera. Just reduce the frequency of your outings to keep enjoying life but saving where you can. It’s all about moderation when it comes to living frugally. — Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for MapleHolistics.com Take trips less frequently Most people believe that when they retire, they are finally free to take all of the exotic trips and getaways they have dreamed of. Unfortunately, because of the relatively fixed spending that retirement savings allow, this may not be the case. Instead of regular trips, consider instead going on an adventure every three or even four years. In the time between those big trips, consider doing things close to home, like retreats to nearby beaches or other less costly vacations. Make a list of must-visit spots domestically and progressively make your way around to all of them. Use public transportation It’s no secret that age can impair driving abilities and as people get older, the likes of night driving or long travel may seem unappealing. To save money, consider using public transportation instead of cars. For those with multiple vehicles, you can even consider selling one. This will cut gas and maintenance expenses and it is a simple way to live frugally and receive multiple benefits. Plan out weekly meals Taking time to search for deals is important at any stage in life but using this approach to grocery shop in retirement can be particularly beneficial. With an array of discounts and deals available in weekly circulars, take time to find markdowns on the things you are hoping to buy. It is even possible to hold off on buying certain items until they are on sale for even greater weekly savings. Look for senior discounts Though the age required to receive these discounts may vary from company to company, taking advantage of senior discounts is one way to cut costs. The reduction may be only 5-10% but overtime and when used on big ticket items, they can make for significant savings. Before making large purchases or even everyday ones, consider checking ahead of time to see what businesses offer discounts that can be taken advantage of. — Doug Keller, Community Manager/Personal Finance Expert Credit Analyst, Yvette Glover, from FitSmallBusiness.com echoes Keller's thoughts that senior discounts can make a big difference. "While not all vendors will advertise them, most provide discounted prices to seniors. Therefore, retirees needn't be shy about asking for any. At the end of the day, it's essential for retirees to not treat his or her savings like a wind-fall of available cash." Cut down on cable bills The average person pays $105 per month for cable. Many people pay closer to $200, as promo deals expire and costs rise quickly. This can be devastating when living on a fixed income. Rather than pay for cable, I recommend retirees cut the cord, where they can end up saving anywhere from $50-100 per month. First, an antenna can get the majority of people the major broadcast networks for free. Then a service like Sling TV will allow them to stream other channels they watch, such as CNN or FOX News, for as little as $25 a month. If they're Amazon Prime members, they already get free access to a load of shows on demand. And there are tons of free shows on YouTube and the Roku channel, among others, that can be watched on your TV with a Roku stick or similar device. — Chris Brantner, Founder of StreamingObserver.com Avoid impulse buying When in retirement, you have to remember that impulse buying is not your friend. During working years, we’re all guilty of picking up what we want, but retirement has to bring on a different mindset. Prior to retirement, think about some of the luxuries you enjoy but know you could live without, even though you truly get pleasure from them. Take magazines for example. They are very expensive in the grocery stores, however there are other ways to purchase them without paying full retail. The big box stores sell magazines for 30 percent off. Another way to receive them is through fundraisers. The kids for their band boosters are always trying to sell something and what they sell are usually items not needed for daily consumption. Magazines are always a big seller for them and the cost for you is pennies on the dollar. Search for the cheapest gas prices Gas prices are through the roof. Shop around, use the GasBuddy app before you fill up. The app will tell you who has the cheapest gas within miles of where you are. This type of thinking can save you hundreds of dollars every year and allow you to still enjoy things that you did while you were working. Remember, you’re retired; you have the time. — Dawn-Marie Joseph, Founder of Estate Planning & Preservation Think about starting an easy work-at-home job for extra income With more than half of American households owning at least one dog, older folks throughout the country are turning to a fun, flexible service to supplement income during retirement. Rover.com, the nation's largest network of loving and trustworthy dog sitters and walkers, connects pet parents with locals that are willing to provide in-home care and walks for pups, while their owners are away or at work. For example, Kathy & Craig Chastain, from Seattle, are using Rover.com to earn extra retirement savings. They explain:When we first began caring for fur buddies our intention was to supplement our retirement so that neither of us would have to seek outside income to assure our comfort zone. We both were starting to really enjoy being retired but both too active to do nothing.We launched our pet care gig with a family friend who entrusted us with their pup for a weekend. It wasn’t long before we had a small roster of clients. Enter Rover.com. Instantly, we had a foundation for growth and support that offered scheduling, insurance, bookkeeping, marketing and more.The income we've earned through Rover has matched and exceeded most anything available for seniors these days and it’s allowed us to keep our savings and retirement funds intact.Retirees throughout the U.S. are using Rover, and other side gigs, casually to bolster their retirement savings, so they can have more freedom. — Kathy & Craig Chastain, Retirees Look for additional ways to reduce the cost of your lifestyle Look for ways to reduce the cost of your lifestyle, so that your expenses are less than the income your investments and pension(s) provide. For example, try walking in your neighborhood as opposed to joining a gym. Start a garden in your backyard that produces vegetables during the summer months. Shop at secondhand clothing shops in affluent neighborhoods. The savings from even minor tweaks to your habits will accumulate significantly over time. And don't wait for retirement to start putting these changes into place. Start adjusting your mindset sooner, rather than later, to ensure the most comfortable retirement possible down the road. — Adham Sbeih, CEO & Co-founder of SocotraCapital.com Look into government and non-profit organizations Don’t ever be too proud to ask for help. There are numerous organizations and resources that can make retiring less stressful. From free activities in your local community center to benefits programs, there is something out there for everyone. — Chelsea Hudson, Personal Finance Expert at TopCashback.com Consider downsizing Reduce or even eliminate your mortgage if at all possible. Additionally, consider downsizing to a lower-cost home or area. — Caleb Backe, Certifed Life Coach and Business Consultant for Maple Holistics Downsizing is a great way to make some extra cash and ultimately save money. Smaller homes are less expensive to buy and maintain. Don’t forget location is key, so move somewhere where you can walk to shopping and entertainment. Sell or donate household items that are no longer needed to make downsizing and moving a breeze. If downsizing your home is not for you, then consider renting out a room to bring in some extra money a month. — Chelsea Hudson, Personal Finance Expert at TopCashback.com Use Apps to Manage Your Money There's a lot of new technology for managing savings, even retirement, on your own. Take the DIY approach and research apps that help you manage your retirement savings without the high cost of a financial advisor. Just make sure the app you choose is backed by great security and--if you're actually using it to save--FDIC insured. — Bethy Hardeman, Personal Finance Expert at Tally Whether you make small changes or big, start now so you can avoid running into money problems down the road. You’ve worked hard for many years; you deserve to relax without having to stress about money. Being frugal can give you peace of mind that your retirement is secure. Start Planning Early Even if you're not yet retired, start planning now and practicing frugal living. Retirement can sneak up on you, and you want to be as prepared as possible. Use resources like 401k calculators to plan out the amount you'll need in retirement to live comfortably. This will take into account your current age, your annual salary, your current 401(k) balance, etc. This will give you insight into your retirement numbers and if you're on track or if you need to increase your savings to meet your desired retirement fund.
Injuries from falls are the leading cause of death among seniors 65 and older. Thankfully, industry leaders such as Medical Guardian provide medical alert devices that allow you to call for help immediately in the case of a fall or another emergency. But how do you know if it's time for you or your loved one to get a medical alert device? Age, illness, medication, and family circumstances are all factors you should consider when determining whether to get a medical alert system. We created to quiz below to help you decide.
Do you have an elderly loved one with mobility issues? Over a third of adults over the age of 65 will experience a debilitating fall. Sometimes, these falls aren't serious, and other times, they can be deadly. As adults continue to age, their bodies aren't as resilient, so a fall can seriously damage their bones and joints. Although Life Alert and its famous "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials have a place in pop culture, there are actually many medical alert companies to choose from. Here's everything you need to know before you choose a medical alert system: Prices Prices will vary depending on the provider and the system. However, the average price for a basic in-home medical system with a wireless medical alert pendant is around $30 per month. A mobile medical alert system with GPS functionality will likely cost over $40 per month. You can read more about these systems in the Equipment features section. Watch out for installation or activation fees. Some companies love to tack these on. If a company wants to charge hundreds of dollars for a professional to come to your home and install a system, move on to the next company. The best medical alert systems are ready to go as soon as you plug them in and don't cost extra to install. Contracts Most medical alert companies will operate on month-to-month contracts, so you shouldn't have to worry about agreeing to a long-term contract. Some older companies such as Life Alert will have you sign a long-term contract before providing services, but this is rare. If you're confident you can pay the monthly fee for the duration of the contract, a contract could be fine, but if you move or decide you don't need the system anymore, you could be charged hundreds to buy out of your contract. Equipment features Every medical alert system essentially operates in the same way. The pendant you carry (or wear) communicates with a base unit. When you press the button on the medical alert pendant, it sends a signal to the base unit that relays that signal to a remote monitoring station. A representative at the monitoring station can then contact you through a microphone and speaker on the base unit and dispatch help if needed. Range The range of an in-home medical alert system varies depending on the system and company. Medical Guardian's basic in-home system, for example, has a range of 1300 feet. This is impressively long — you shouldn't have to worry if you have a large property and want to roam the yard or go on a short walk. However, do take into account that many things can inhibit a system's ability to operate at full range. Depending on what material your house is made of, the signal between the pendant and the base station will have a harder time traveling. For example, if you're out in the yard and there are several walls between your pendant and the base station, the signal won't reach as far. Also, if the interior walls are dense, the signal might not reach the full length as well. Some companies take this into account when marking their pendant range. Some might say that the pendant only extends 300 feet from the base station, but if you live in a small condo with few walls, that shouldn't be a problem. If you live on an estate with a large yard, you'll want to go with the 1300 foot system, or better yet, a mobile GPS system. Mobile vs. in-home medical An in-home medical alert system has a base unit that plugs into a wall and a pendant that communicates wirelessly at long ranges. With a mobile GPS alert unit, you can take the base unit anywhere. Usually, it's the size of a deck of cards and can fit in your pocket. There's still a pendant or bracelet you can wear and press a button if you experience an emergency, but the biggest difference is that you can take this unit anywhere. If you charge it every day or two, you can keep it on your person without worrying about it running out of battery power. If you press the alert button, emergency responders will know exactly where to find you because the small base unit will send a GPS signal pinpointing your exact location. Be aware that these units always cost a little more money. Expect to pay at least $40-50 per month for a mobile unit. However, if you're an active senior who loves to go on walks or bike rides, this system is indispensable. Warranties Most top-rated medical alert companies will have lifetime warranties on their equipment. If equipment malfunctions or breaks through no fault of your own, they'll replace it without any hassle. This includes your pendant, base station, mobile GPS unit, etc. Make sure to ask your medical alert companies about warranties before you buy any system. Other things to know Some home security companies offer medical alert pendants as an add-on. If you're already with a home security company like ADT or MONI Smart Home, call a representative and ask about this service. Some companies such as Live Life Alarms offer medical alert systems with one upfront cost, and that's it. No monthly fee. These systems are usually pre-programmed to contact a handful of phone numbers of your choosing, including neighbors or family members. The systems then contact these people if the emergency button is pressed. This means no monthly monitoring fee, but no professional medical help as well (unless you're allowed to pre-program 911 into the system). You can find the list of the best medical alert companies right here on Best Company.
Medical alert systems have come a long way since their early days in the 1970s. A medical alert system used to be just a device that would automatically dial a preset phone number when you pressed a panic button. Now technological advancements have given medical alert systems many more functions like fall detection and GPS location tracking. So, what does the future hold? Here are some ways that companies are making strides to bring medical alert systems into the future: GPS-based systems These have become fairly commonplace among many medical alert companies. These systems operate on cellular GPS signals in order to pinpoint someone's location. GPS-based systems need to be recharged on a daily basis because the base unit is portable — usually the size of a deck of cards. You carry the base unit and the emergency button with you at all times. Companies such as MobileHelp have chosen to specialize in these sorts of medical alert systems that cater to adults with healthy, active lifestyles. Classic medical alert models operate on a landline connection to get you in touch with emergency personnel. These systems are still widely being sold and will probably have their place until a more technologically-savvy generation grows older and needs medical alert systems. GPS-based systems are also slightly easier to install. You should only have to plug in the system and it's ready to go. Mobile apps Some companies feature apps that you can download to your mobile phone that then functions as a sort of medical alert system. This is a convenient and inexpensive way to make a medical alert system work for you, but there are a few limitations with it: Are you smartphone savvy? Many elderly folks simply aren't. A complicated smartphone could be overwhelming for someone who just wants a simple push-button wristband or pendant. The process of unlocking the phone and opening an app is much more complicated than pushing a help button. What is your current data plan? Mobile phones must have GPS locating capabilities to be fully functional as a medical alert device. These devices must have a robust data plan that can track your phone 24/7 without causing overages. A normal flip phone probably won't have these capabilities. Is the app reliable? This depends on the company and the designer. Talk to a company representative about what mobile apps they offer. Look them up on the app store, and pay attention to what current customers have said about their reliability and usability. Currently, GreatCall is a company that specializes in specific medical alert/cell phone devices. The cell phones operate as medical alert devices that have to be attached to one of the company's data plans. This could be convenient for seniors who want to bundle their cell phone and medical alert system, so more manufacturers might start doing the same thing in the future. Smart Watches At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, Medical Guardian debuted a new device called the Freedom Guardian, which is a smartwatch designed for seniors who want a portable medical alert system. Not only does it function as a medical alarm in case of a fall, but you can also set reminders for medication or calendar events along with sending and receiving text messages. With text messaging, the device will send you the message and can read it aloud to you, as well as translate voice into text. One of the best parts is that the device looks similar to your average Apple Watch. In the technological world, smartwatches are still relatively new, so we have yet to see other companies come forward with devices such as a medical alert-focused smartwatch. However, this may change as the industry continues to progress and grow. As baby boomers and other technologically-savvy seniors grow older, smartwatches will probably become more popular. In order to take a look at the best medical alert companies in the industry, visit our handy guide at Best Company.
Medical alert systems are a great way to provide peace and security for an elderly loved one who wants to live independently; however, with technology progressing so rapidly, it can be easy to lose track of what kinds of systems are available. In the following article, we'll break down what you can expect as you start searching for a medical alert system. Traditional systems Traditional medical alert systems are the most common. These systems usually consist of the following: Base system Emergency call pendant Wireless or landline connectivity Traditional systems include a base system that syncs with a wireless alert pendant. The base system connects to a power outlet and a landline phone connection depending on the design of the system. The wireless alert device is then carried by the patient at all times. Typically, the device can be worn as either a pendant or a wristband and is water resistant, so it can be worn in the shower. Until recently, most medical alert systems were operated solely through landline connections. However, more traditional medical alert systems are becoming compatible with cell phone towers. Setup involves simply plugging in the device to a power outlet. These systems also have a range limit, such as 1,000 feet. That means that your loved one shouldn't wear the alert device when going to the store or traveling because it will be out of range of the base station. Mobile-based systems Range isn't a problem for mobile-based systems. For these systems, the base station is actually a small, portable device that is charged at home and then can be taken anywhere. These portable base stations have a much smaller range than a traditional base station, but that isn't much of a problem since you can carry it with you in your pocket or in a holster. Just slip it in your pocket, put on the emergency pendant or wristband, and you're ready. These systems use cell phone towers to track you. This means that you can take the medical alert with you on a walk or to the store and still have help ready at the press of a button. These systems are usually slightly more expensive than the traditional base station system, but if you live an active lifestyle, it's definitely worth the small cost. Medical alert mobile apps These are the newest line of medical alert systems, but they aren't for everyone. Multiple mobile apps on the market can serve as medical alert systems. They can be inexpensive, even free, but the biggest obstacle in using one of these apps is how familiar your loved one is with operating a smartphone. In an emergency, sometimes it is all you can do to reach for your alert pendant and press the button. Imagine having to pull out your phone, unlock it, open the medical alert app, and press the emergency call button. Naturally, there could be many obstacles in the way preventing a quick help call. It can be much easier to access medical help through a mobile system or traditional system than a smartphone. The plus side of a mobile app is that you can take it anywhere. Like any mobile system, your location can be determined through the use of cell phone towers, so it grants you more freedom. Universal features All of these systems should be equipped with wireless power rather than operating only when plugged into an outlet. Traditional medical alert systems have built-in battery packs that charge when plugged in, so if you experience a power outage, your medical alert system will still be operational for over 24 hours. Once charged, mobile systems and cell phones can be used remotely, but it's best to charge them every night. Most importantly, all of these systems are equipped with 24/7 monitoring. If you find a medical alert company that doesn't promise 24/7 monitoring, move on. You should expect help to be available whenever an emergency happens, even at inconvenient hours. Some systems will allow two-way communication between you and a medical alert representative, but most basic units will send out a simple distress signal that alerts emergency medical personnel and family that you've been in an accident. Where to start Now that you're equipped with the basic facts, you can investigate the companies. BestCompany.com has done the research to find the best medical alert companies in the industry. Most of these top companies will offer packages that span the different devices mentioned above, and the most basic systems often come at a very reasonable price. If you think you or a loved one might need a medical alert system, it's best not to hesitate.
Most people feel the safest when they're at home, but for seniors, the home doesn't always guarantee safety. According to the National Safety Council, falls in the home lead to 8.9 million trips to the emergency room each year. Falls can often cause fractures and trauma, and when you're elderly, a fall can increase your chance of accidental death by four times. So where in the home are those most likely to happen? Here are the facts. Stairs and ramps Uneven surfaces, in general, can be a hazard for the elderly who have trouble moving around. Stairs can be a hazard because falls from the top of the stairs can cause multiple injuries. In some homes, staircases and hallways can be cluttered with knickknacks or adorned with loose carpeting, which also pose a threat. Clearing stairways and hallways and securing the flooring are some effective ways to prevent risk of injury. Some options for getting around these obstacles include getting new carpeting or installing a lift chair, but those options can be time-consuming and expensive. Consider some of these practical and less expensive options: Wear rubber-soled shoes Make sure the stairway or ramp is well-lit Make sure the handrail is steady and solid Exercise occasionally to improve balance and strength Bathroom and kitchen According to a study conducted by the New York Times, the most hazardous activities that happen in the bathroom are bathing, showering, and getting out of the tub or shower. The same study showed that 31 percent of head injuries occur in the bathroom. These kinds of accidents account for more than 66 percent of emergency room visits, and women are considered 72 percent more likely than men to have an injury in the bathroom. Once someone reaches the age of 65, the likelihood of injury in the bathroom increases exponentially with age. Injuries don't happen nearly as often in the bathroom when surfaces are dry. But after a shower or a bath, the likeliness of injury spikes upward because of wet, slippery surfaces. The highest areas of danger are by the toilet and the tub. If you happen to get water on the floor, it's best to dry it as quickly as possible. Take caution This post isn't meant to frighten or scare you, but to inform you. Even if you are not afraid of getting injured while at home, you may have a loved one who wants to live independently but has a hard time getting around. Some of the tactics mentioned above should help with making the home a little bit safer and more secure. However, there are options available if you're looking for an added measure of protection. It's recommended to look into emergency medical devices just in case an accident happens, because after all, one in three seniors will have an accidental fall at some point. To make sure you're prepared, you can check out Medical Guardian's step-by-step guide on how to get up from a fall. Medical alert devices are available for nearly any budget and many systems have water-resistant pendants and fall-detection sensors that are ready for use around the home.