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10 Best Medical Alert Systems

Which medical alert company is right for your needs?
Here are our top-rated picks.
Living independently at home is important to tens of millions of seniors. According to a recent poll by the AARP, 77 percent of adults over the age of 50 prefer to “age in place” or remain in their homes as they get older. For many, medical alert systems are important safety devices that help them continue living independently.

Medical alert systems are home-based or wearable devices that allow seniors to send a signal that they need help in the event of a fall, or many other types of emergency situations. They also provide comfort to caregivers, since they can monitor seniors’ whereabouts and daily activity in the homes.

Choosing the best medical alert system can be difficult since there are dozens of providers. Modernize created this list of the 10 best medical alert systems to help caregivers and seniors choose a system that best meets their needs.

10 Best Medical Alert Systems

Our list of the 10 best medical alert systems was compiled by our expert team who examined many important aspects of medical alert devices, including monthly costs, brand reputation, service response times, available add-on features and more.
1
  • Over 175,000 U.S. monthly subscribers
  • In-home landline, mobile, and GPS options
  • In-home range up to 1,300 ft.
Starting monthly fee $29.95
Average response time 8 seconds

Medical Guardian

Founded in 2005, Medical Guardian has more than 175,000 active subscriptions in the U.S. Medical Guardian offers systems to meet the needs of a wide range of seniors, and its monitoring response time tops all systems reviewed. The company also sells a GPS-enabled smartwatch system. This medical alert company also offers features like fall detection, medication checks, activity reminders, and water resistant wearable devices. The starting monthly subscription cost - $29.95 - is average compared to other medical alert systems, and this brand offers discounts for annual subscriptions. They also offer a variety of connectivity options suited to different kinds of homes.
2
  • Most U.S. subscribers
  • Landline, cellular, and GPS options
  • In-home range up to 800 ft.
Starting monthly fee $29.95
Average response time 12 seconds

Philips Lifeline

Founded in 1974, Philips Lifeline is one of the industry's longest standing medical alert system providers. This brand's call center operators receive specialized training on senior issues and needs. Philips Lifeline claims it has the most U.S. subscribers out of any other medical alert system company. Features to choose from include fall detection, location checks, and a waterproof help button. Lifeline's in-home models have a connectivity range of up to 800 feet, and the average response time is just 12 seconds. Users can choose from in-home landline, cellular, or GPS-based models.
3
  • Decades in business
  • Partner with UberHealth
  • In-home range up to 500 ft.
Starting monthly fee $22.95
Average response time 20 seconds

LifeStation

LifeStation is a family-owned company founded in 1977 and operates U.S. call centers in Texas and New Jersey. The company's decades of longevity is proof of brand reputation and consumer satisfaction. LifeStation partners with UberHealth to provide seniors with transportation to doctors and other appointments, and also offers an initial 30-day refund for any customers that are not satisfied with the product or service. Key features of this medical alert system include fall detection with the supreme package, and "Find My Loved One" text location checkups for family members. This medical alert system also has a low monthly subscription fee of just $22.95, and operators typically respond to emergencies within 20 seconds.
4
  • Comes with lifetime warranty
  • Online management features
  • In-home range up to 1,400 ft.
Starting monthly fee $19.95
Average response time 26 seconds

MobileHelp

Despite being a relative newcomer (the company was founded in 2009), MobileHelp has made strong inroads into the market. MobileHelp backs all its products with a lifetime warranty. This brand has some of the most budget-friendly options for medical devices, and does not require a long-term contract. The company also offers a full suite of online management tools that could prove important for caregivers and family members. Most commonly used MobileHelp features include fall detection, medication reminders, a waterproof wrist button or pendant, daily activity tracking, and 2-way voice connectivity to professional medical personnel. Their systems have an impressive in-home range of 1,400 feet and devices are available in landline, cellular, and GPS options.
5
  • A+ rating from Better Business Bureau
  • Lifetime subscription price lock
  • In-home range up to 1,400 ft.
Starting monthly fee $19.95
Average response time 22 seconds

OneCallAlert

OneCallAlert has a variety of low-cost medical alert systems to meet different senior needs and lifestyles. The company’s systems also do not require a lengthy service commitment. OneCallAlert is one of the best medical alert system brands on the market today with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Noteworthy medical alert features include fall detection, medication reminders, waterproof wrist button or pendant, activity monitoring, and 2-way voice connectivity. In-home models range 1,400 feet, and emergency personnel responds within 22 seconds. Connectivity choices are landline, cellular, or GPS.
6
  • Great customer service
  • Lifetime subscription price lock guarantee
  • In-home range up to 1,300 ft.
Starting monthly fee $29.95
Average response time 25 seconds

LifeFone

LifeFone is one of the best medical alert system brands, offering both at-home and on-the-go mobile systems with no contract and a lifetime price-lock guarantee. This brand has 40+ years of experience and consistently ranks high for overall customer satisfaction on many consumer review sites. This medical alert system is great for users who want coverage whether they are at home or on the move. Features include optional fall detection (for an added cost), medication checks, activity reminders, and a waterproof wearable help button. In-home connectivity ranges up to 1,300 feet, personnel respond to emergencies 24/7 within 25 seconds. LifeFone also offers perks like a 30-day money back guarantee, free spouse coverage, and no start-up fees.
7
  • Free activation and shipping
  • Location tracking for caregivers
  • In-home range up to 1,000 ft.
Starting monthly fee $21.95
Average response time 10 seconds

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical’s call centers in Utah and Idaho provide emergency coverage across the U.S. and also undergo random Underwriter Laboratories testing. The company offers a wide range of bundled options, as well as smartwatch and in-vehicle response devices. Bay Alarm Medical stands by its products with a 30-day risk-free trial, free activation and shipping, price-lock guarantee, no long-term contracts, and thousands of five-star consumer reviews. Popular features for seniors include fall detection, location tracking, caregiver tracking, and 2-way communication. In-home models have a connectivity range up to 1,000 feet, and device options include landline, mobile, and GPS.
8
  • Certified EMT or EMD responders
  • Landline, mobile, and GPS options
  • In-home range up to 1,000 ft.
Starting monthly fee $27.95
Average response time 30 seconds

Medical Care Alert

Medical Care Alert is one of the best medical alert system brands, as all 24/7 call-center operators are all certified EMTs or EMD with specific training in medical alert monitoring for seniors. The company operates U.S. call centers in New York and California. The brand has built a reputation for its excellent customer service and call center operations. Available features include fall detection, free text message notifications to caregivers, water-resistant wearable pendants, and 2-way speakerphones. Users can choose between landline, mobile, and GPS options, as well as choose their preferred wearable device - wrist or pendant. In-home systems range up to 1,000 feet.
9
  • Top-rated brand
  • Lifetime warranty included
  • In-home range up to 600 ft.
Starting monthly cost $29.95
Average response time 20 seconds

ADT

ADT has been in the home security business for more than 145 years and also offers medical alert systems for seniors. Homeowners can add on an ADT medical alert system to their existing home security system for a more robust safety solution. The company operates multiple U.S. call centers. ADT offers a lifetime warranty on all its products, along with no long-term contracts and ADT forever rate (starting at $29.95 per month) that will never increase. Key features of ADT medical alert systems are their waterproof wearable pendants or wristbands, fall detection, and home temperature monitoring. In-home models have a connectivity range up to 600 feet, and responders help in the case of an emergency within 20 seconds.
10
  • Great for active seniors
  • Mobile and GPS options
  • Unlimited cellular connectivity range
Starting monthly fee $19.99
Average response time 13 seconds

Lively Mobile+ and Lively Wearable2

Formerly known as Great Call, the renamed Lively medical alert system brand offers a waterproof mobile medical alert device that provides 2-way communication, fall detection, and enhanced GPS tracking. The small-profile device can be worn around the neck, attached to a belt, or slipped into a purse. Lively is perfect for active seniors who want an on-the-go alert system. Lively medical alert systems have a low monthly cost starting at $19.99, and a base station is not necessary to operate mobile devices. The connectivity range is also unlimited as devices have a built-in cellular connection.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I choose the best medical alert system?
Choosing the best medical alert system requires a bit of research on your part. Key things to consider include initial and ongoing costs, features, and whether you or your senior are better off using a mobile or in-home medical alert system. Lastly, consider using the reviews above to help sift through the various providers and find a company whose offerings best meet your needs.
How much do medical alert systems typically cost?
The answer to this question is something everyone researching medical alert systems wants to know. The truth is, medical alert system costs vary by provider, but they can be broken down into three main categories: systems, subscriptions and added features.

The cost for a medical alert system is anywhere from $20 for a simple necklace to around $100 for a complete system with base unit, wall buttons and wearable signaling device. Monthly subscriptions range from a wallet-friendly $20 to $90 or more depending on the provider. Add-ons such as activity monitoring, fall detection or GPS monitoring, which can prove extremely useful, typically start at an additional $10 to $20 per month for each feature.
What types of medical alert systems are available?
There are two main types of medical alert systems: in-home and mobile. Both systems can either be monitored or unmonitored depending on your needs.

In-home systems include a base station, wearable device such as a pendant, and strategically located wall buttons that allow you to signal the monitoring center for help if necessary. Mobile systems – usually a watch or necklace – provide monitoring for times when your senior travels outside of the home. They usually come with GPS tracking.
Which is the best type of medical alert system for seniors?
The best medical alert system for seniors is the one that meets all your needs at a cost that falls within your monthly or annual budget. Most systems offer the same or a similar suite of features and service options.

A good place to start is to first decide if you need a home-based or mobile system. Then decide if you or your senior should have a monitored system, so they can get in touch with a dispatching center with the push of a button. Lastly, compare features and choose the options that work best for the situation. After that, examine costs and make a decision.
Are there any medical alert systems to be avoided?
You can use the rankings on this page as one way to determine the best medical alert system providers. There are many other online rankings that can help prospective users get a sense of the top companies. That is not to say companies not listed are not reputable providers, however. Best advice: Read reviews and make a decision for yourself.
Where can I buy a medical alert device?
Big box retail stores often sell both monitored and unmonitored medical alert systems. You also can find them at online retailers, through specialized medical alert brand websites, and directly from medical alert device manufacturers. Modernize can also help you connect with local medical alert system providers who can help you get started.
What are the top medical alert features to look for?
Medical alert systems can come with a variety of features or add-ons that may prove valuable to users. Top medical alert features include automatic fall detection, wall alert buttons for higher-risk users, GPS tracking, and activity monitoring. You can even have your medical alert let you know when it’s time to take your medications, or notify loved ones about your whereabouts.
Are medical alert systems tax deductible or covered by insurance?
Medical alert systems typically do not qualify for a tax deduction by the IRS because they are not listed as medically necessary equipment, like oxygen or blood glucose monitoring systems. In some instances, however, you may be able to deduct the cost and ongoing expenses if your alert and monitoring service is for necessary medical care or to help you cope with a chronic medical condition. Take a look at your options in terms of insurance coverage for medical alert systems.
How do I find a reliable medical alert company?
It can be difficult to sift through so many different medical alert system providers to determine which one is best for you. Fortunately, Modernize has done a ton of legwork to investigate best medical alert systems, costs, features and much more. Looking through our additional medical alert system guides should help you narrow down your choices and safely age in place.
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