People often call retirement the golden years of life. Unfortunately, millions of seniors face the daily threat of accidents and medical problems that could land them in a nursing home. A timely response to falls and other emergencies can prevent lasting injuries and preserve an older person's self-reliance. Personal medical alert systems have offered one solution for roughly 30 years by providing help at the touch of a button. These systems create a layer of protection for seniors when family or other helpers cannot be with them.
Wireless medical alert systems generally have two simple components: a console and a pendant with a button. In most cases, users wear the pendant around their necks, on their hips or around their wrists. In the case of a fall or other emergency, users can push a large button on the console if they are close to it, or they can press the button on the pendant. This sends a call over phone lines or the internet to a service representative who can then reach out to the user's phone emergency contacts and emergency medical responders, depending on the situation. Because the pendants are worn, these systems are superior to a simple cellular phone – which may be out of reach. Calls go out to various contacts in an order predetermined by the customer.
We rated and ranked the best medical alert systems available on the market. At the end of our analysis, Bay Alarm Medical, Medical Guardian and LifeFone emerged as the top companies to provide medical emergency services for seniors and others with disabilities. We studied these companies and the others on our lineup to create a comprehensive comparison of the most important features, as shown by our research. Learn about alert systems and insurance, protecting yourself against falls, and related topics in our articles on medical alert systems.
In the crowded market of medical alert systems, companies stood out by providing a great combination of features with excellent customer service. These companies have experience in the field and good reputations. More specifically, we rated monitoring services, equipment, contracts and fees, and help and support as we evaluated each medical alert system. In our reviews, you'll find information on everything from waterproof pendants to fall detectors.
All of the medical alert systems we reviewed provide the basic function of 24-hour medical monitoring: a panic button in case of falls, heart attacks, strokes and other medical emergencies. However, some offer additional features, such as carbon monoxide detection and fire monitoring. Since some people may not become aware of these problems in time, the system can contact emergency services on the users' behalf.
Many of the services we reviewed use identical monitoring equipment. Almost all medical monitoring services utilize a base station that connects via phone line or the internet, but they use different methods to connect. The wireless pendant, wristband or fob communicates with the base station in the case of an emergency. Our assessment of the best systems looked closely at the communication range of the types of equipment available.
Contracts & Fees
Cost should play a role in your choice. The best medical alert systems provide an option that does not tie you to a long-term contract. Delivery of the system should be as low-cost for you as possible, and activation and cancellation fees should be kept to a minimum.
Help & Support
The customer service available through these companies provides their true value. By connecting seniors in need to friendly and helpful representatives around the clock, these companies offer greater value than simply programming a few buttons on your cell phone for emergencies. Therefore, our reviews rank services by the quality of their customer service.
In addition to 24-hour monitoring, your service should provide 24-hour technical support in case you have any trouble with the unit or peripheral devices. Your monitoring service should also offer FAQs, a toll-free number and email support.
The variety of available medical monitoring services can make the choice seem overwhelming. However, in our reviews we gathered all the information you need to choose a monitoring service that offers the best customer service and the ideal features for you and your loved ones. Peace of mind is just a few easy steps away thanks to quality medical alert services.
At TopTenREVIEWS We Do the Research So You Don't Have To.™