This connects you to a monitoring center within moments.
Highly-trained operators help you determine which type of service you need.
Whether requesting emergency services or an emergency contact, help is on the way!
Falls can be more serious than anticipated, especially for seniors, and a medical alert device with built-in fall detection should be at the top of the list. Fall detection with wearable pendants and watches can distinguish between regular movements and falls, and will alert call centers immediately, even if the wearer is unable to push the help button. We believe this extra layer of protection, usually $10.00 per month, is well worth the additional investment.
While most medical alert companies provide discounts for purchasing an annual plan, which requires up-front payment, this is NOT the same as a long-term contract. The most reputable medical alert companies will return the pro-rated portion of your payment if you cancel. One reason that we do not recommend Life Alert, for example, is that they require a long-term contractual commitment. It is our recommendation that you always ask about the commitment, and cancellation policy, so you know that you haven’t locked yourself into a long-term commitment without recourse if you are unhappy with the service.
The following conditions apply:
Medical Alert Systems are life-saving devices, but as a subscriber, they are so much more. The best companies are there for you even when your situation is not an emergency. You are building and developing a relationship with your medical alert provider, and for that reason, you should find one that makes you comfortable. That is why we recommend contacting several companies, to get a feel for the experience and service they will provide.
In the unfortunate event of an actual emergency, a neighbor or emergency services may need access onto the property or into the home. Hiding a spare key sounds great, but not when every minute counts. Even if you don’t add-on one from a service – get one!
Many well-known studies have shown that receiving prompt care after a traumatic incident (a fall, for example), is critical to patient outcome, and in some cases, even avoiding death. That is why it is so important to have a medical alert provider who has certified call centers that are fully staffed with trained professionals. In addition, the best companies make sure that your support system – doctors, neighbors, family and friends – as well as emergency responders, are quickly and easily contacted in order to get help to those in need as quickly as possible. All of our recommended companies have excellent emergency service systems in place to get you the help you need as quickly as possible.
Medical alert companies offer a wealth of product features and add-ons. The following considerations may be especially important to consider for seniors who hope to maintain an active lifestyle or elderly consumers wanting to preserve their independence in their own homes:
Medical alert system pricing can vary depending on the medical alert company, type of system and costs of add-on features, however it doesn’t vary significantly from company to company when comparing like-for-like plans. Base alert system pricing ranges from $20 – $45 monthly. Systems with fall detection or GPS location services increase costs incrementally by $5-15 monthly on average.
Here is a list of other considerations that roll up into our pricing criteria for ranking medical alerts beyond monthly rates:
Reputation is most important. iDeal Comparison critically evaluates tens of thousands of consumer reviews and forum comments, other professional reviews, as well as our own experiences from multiple calls with each company. Strength of name recognition, such as Life Alert, is not an advantage in our rankings. What matters most is how the personal devices, operator response teams and the company overall performs over time with consistency – emergency or not.
All aspects of being a customer are evaluated including the buying, owning and canceling processes to get a 360* consumer view of each company.
The iDeal Certified Guarantee: At iDeal Comparison we’re so sure about our recommendations that when you purchase a product or service from an iDeal Certified partner though an iDeal Comparison link or phone number, and you aren’t satisfied, just return the product within 30 days, and iDeal Comparison will send you a $50.00 VISA Gift Card to help you pay for your return and trouble. Terms and Conditions Apply. See all details in our Advertising Disclosure
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When evaluating personal medical alert system fit, it is important that the customer needs to match the device or service. For example, most personal alert devices are waterproof, since, according to Medical Guardian’s research, 80% of elderly falls occur on slippery surfaces.
Falls can be more serious than anticipated, especially for seniors. If falling is a very real issue, a medical alert device with built-in fall detection should be at the top of the list of needs. Fall detection with wearable pendants and watches can distinguish between regular movements and falls and will alert call centers immediately.
Medical alert systems equipped with GPS allow you or your loved ones to maintain a safety net while to exploring the world. Given these devices are not designed to be homebound, customers can continue to live an active lifestyle with the service in the palm of their hands. Just make sure your area is sufficiently covered for the service.
Other than the device itself, the most important part of medical alert systems is the 24/7-response service each company provides. It is imperative that call responders are continually trained and certified to handle emergency situations. Responsiveness is incredibly important in our rating, and should be guaranteed to fall within a time period that is acceptable to the user, i.e. a few seconds to a minute.
Depending on whether you’re at home, on the go, or both, finding a medical alert device that offers the option you need is an important factor. Seniors and their families may want to consider having both options and go with a combination of at-home and mobile monitoring, or simply choose one or the other.
For families or caregivers who want to ensure their senior is safe and sound, monitoring and alerts via app or email is a great feature many medical alert companies offer.
Price is an important factor when considering which medical alert system to purchase. A typical medical alert system is paid for with a monthly fee, which can change depending on what desired features are added to the service. We at iDeal Comparison look at every available fee breakdown for each company’s system. Our ratings are established depending on what each company charges for each service provided as well as the kinds of offers they give to customers. Anyone purchasing a life-saving device like a medical alert system wants to ensure they’re getting the best quality at a great price. iDeal Comparison rates systems based on this fact and backs up the ratings with our $50 guarantee. We’ve highlighted the most important factors to examine before purchasing a medical alert system.
Most medical alert companies provide equipment at “no cost” – which means you are paying for the equipment as part of your monthly fee. This is a good option, especially since its hard to know how long a user will have their system, and saves ion a large, up-front cash outlay. However, even though you do not pay for equipment “up front”, you are responsible for returning equipment in good working order. If equipment is lost or stolen, you will have to pay for it – which could cost hundreds of dollars. Most companies offer an equipment protection plan (usually $5.00/month). We believe this is worth the investment.
While many companies have standard shipping, setup, and activation fees, IN MOST CASES, they will be waived if you negotiate. We do not recommend paying these fees, and you should always ask the company to waive them. One fee that WILL NOT be waived is a return shipping fee if you cancel. It will be your responsibility to send equipment back in a timely manner to avoid additional month’s payments. That’s why it is important to give strong considerations to our iDeal Certified partners who have the $50.00 guarantee as part of their certification. If you are not satisfied for any reason and return a system to one of our iDeal Certified partners during the standard return period, iDeal Comparison will send you a $50.00 gift card to help pay for your return shipping and trouble
Most medical alert companies offer flexible payment options, varying from monthly and quarterly to semi-annually to annually. While do not recommend companies that require long-term contracts like Life Alert, most companies offer discounts for paying multiple months at a time. Some, like our #1 ranked Medical Guardian, give you up to 2 months free by paying annually, which makes for a compelling offer.
Fall detection, which we recommend, is usually a monthly fee, ranging from $10 to $15 per month. GPS or global positioning system which tracks the wearer’s location is usually included in the base monthly price of mobile options. However, these units are usually higher-priced, ranging anywhere from $30 to $69 month, depending on the company and the devices. Other additional features that carry a monthly price tag are extra wall buttons (for wet areas like the bathroom shower, lock boxes, and additional pendants or wrist buttons.
Medical alert companies frequently offer discounts. iDeal Comparison works hard to secure the best deals from the top rated companies. To get the best deal available, click-through the iDeal Comparison links or call the companies at the phone numbers listed on our site to ensure that you get the steepest discounts.
When comparing the best medical alert companies, reputation is most important when determining who to choose. A device that may end up saving a life should come from a reliable, reputable, and consistent company in its service to its customers. There a number of areas that reputation are most important, including device dependability, ratings from trusted sites and groups, and customer reviews. iDeal Comparison critically evaluates tens of thousands of consumer reviews and forum comments, other professional reviews, as well as our own experiences from multiple calls and tests with each company. Strength of name recognition is not an advantage in our rankings. What matters most is how the personal devices, operator response teams and the company overall performs over time with consistency – emergency or not.
It is imperative that a medical alert company has exceptional customer service, both during and after the purchasing process is complete. Any person using a medical alert system for the first time will have questions about their system. They may run into problems setting up the device or run into an issue with equipment, and customer service needs to be capable of answer any inquiries that come their way. Patient, helpful, and well-trained responders or associates go a long way with seniors and their families, and the best medical alert systems will have great service through and through.
One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing a medical alert system is the reputability of the monitoring center. Monitoring centers are vital in the safety and functionality of the medical alert device being used, so it’s important to choose a company with well-trained and well-run monitoring centers. Some certifications to look out for are Underwriters Laboratory (UL) or a TMA CSSA 5 Diamond Monitoring Center. These distinctions, among others, are important because they ensure that a monitoring center provides satisfactory service, protects its customers, and meets quality standards set industry-wide. Monitoring centers are the first line of defense, and we at iDeal Comparison only endorse companies whose centers’ regularly display excellence.
Analyzing and listening to customer reviews are one of the more important ways to determine the reputability of a medical alert system. Customers who use the devices regularly or have past experience with medical alert devices can speak to the quality of service and effectiveness reliability of the devices. Customers are going to discuss the positives and negatives with honesty and transparency. Hearing both good and bad experiences from real seniors helps iDeal Comparison decide which medical alert systems are the best on the market.
When a medical emergency is occurring, every second is precious. Response time for a medical alert system, therefore, is an area that must be heavily considered when deciding which device to choose. An ideal response time is about 15 seconds, with some of the best medical alert companies boasting times even less than that. The faster the response time, the faster help can be on the way, reassuring both seniors and their families that they will be well taken care of in an emergency.
Medical alert devices are often either landline based or mobile based, but both work the same general way. The user, generally an elderly or senior person, will press the button on the device in order to contact a response team on the other end of the line. They can communicate to the team through their device about their current health, what their issue is, and even if they need an ambulance.
Some of the mobile alert devices come with automatic fall detection, and even GPS. Depending on the company, GPS is sometimes free with purchase of the service, and allows responders to track your location in case of an emergency. Automatic fall detection, on the other hand, typically comes with an extra monthly cost. Both GPS and automatic fall detection are found in mobile alert devices such as pendants or watches.
Unfortunately, there are very few (if any!) devices without monthly fees. Given that elderly users can pay for the peace of mind to live independently, these alarms and services can be found at a reasonable price for any need. Most companies offer zero cancellation fees of the service, and even refund within 30 days of the devices shipping. The AARP recommends that seniors look for devices that cost no more than about $1 a day, or around $25 to $45 a month.
The AARP does not recommend a medical alert company specifically. However, their site lays out steps that customers should take to compare the different types of buttons and personal fall detection devices on the market. These steps include looking at what type of system the user needs, what equipment would work best, responsiveness of the company, cost, and availability in the user’s area. AARP also recommends what types of features seniors should think about before buying a device, such as GPS, automatic fall detection, activity monitoring, and even daily check-in services. All of these are important in determining what kind of device or button a user should buy.