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Best Home Security Systems for Seniors in 2021

Our experts have researched 20 home security systems and recommend 10 of the best options for seniors.

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How We Chose Our Top List

We looked at the top 20 home security brands on the market and narrowed this list down to the top 10 based on customer feedback, quality of service, costs and more. Once we had our list of 10, we ranked them based on how well they catered to the needs of seniors. Take a look at the best home security systems for seniors below.

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How Can Home Security Systems Help Seniors?

We live in a day and age where seniors live longer and want to retain their independence for as long as possible. However, the unfortunate reality today is that older adults are at risk of becoming targeted by criminals. Older adults are more vulnerable to theft, personal attacks, and home invasion.

That’s where home security systems come in. Home security systems and equipment can provide peace of mind for seniors and their loved ones by offering 24/7 security monitoring and outdoor security options like video cameras that can scare burglars away at first sight. Plus, home security systems do more than protect your homes. Some providers offer extra equipment or services like medical alert systems or two-way communication that make getting help after a fall or medical emergency easier.

Every older adult’s needs and budget differs, just like each home security provider differs. That’s why it’s essential to understand exactly what a home security provider offers, how much it costs, and whether they offer the add-ons you need.

Tips for Choosing the Right Home Security System for Seniors

Choose the Level of Tech You Want.

When you shop for a system, you want a system that’s as easy to use as possible and offers the right amount of tech for your needs and preferences. Fortunately, technological advances make this part of your search a bit easier. Most modern home security devices are relatively simple, highly versatile, and customizable to meet your needs.

Consider Activation Points.

Something else to consider is whether the system offers multiple activation points. In other words, does the system just have a control panel? Or is there another way that you can reach the monitoring team in case of an emergency? We recommend finding a system with a control panel with two-way communication, a cell phone app, an emergency wall button, or a portable emergency button for older adults.

Select the Best Connection Type.

The system type is another key factor to look at. Do you need a system based on landline, broadband, or cellular connectivity capabilities? In general, cellular or wireless home security systems are the most secure. However, if you live in an area with poor cell service, you may be better off with a hardwired or hybrid system for reliable coverage.

Research the Company’s Reputation and Customer Service.

Finally, consider the provider’s customer service reputation. Sure, it’s great when family members can help you out with questions, but sometimes that’s not enough. Look up the customer service team’s hours, and read reviews about the quality of service. You should also check out the provider’s website and any online resources they have. Make sure that the right kind of help is available should you experience a problem with your home security system.

Top Features of Home Security Systems for Seniors

Every home security system is different, but many of the equipment types and services are the same across the board. Below, we’re going to explore the main features of a home security system. This is a good reference point as you’re deciding which components are right for you.

24/7 Monitoring and Emergency Response Services

Just having sound alarms and self-monitoring is an option for your home security system. However, we think older adults, especially those who live alone, can benefit from 24/7 monitoring. Monitoring services ensure that you get the help you need as quickly as possible. When the home security system goes off, or a panic button is pressed, monitoring agents will notify emergency contacts and/or first responders, even if they can’t reach you.

Professional monitoring is especially great for older adults who travel frequently or spend the winter months in a different state. We also think it’s helpful for seniors with mobility difficulties. If the alarm triggers, you don’t need to rush to find your phone. Your security system will contact the appropriate parties.

Wireless or Hardwired Systems

You’ll encounter two main types of home security systems: wireless and hardwired. Wireless systems rely on batteries and internet connectivity, making them a more flexible option. You can install them anywhere in a home that has Wi-Fi.
Hardwired systems require a landline connection, so they must be placed near your phone line input. With some companies, the landline system is more affordable, but your equipment options are more limited. Seniors who live in rural areas with poor or iffy cellular connections benefit the most from landline systems. Just know that an intruder can more easily deactivate this type of system by simply cutting the wires.

Mobile Alert and Remote Monitoring Options

Older adults who have smartphones and wireless home security systems can sign up to receive automatic mobile alerts whenever the system detects something. This could be an intrusion, a fire, glass breakage, or even someone at the door if you have a doorbell camera installed.

Remote monitoring features give smartphone users the ability to check in on their home’s status anytime using the monitoring company’s mobile app. If your system has video cameras, you can even check the feed from your cell phone. You can see if your packages were delivered safely or check on your furry friends inside while you’re out running errands. Top companies often offer cloud storage backup for footage. This can be useful for investigating any questionable situations.

Remote Control

Some home security systems include key fobs that work like remote controls. With the fob, you can press a panic button and arm/disarm the system. Remote controls are great for those with mobility issues who may have trouble getting to the control panel when they need to.

Entryway Sensors

Door and window sensors are key components of any more-than-just-basic home security system. Not only will an alarm go off when a door is opened while the system is armed, but entryway sensors send users an alert if a door or window is left open for an extended period of time.

Motion Detectors

Motion sensors can go anywhere inside or outside of the home to improve security measures. Some seniors connect them with automatic lighting systems so that the lights turn on when you walk into a room. Others use them purely for security benefits. An alert is sent out when the detector senses motion.
Motion detectors have various ranges, which typically run between 100 to 400 feet away. Top motion detection devices can sense the difference between humans and pets to avoid false alarms. If you own a pet, ask about the pet friendliness of their systems.

Glass-Break Sensors

Many intruders stay away from front doors and locks and instead break a window. Glass-break sensors offer a simple solution for seniors concerned about window intrusions. With these sensors, an alarm activates if the sound of breaking glass is detected.

Panic Buttons

Panic buttons can be strategically placed throughout the home in locations like walk-in tubs, stairways, basements, or hallways. Simply pressing the button activates the security system and alerts monitoring personnel that something is amiss. Panic buttons can also be worn as pendants or carried on a keychain similar to medical response devices.

Medical Alert Devices

Many of the top home security providers also offer medical alert services. Also known as personal emergency systems, they can literally be life savers for seniors who age in place. They’re often a keychain fob or a pendant worn around the neck or wrist. To call for help, you simply press the device, and trained professionals will contact the correct people. Some even have fall detection and GPS location capabilities.

Where Seniors Can Buy Home Security Systems

Most security experts will advise you to purchase a home security system directly from the monitoring company and/or provider. After all, these companies have a solid understanding of their products and their features. You can access other benefits, like customizable packages, professional installation, help learning how to use the equipment, and possibly even lower monitoring rates or other discounts.

You don’t have to purchase a system directly from the provider or monitoring company, though. You can buy security equipment from local retailers or websites like Amazon. You can even purchase second-hand equipment – just know that with this option, you’re likely forgoing any type of warranty.

Buying equipment secondhand or through a retailer can also get a little tricky. You need to do your research ahead of time to ensure you can still have the equipment monitored by the provider of your choice. We recommend taking advantage of resources such as online reviews and Better Business Bureau statistics to make sure that whatever system you choose will work like you expect it to.

In the end, what matters most is that you choose a system that you can learn how to use, that you can afford, and that suits your lifestyle.

Written By

Jeff Hoyt

Editor in Chief

Since graduating from Harvard with an honors degree in Statistics, Jeff has been creating content in print, online, and on television. Much of his work has been dedicated to informing seniors on how to live better lives. As Editor-in-Chief of the personal… Learn More About Jeff Hoyt