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The Best Medical Alert Systems for Active Seniors
There are many medical alert systems out there, but not all cater to an active lifestyle. We kept a few aspects in mind as we searched for the top five systems on our list. To earn a spot, providers had to offer a system that is:
Medical Guardian’s prices are a little higher than those of some other providers on our list, but you can opt for an annual payment plan to save a few bucks every month. During our in-depth review of Medical Guardian, we experienced the company’s great customer service and quality equipment for ourselves.
Call to speak with a Medical Guardian representative. Get your questions answered, products recommended, and ask about current deals and promotions.
Answer a few questions on Medical Guardian's website to get a quote on the best product and plan for you. This process is slower than calling a representative.
Bay Alarm Medical’s prices are some of the lowest in the industry. They earned a spot on our list for their SOS Smartwatch, which is an affordable option for active older adults. Bay Alarm Medical only offers free shipping when you purchase a premium package, but a few times per year, they run deals that offer free shipping on any online order. So, if you’re looking to buy, keep an eye out for this promo.
Call to speak with a Bay Alarm Medical representative. Get your questions answered, products recommended, and ask about current deals and promotions.
Answer a few questions on Bay Alarm Medical's website to get a quote on the best product and plan for you. This process is slower than calling a representative.
Lively’s prices are already low, but when we tested Lively’s products, we learned that you can get the best deal by speaking with a customer service representative over the phone. So, it’s worth a try! Even if you don’t take advantage of a promotion, the mobile protection a Lively system provides is worth the money.
Lifeline’s prices aren’t the lowest you’ll find. You’ll need to be OK with paying a little more for a reliable system from a company with an established reputation. If you’re looking for a lightweight mobile system, On the Go is hard to beat. You can learn more about the GoSafe 2 in our Lifeline review.
A bundled system is great for active seniors who want dual protection. LifeFone’s At-Home & On-the-Go bundle gives older adults the “total package.” The cost of LifeFone’s monthly service is pretty reasonable, but if you want an even better deal, opt for the annual plan. It can save you over $70 a year – plus, you’ll get free shipping!
Active seniors will benefit from the freedom that mobile medical alert systems offer. These systems are not all created equal, though. There are several types, catering to different budgets and activity levels.
Two-piece systems come in, you guessed it, two pieces! The portable base station and wearable help button should be kept with you at all times. The base station can be clipped to your waist, thrown in a purse, or hidden in a pocket. The wearable help button is worn around the neck or wrist.
When the help button is pressed, the base station calls the emergency monitoring center. This only works if you’re within range. For example, you can’t go on a hike wearing your help button and leave the base station in your car; you’ll need to bring both pieces with you. Seniors who don’t want to wear a bulky system and would like a lightweight help button may prefer a two-piece system.
Quick tip: Still not sure which system is right for you? You can find and compare more options on our list of the best medical alert systems.
Convenience is a big selling point for all-in-one systems. The unit has a built-in two-way speaker, GPS location technology, and a help button. It has everything you need to stay protected in a single piece of tech that you wear on your belt or around your neck. The drawback? With all of those features packed in, these pieces can be a bit bulky and heavy. We’d recommend an all-in-one system for seniors who like to travel, go on long walks, or garden.
Similar to an all-in-one system, a smartwatch medical alert system features a speaker, GPS technology, and a help button. About 17 percent of Americans over the age of 50 wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker, so it makes sense for medical alert systems to follow suit. If you’re a fitness enthusiast who would enjoy tracking your activity and heart rate, a smartwatch medical alert system is a great option. Even if you’re not fitness-obsessed, it is a discreet way to gain medical alert protection. It just looks like a fancy smartwatch!
Still not sure which type of on-the-go system is right for you? Check out our recommendations based on your favorite activities.
If you’re set on purchasing a medical alert system, your next question may be, “Do I need fall detection?” Adding fall detection usually costs an extra $5 to $10 per month, so it’s a question worth asking. If you have experienced a fall in the past, have noticed a decline in your cognition, or have hearing loss, you may be at higher risk of falling.3 If you can afford the extra cost every month, fall detection does boost the protection your system offers.
Keep in mind that fall detection is not available on smartwatches or other mobile systems worn around the wrist. Fall detection pendants typically need to be worn around the neck for the most accuracy. For more information, check out our list of the best medical alert systems with fall detection.
Linda’s Acclaimed Career in Senior Care Linda Schlenker is a comforting voice for seniors and caregivers across the U.S. For nearly three decades, Linda has helped seniors remain safe in their own homes, while helping them to regain priceless independence and peace… Learn More About Linda Schlenker
Morgan has been writing about the senior living industry for the past five years. In addition to over 400 hours of research on topics like medical alert systems, health insurance, and technology for older adults, she also brings her previous experience working… Learn More About Morgan Redding
NPR. (2019). Older Americans Are Increasingly Unwilling — Or Unable — To Retire.
Pew Research Center. (2020). About one-in-five Americans use a smart watch or fitness tracker.
American Academy of Family Physicians. (2000). Falls in the Elderly.