|The 3 Best Brands|
|Accolades||Best Overall Fall Detection||Best GPS Fall Detection||Best Mobile Fall Detection|
|Fall detection starting at||$10 per month||$10 per month||$10 per month|
|Monthly rates starting at||$29.95||$21.95||$19.99|
|In-home coverage range||Up to 1,300 feet||Up to 1,000 feet||No in-home systems|
|How to Order||
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It’s expected that 3.4 million individuals worldwide will be using medical alert systems by 2021, and 2.4 million of those users will be in the United States.1 With the popularity of medical alert systems on the rise, medical alert companies are offering more features and options to keep seniors living safely at home for as long as possible. Fall detection is one of those popular, life-saving features. Since around 25 percent of older adults fall each year,2 selecting a system with fall detection is something we’d highly recommend.
When shopping for a medical alert system for yourself, or a loved one, fall detection is an important feature to consider. We’ve researched and assessed more than a dozen medical alert systems on the market and included the top systems offering fall detection here. Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly system or one that is ideal for two people, this guide will take you through all the details when choosing the best medical alert system with fall detection for you.
Our Top Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection
After our research and testing, we have chosen the best medical alert systems with fall detection that met four important criteria.
If you’re asking yourself, “Do I really need fall detection?” keep in mind that every second a person 65 or older experiences a fall.4 Since falls happen so frequently among older adults, we highly recommend medical alert systems built with automatic fall detection. The feature gives seniors added protection and provides peace of mind for caregivers when they’re away.
Fall detection is an innovative technology built into wearable pendants that detect a fall even if the user is unconscious and/or unable to press their medical alert button. When a fall is detected, trained operators are alerted and can assess the situation within seconds, dispatching emergency services and alerting caregivers if needed.
Though we like to think all older adults should be protected with fall detection, it is especially important if you or your loved one has recently experienced any of the medical events listed below. Research has shown they can be precursors to a fall.
If you’ve noticed a decline in cognitive function or mental health in yourself or an older adult in your life, this can be a precursor for a fall. For seniors who have symptoms of depression, it can increase their chance of falling by up to 30 percent5 and those living with Alzheimer’s are also at an increased risk.6
Seniors with hearing loss are three times more likely to fall than those without hearing loss.7 This is due to less spatial awareness, which makes tripping and falling more likely. If you’ve experienced hearing loss, fall detection may be useful.
For seniors who have fallen before, they are twice as likely to fall again in the future.8 Certain medications, vision impairments, clutter in the home, and improper footwear can all contribute to a history of falling.
Now that we’ve covered our recommendations for automatic fall detection, let’s get into our list of this year’s top medical alert systems with fall detection!
|Mini Guardian||Freedom 2.0||Active Guardian||Mobile 2.0||Home 2.0||Classic Guardian|
|Prices with annual subscription starting at||$39.95 per month||$49.95 per month||$44.95 per month||$39.95 per month||$34.95 per month||$29.95 per month|
|Fall detection available||Yes||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Additional price of fall detection||$10 per month||N/A||$10 per month||$10 per month||$10 per month||$10 per month|
|Fall detection built-in or requires extra pendant||Built-In||N/A||Built-In||Pendant||Pendant||Pendant|
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.
|In-Home System||GPS Help Button||SOS Smartwatch|
|Prices starting at||$21.95 per month month||$29.95 per month||$29.95 per month|
|Fall detection available||Yes||Yes||No|
|Additional price of fall detection||$10 per month||$10 per month||N/A|
|Fall detection built-in or requires extra pendant||Pendant||Built-In||N/A|
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 Mobile Plus||Lively Wearable2|
|Health and Safety Packages Pricing||$24.99 to $39.99 per month||$24.99 to $39.99 per month|
|Fall detection available||Yes||Yes|
|Additional price of fall detection||Only included with Ultimate package ($39.99 per month)||Only included with Ultimate package ($39.99 per month)|
|Fall detection built-in or requires extra pendant||Built-In||Built-In|
|At-Home Landline||At-Home Cellular||At-Home & On-the-Go||At-Home & On-the-Go, VIP||At-Home & On-the-Go, VIPx|
|Prices starting at||$29.95 per month||$34.95 per month||$39.95 per month||$43.95 per month||$45.95 per month|
|Fall detection available||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Additional price of fall detection||$5 per month||$5 per month||$10 per month||N/A||$5 per month|
|Fall detection built-in or requires extra pendant||Pendant||Pendant||Pendant||N/A||Pendant|
|In-the-Home||In-the-Home + Fall Detection||On-the-Go||On-the-Go + Fall Detection||On-the-Go Wrist Watch with GPS + Pedometer||In-the-Home + On-the-Go + Fall Detection|
|Prices Starting at||$28.95 per month||$38.95 per month||$38.95 per month||$48.95 per month||$29.95 per month||$58.95 per month|
|Fall detection available||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|Additional price of fall detection||N/A||Included||N/A||Included||N/A||Included|
|Fall detection built-in or requires extra pendant||N/A||Pendant||N/A||Built-In||N/A||Built-In and Pendant|
Fall detection sensors are calibrated to account for patterns in drops and falls. Metrics such as speed, impact, angle, distance, and motion detected after a fall are all factored by the fall detection sensor. Based on the information gathered from these metrics, the device determines whether or not a fall occurred. Upon detecting a fall, the system will connect the wearer to a trained operator, who will then determine if emergency medical assistance should be dispatched.
Though fall detection sensors are programmed to avoid triggering due to small motions, the system isn’t always 100 percent accurate. If a false alarm is triggered, you can just communicate with the emergency operator that everything is fine and you do not need assistance. No biggie!
Quick Tip: Want to compare our top picks for medical alert systems with fall detection to other providers? Visit our list of the best medical alert systems in 2021.
On the flip side, since automatic fall detection isn’t perfect, sometimes when the wearer falls the sensor may not detect the fall. This can happen for a variety of reasons such as low batteries, the pendant being worn incorrectly, or simply that the sensor was unable to detect the fall. Due to this margin of error, it’s encouraged that wearers always press their medical alert button when a fall occurs, if possible. This ensures that the emergency operator is notified and help is sent ASAP.
Since automatic fall detection is available as an add-on feature to the medical alert systems we’ve listed above, you’ll want to consider the price of the medical alert subscription as well. If you choose an annual subscription plan, you can expect to pay around $19.95 to $45 per month, depending on your chosen system and provider. To add automatic fall detection, most medical alert system providers add $5-$10 per month to your bill. With that wide of a price range, we’ve found that automatic fall detection is accessible and worth the investment, even if you’re shopping on a budget. We’d definitely recommend fall detection if it works for your wallet.
Most medical alert system providers charge around $5-$10 extra per month to add automatic fall detection to your monthly subscription.
Yes, fall detection works, but it does not work 100 percent of the time. In the event of a fall, wearers should always press their medical alert button if possible.
Seniors who have a history of falling, or have precursors that may make them more likely to fall, should consider getting automatic fall detection added to their medical alert system.
Yes, the majority of fall detection pendants are waterproof and can be worn in the shower. This is ideal since bathrooms can be slippery and bathing can pose a safety hazard for some older adults.
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
NCOA. (2020). Falls Prevention Facts.
World Health Organization. Retrieved 2020, September. A Global Report on Falls Prevention Epidemiology of Falls.
CDC. (2020). Injury Prevention & Control.
ScienceDirect. (2017). Depressive symptomatology and fall risk among community-dwelling older adults.
The Fisher Center for Alzheimer’s Research Foundation. (2011). People with Alzheimer’s at High Risk of Falls and Injury.
John Hopkins Medicine. (2020). Hearing Loss Linked to Three Fold Risk of Falling.
CDC. (2020). Home and Recreational Safety.