Best Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection
Many seniors fall and cannot get up. That is scary in itself, but even more frightening is if they don’t have a medical alert system. They could remain prone for hours or days. If you have elderly parents, you may worry about this type of scenario. A fall can certainly cause severe injuries and diminish your parents’ quality of life. The good news: Falling isn’t an inevitable outcome of aging. Your parents’ living space can be adapted to greatly reduce the likelihood of them falling. They can wear shoes with a low or flat heel and use mobility aids such as walkers and grab bars. Exercise programs also help prevent falls.
Still, a medical alert system is an important piece of the puzzle. It increases the chances of your parents receiving help as quickly as possible if they do fall. Many systems come with options for automatic fall detection, which does not require that a button be pressed. The five companies listed below make high-quality medical alert systems with fall detection options that your parents can wear in the shower and elsewhere. It’s important to note that buttons or pendants should be worn around the neck. If your parents put a fall detection button or pendant in their purse or pocket or on their belt, the system may not automatically detect a fall.
How We Chose The Top 4 Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection
We identified the top 15 medical alert brands with fall detection and narrowed it down to 4 of our favorites based on a number of criteria. We looked at affordability, service, ease of use, response times, and other factors to rank the best medical alert systems with fall detection on the market. Take a look at the systems we have deemed the best of the best.
Medical Guardian has four pricing plans: monthly, quarterly, semiannual and annual. You can get fall detection with any of these plans. It’s $10 per button or pendant, so if you want both of your parents to wear one, that is $20 extra per month.
The monthly plans typically include only the 24/7 monitoring and the equipment. The annual plans tend to also include free ground shipping, a free lockbox, a free month of service and a second wearable button (not fall detection). The prices below reflect base rates without fall detection costs included.
For the Classic Guardian, plans are $29.95 monthly and $329.45 yearly, which breaks down to $27.45 a month. Quarterly is $89.85 and comes with free shipping. Semiannual is $179.70 and comes with the free lockbox and free shipping.
The Home Guardian monthly plans are $34.95, and the annual plan is $384.45, which breaks down to $32.04 a month. The quarterly plan is $104.85, and the semiannual plan costs $209.70.
The Family Guardian plans can get pricey, with $79.95 monthly fees and an annual fee of $879.45, which breaks down to $73.29 a month. The quarterly plan is $239.85, and the semiannual plan is $479.70. However, you do get in-home sensors and the ability to track your parents’ activity levels.
The Active Guardian GPS button costs $39.95 under the monthly plan and $439.45 under the annual plan ($36.62 a month). The quarterly plan is $119.85, and the semiannual plan is $239.70.
The Mobile Guardian system is $49.95 monthly, $149.85 quarterly, $299.70 semiannually and $549.45 annually ($45.79 a month).
Add $10 per month to any system above for each fall detection button. Fall detection costs $120 for a year.
Medical Guardian has a nice array of systems with fall detection, and customers who want a simple, all-in-one wearable with fall detection should explore Active Guardian. Meanwhile the Family Guardian at-home system offers varied opportunities for tracking your parents.
Bay Alarm Medical bills you monthly or semiannually. You get free shipping with semiannual payments.
With the in-home alert system, fall detection is included only with the premium protection package. Premium costs $39.95 a month and includes the fall alert pendant, four wall buttons and a free lockbox. Add $10 per month if your system will not be plugged into a landline.
However, you can get fall detection for an extra $10 monthly with the basic package, which costs $19.95 a month. The package consists only of 24/7 emergency response monitoring (no lockbox and no wall buttons).
Fall detection is included with the 4G LTE help button’s preferred and premium plans. Preferred costs $39.95 a month and comes with caregiver tracking. The premium plan costs $49.95 and includes caregiver tracking and the in-home system.
You can bundle the GPS and home systems with an in-car medical alert. For $59.95 per month, you get most everything: an in-home system, a car system with crash detection, a GPS system and a lockbox. However, fall detection in the GPS system is $10 extra a month for a total of $69.95.
If you want a system that touches multiple bases: home, on-the-go, fall detection and driving, then definitely consider Bay Alarm Medical.
Likewise, if you’d like a simple, no-frills and affordable system, either the in-home or GPS option will do just fine. Also, remember that GPS systems can be used at home (in lieu of a standalone home system).
You pay $49.99 upfront for the Lively Mobile Plus device itself, and you get to keep it. You also pay for activation (no information yet on that cost).
The Lively Mobile Plus comes with basic, preferred and ultimate pricing for monthly monitoring. Fall detection is available only with ultimate pricing, at $39.99 a month. That also gets you product replacement, the GreatCall Link app and Urgent Care. The latter enables seniors to speak to a nurse or doctor 24/7, no appointment necessary, and these professionals can even prescribe common medications over the phone.
The Lively Mobile Plus should be a worthy competitor in the market, and its Verizon service provides an alternative to AT&T. Moreover, the monthly plan with fall detection offers a lot of value for the relatively low price of $39.99. You do pay $49.99 plus activation for the Lively Mobile Plus itself.
The Plus may not be available yet when you read this, and you may prefer to go with a product that has proven itself. However, GreatCall makes excellent phones and the nifty Lively Wearable. There’s no reason to think that the Plus will be a slouch.
LifeStation offers standard, select and supreme pricing packages with free shipping. Fall detection comes only with supreme. The prices that follow are based on annual plans but give monthly breakdowns, per LifeStation’s website.
For the GPS system, the supreme plan costs $39.95 monthly and includes a protection plan, free activation, compatibility with Amazon Alexa and the “Find My Loved One” service.
Supreme pricing for the in-home, no-landline system is $41.95 a month. You get free wristband and necklace attachments and the protection plan.
Supreme costs $34.95 for the traditional in-home system. It comes with a free emergency button and free necklace and wristband attachments. You also get a protection plan.
The lack of information/transparency on the LifeStation website compared with what other companies offer may give you pause, but LifeStation does make quality medical alert systems.
Neither of its in-home systems with fall detection come with window/door sensors or touchscreens, but that could be OK for your situation. Meanwhile, LifeStation’s GPS device may appeal to active seniors.
Fall detection technology can alert emergency operators that a senior needs help when the senior is unable to do so. For example, a senior with dementia may not remember to press a help button. Similarly, seniors might injure their head or other critical parts of the body during a fall and be unable to press a help button.
Some seniors fall and are not found until hours or days later. During this time, they’re scared, they’re alone, they may have serious injuries, and they’re not getting food or water. They may be subject to extreme temperatures, whether they fall inside or outside.
Fall detection greatly increases the chances that a senior gets appropriate attention as soon as possible after a fall.
Fall detection does not work all of the time, and the companies listed here have disclaimers to that effect. LifeStation explains, “Fall Detection does not detect 100% of falls. If able, users should always push their button when they need help.”
That’s absolutely true. If your parents fall and they’re able to press a button to speak with operators or to summon help, they should do that. Fall detection also has a slightly delayed response time while sensors gather and send information about a potential fall. Pressing a button if you’re able to do so can mean that help arrives sooner.
False alarms are possible. Emergency operators usually call a designated phone number after receiving a fall alert. If no one answers the call, they send emergency responders.
A simple, in-home medical alert system with fall detection can be had for about $30 a month, and your parent can use some GPS mobile systems with fall detection for about $40 a month.
However, if you want fall detection as part of a larger, more advanced system, the costs may get pricier. For example, a system such as Family Guardian that comes with in-home sensors is about $90 a month with a fall detection button. It would be about $100 if two people wore buttons.
In short, fall detection may cost about $30 to $100 a month, depending on the complexity of the system and how many people it covers.
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
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