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The Best Cellular Medical Alert Systems

Our experts tested out the best medical alert systems without a landline and narrowed the list down to their top five picks.

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As of June 2020, 65 percent of those 65 and older reported they still have a landline.1 If you’re among the 35 percent who have waved goodbye to the landline, you may be wondering if you can still use an in-home medical alert system. Well, good news: You can! In-home cellular medical alert systems keep you just as safe and independent as landline systems do.

Below, we’ve pared it down to the top five best cellular medical alert systems that don’t require a landline. Keep reading to get the details you need to select the right one for you.

How We Chose the Best Cellular Medical Alert Systems

Shopping for a medical alert system can quickly become overwhelming. We get it; there are so many options! We’ve done a lot of comparing to narrow it down for you. To select our top five cellular medical alert systems without a landline, we used a couple of metrics. To make our list, here’s what the systems had to offer customers:

  • Value: Nothing’s more frustrating than spending your money on a product or service only to find out the quality doesn’t match the price tag. We only included systems we think are worth the cost.
  • Features: For some older adults, technology is exciting. For others, it can be intimidating. Whether you prefer to keep it simple or embrace new tech, these systems have features for everyone. We made sure they can accommodate most lifestyles, preferences, and technology skill levels.
  • Protection: Our top five systems offer 24/7 monitoring and then some. You can rest assured you or your loved one will have reliable, trusted emergency alert protection with any of the devices below.

The Pros and Cons of a Cellular Medical Alert System

Still trying to decide between a landline and cellular in-home system? We’ll look at the advantages and drawbacks of a system without a landline below.

What We Like About Medical Alert Systems Without a Landline

  • Convenience: The number of U.S. homes without a landline keeps increasing. As landlines become a thing of the past, a medical alert system that uses cellular service to provide protection is convenient and will only grow more popular.
  • Mobility: For seniors who like to travel or are snowbirds, a cellular medical alert system can be carried from home to home. If you get a landline system, you’ll have to worry about the homes you visit having landlines too. With an in-home cellular medical alert system, all you need is a power outlet. If you choose an on-the-go cellular system, you won’t even need a power outlet. Just throw your system on like a necklace, and you’re good to go!

Things to Keep in Mind About Medical Alert Systems Without a Landline

  • Cost: In-home systems range from $20 to $60 per month, depending on the provider and add-ons you select. Typically, in-home cellular medical alert systems without a landline are $5 to $10 more per month than systems that use a landline. On-the-go cellular medical alert systems tend to be a bit pricier than in-home options, starting at around $30 per month.
  • Reception: Just as your cell phone needs good reception to connect your phone calls, so does a cellular medical alert system. If you don’t have a landline, the medical alert system will rely on cellular coverage to make calls to the emergency monitoring center. If you live in a rural area, make sure you’ll have strong, reliable reception for your cellular medical alert system. If you have concerns, ask the customer service representative before you purchase a cellular system.

Do I Need Wi-Fi for a Cellular Medical Alert System

About 64 percent of U.S. adults over the age of 65 have a broadband connection in their home.3 Though the majority of older adults have an internet connection, it isn’t necessary to have one for an in-home or on-the-go cellular medical alert system. This is because a medical alert system without a landline uses cellular coverage (think Verizon or AT&T) to connect you to the emergency monitoring center when you need help. That’s why it’s important to make sure the medical alert provider has good cellular coverage in your area if you are without a landline.

Mobile System vs. In-Home Cellular Medical Alert System

A mobile system (sometimes called an on-the-go or GPS system) provides protection no matter where you are — whether you’re taking a stroll on the beach, hiking, or relaxing by the pool. An in-home system provides protection (you guessed it!) in the home. They both use cellular service to connect you to the monitoring center in an emergency, but an in-home system has a limited range — about 400 to 1,300 feet, depending on the system you purchase.

For homebodies without a landline, an in-home cellular system, like the ones we listed above, will work just fine. But if you’re someone who is active and wants your cellular medical alert system to be as mobile as you are, an on-the-go system is probably more your style. These systems are usually a bit more expensive than in-home systems, but the comprehensive protection they offer is worth the extra bucks, if you ask us. If you’re interested in a mobile system, check out our list of the best GPS medical alert systems.

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Reviewed By

Linda Schlenker

Senior Safety Expert

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

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