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Medical Alert

You enjoy your independence and want to feel secure whether you’re moving around your home, running errands, or traveling. A fear of falling or having a medical emergency doesn’t have to limit you when you have a medical alert help button system, with the simple push of a button, you can call for help from family, friends or first responders. If you are looking for a medical alert help button system, Contact us today for a FREE consultation about our alert system.


What is Medical Alert?

A medical alert system is a device or set of devices that aid a person — typically older adults or people with disabilities — in case of a medical emergency. Its main purpose is to contact a monitoring service, a close relative, guardian or the local authorities in case of an emergency.

These systems usually include a base station as well as small, wearable necklaces or wristbands with a button. Users can then communicate with the company’s monitoring service with a single click of a button.

More advanced options also include automatic fall detection, GPS tracking, two-way communication (like a walkie-talkie) and more.

Many systems provide additional services or accessories such as medication reminders, wall buttons, optional fall detection, a free lockbox to give a designated person access to your home, customized touchscreen tablets, motion sensors and more.

How do medical alert systems work?

In their most basic form, medical alert systems provide a direct line of communication between a user and monitoring-center personnel. Monitoring-center agents can then contact appropriate help, such as neighbors, loved ones, and emergency responders. These lifesaving devices come in many shapes and sizes, but they all share a few standard features.


Help buttons

Help buttons allow you to send a distress call to the monitoring center. They typically come as pendants or wristbands, but many systems have additional buttons that can be mounted on walls or other surfaces. Most wearable help buttons are water-resistant and can be worn in the bathroom, a frequent site of falls.



When you make a call, your system’s speakerphone allows you to communicate with monitoring agents. The speakerphone on an in-home medical alert system is usually on the base unit, which is placed in a central location of your home. The speakerphone and help button on a mobile system are often combined into one wearable device.



Behind every medical alert system is the mechanism through which it sends distress calls. Most companies have systems that operate on either landline or cellular connections, but some new systems can place calls over Wi-Fi.

The value of medical alert systems lies in their simplicity. More than half of older adults own smartphones — which could be used to accomplish a similar function — but medical alert systems provide a more streamlined and efficient way to obtain help. Typing out a phone number can be difficult during a health emergency, especially for people with manual dexterity issues. Medical alert systems, however, require only one press of a button.

Types of medical alert systems

Despite a plethora of medical alert systems and manufacturers, we can break down medical alert systems into a few main categories.

  • In-home medical alert systems protect users both in and around their homes. Through a combination of help buttons and a speakerphone-equipped base station, these systems allow you to connect quickly to monitoring agents. These systems generally are on the more affordable end of the spectrum.
  • Mobile medical alert systems protect users outside their homes. Using a cellular connection, these systems can place emergency calls just about anywhere with good reception. Mobile systems often are equipped with GPS technology, allowing a call-center agent to relay your location to emergency responders.
  • Medical alert smartwatches take all the functions of an on-the-go system and compress them into the discreet profile of a watch. Some added features include weather reporting, text messaging, and health metrics such as heart-rate monitors and step counters.
  • Bluetooth medical alert systems are relatively new technology. Through a wearable help button that pairs with your smartphone, Bluetooth medical alert systems allow you to quickly contact your caregivers and loved ones. These systems rarely include access to professional monitoring agents, but that also means you’ll have no monthly fees.

Important Features of Medical Alert Systems


Live 24/7 Monitoring

To get the most protective value from a medical alert system, opt for one that offers live 24/7 monitoring. That way, no matter when you have a medical concern and press your emergency button for help, you’ll always be connected with a live emergency response agent.

Automatic Fall Detection

Typically for an additional monthly fee, medical alert system makers offer automatic fall detection. As its name suggests, this feature automatically notifies the call center when your wearable device senses—using technology like accelerometers and processors—that you had a fall and don’t move for a period of time after the fall. It’s designed to help in the event of a serious fall that renders the user unconscious, unable to press their help button manually or unable to communicate verbally with the emergency response expert at the call monitoring center.


Wall Buttons

Many medical alert systems allow you to purchase additional wall buttons for the higher-risk areas of your home, such as the bathroom, kitchen and stairwells. Just like a wearable pendant, when pressed they send a signal to the base station, which communicates with the call center. Wall buttons are useful for people who forget to wear or dislike wearing their devices.


Some medical alert system makers encourage you to add a lockbox to your device purchase. It’s intended to hold an extra key for emergency responders so they don’t have to break down a locked door to come assist in an emergency event. The location and access of your lockbox is often noted in your profile with the medical alert system, so the call center employee can share those details with emergency responders when necessary.


Water-Resistant Wearables

If you want to be able to keep the wearable component of your medical alert system on your person or nearby while bathing or showering, it’s important for the device to hold up well to water and humidity.

GPS Tracking

Medical alert systems that offer live location tracking via GPS may be helpful for active seniors and those with memory loss. These systems are meant to alert family members directly and quickly of their loved one’s locations.


Activity Monitoring

Similar to automatic fall detection, this feature tracks the user’s movement. It notifies family members and friends if their loved one hasn’t shown signs of movement for an extended period.

Medication Reminders

Some medical alert systems offer medication reminders. These scheduled notifications can help keep aging adults compliant with the care plan prescribed by their health care professionals.


Who Should Use Medical Alert Systems?

Most medical alert systems cater to older adults and those living with illnesses and/or disabilities, especially if the person is living alone.

Here are a few examples of who medical alert systems are best suited for:

  • Seniors who are living independently
  • Seniors living in assisted living homes
  • People with chronic diseases
  • People with sensory/physical disabilities
  • People with fatal allergies
  • People who experience fainting spells
  • People recovering from surgery
  • Anyone who is living alone and needs peace of mind

While medical alert devices cannot prevent an emergency from occurring, they can help the person experiencing the emergency get assistance fast. Emergencies aside, these life alert systems also support safe aging, with features like activity monitoring, medication reminders, and live assistance for other, non-emergency concerns.

How to Choose the Right Medical Alert System for You

Choosing the best medical alert system for you or your loved one will depend on a variety of different factors and preferences. For example, someone who spends a lot of time out of the house will likely benefit from a mobile system, but someone who doesn’t spend a lot of time away from home may benefit from an in-home system.

In addition to lifestyle factors, it’s also important to:

  • Evaluate why you’re considering a medical alert system.
  • Consider your budget and how much medical alert systems cost.
  • Think about where you or your loved one feels most uneasy.
  • Take into consideration how often you or your loved one is alone.
  • Think about how to make these new living arrangements safe.
  • Evaluate what each provider offers.
  • Decide if you or your loved one will remember to charge a mobile device and whether you need something with good battery life.
  • Consider what kind of emergency response you will need.
  • Decide if you need to allow others to access the medical alert system.

How much do medical alert systems cost?

Medical alert systems typically have subscription costs starting at around $20-30 per month. More expensive plans might range anywhere from roughly $40-70 per month, which could include add-ons like automatic fall detection, cellular coverage (so you don’t have to use a landline), or additional products like smartwatches that work outside your home.

A few systems work without a subscription service, such as by connecting directly to emergency medical services. Or, you could potentially set up smart speakers to help get in touch with emergency contacts or medical services, but these might not come with the monitoring support of full-fledged medical alert systems.

So, the cost of these types of non-subscription options would just be for the hardware, which could range anywhere from roughly $30 to a few hundred dollars. With subscription services, however, the cost of the hardware is often bundled in, though that means the devices are essentially rented instead of purchased.

Some subscription services also carry one-time activation fees. These can vary widely but generally do not exceed $100. There could also be shipping costs, though these tend to be nominal.

Keep in mind that standard Medicare does not cover medical alert systems. However, private insurers might offer some coverage via Medicare Part C, so check with your insurer.

Are medical alert systems worth it?

Yes, medical alert systems are certainly worth it. They serve a wide variety of purposes, from immediately responding to calls for help in life-threatening situations to giving seniors the confidence they need to leave home in order to remain active and social. They provide peace of mind to caregivers and supplement health services for aging family members. Medical alert systems, or PERS, are a solid layer of protection for seniors who live with chronic illnesses, are at a greater risk of falling, and live alone.

Does Insurance Cover Medical Alert Systems?

Some private insurers cover medical alert systems. Check with your insurance provider to see if they offer any coverage. You can also work with your insurance provider to see if certain devices or providers are covered.

Furthermore, some devices that are considered medically necessary durable medical equipment (medical equipment used in the home to provide a better quality of living) are tax deductible.

Does Medicare Cover Medical Alert Systems?

Typically, traditional Medicare (Medicare Part B) doesn’t cover the purchasing or monthly subscription costs of medical alert systems because they are not usually deemed “medically necessary” durable medical equipment (DME).

Meanwhile, some Medicare Advantage plans (Medicare Part C), which are offered through private insurance companies, may provide partial or full coverage of medical alert systems. If you’re insured by a Medicare Advantage plan, ask your provider about their coverage policies regarding medical alert systems.

Which Medical Alert System Is the Best?

The best medical alert system is Bay Alarm Medical. Of all the medical alert system companies, this one offers a great range and an impressive emergency response service. While it is a bit on the pricey side, customers love that the devices are both easy to use and set up. Plus, the price bundling options offer customers a bigger value per purchase.

How to Get a Medical Alert System for Free

Your ability to get a free medical alert system largely depends on your financial circumstances and insurance coverage. Those who are eligible for Medicaid, for example, are often eligible for other waiver programs that can help cover the costs associated with medical alert systems. Veterans often have access to benefits that make medical alert systems more affordable as well. And AARP members can save 15% on select medical alert services, as well as receive free shipping and waived activation fees.

Does AARP recommend Medical Alert Systems?

AARP (the American Association of Retired Persons) recommends medical alert systems for seniors living independently. They are often considered essential for older adults living with serious medical conditions and/or disabilities. At the end of the day, medical alert systems can be the difference between life and death in certain situations. AARP recognizes this. With that said, check if the medical alert system provider offers discounts to AARP members.

Annual vs. Monthly Subscriptions

If you’re concerned about the total cost of a medical alert system, consider how much you’d spend on a system when you pay annually for the monitoring service versus paying monthly.

Depending on the medical alert system you choose, the company may offer an annual subscription with a price that averages less monthly than a standard monthly subscription cost. You have to be comfortable paying the full amount up front, but the discount can be significant in the long term.


How We Chose the Best Medical Alert Systems

Although medical alert systems are very similar to each other, we focused on the following three main characteristics:

  • Price. We looked for companies with prices lower than the market average, or that offer more for your money, in terms of hardware and service. Offers like free equipment or the ability to pay for it in monthly installments were big pluses in our book.
  • Equipment. Systems with mobile apps, motion sensors, advanced range and more piqued our interest, provided they were paired with a reputation for good customer service and great pricing.

    It also gave us an idea about just how frequently these companies are revisiting their catalog and keeping up with the market. Outdated equipment with a simple button might work just the same as more modern-looking ones, but it might indicate the company’s not keeping up with current technology.

  • Reviews and certifications. In order to get an idea about each company’s customer service, we read through hundreds of online reviews, and looked for recognition from certain websites and organizations specialized in senior care and monitoring. We also called the companies to see how transparent they were with information regarding pricing and contracts.

How does a monitored medical alert system work?

When the button is pressed and held, a monitoring center is alerted. A person will speak to you through the base unit or wearable device. You can talk back and let them know what’s going on. If you just need a friend or family member to stop by, the monitoring center will call them on your behalf. If you need immediate attention, the center will call 911 and dispatch emergency responders.

Monitored medical alert systems require a monthly fee. Your subscription may include additional perks, such as free spouse coverage, medication alerts, daily check-in calls, and replacement batteries.

How does an unmonitored medical alert system work?

When you press and hold the emergency button on an unmonitored medical alert device, it calls a friend, family member, neighbor, or other pre-programmed emergency contact. There’s no monthly fee associated with an unmonitored medical alert device.

Which is better, monitored or unmonitored?

We recommend choosing a monitored system. If your unmonitored system is set up to call a family member, there’s a chance they won’t recognize the number or hear their phone go off. When your device is connected to a professional monitoring center, your call will be answered in seconds, guaranteed.

If your device is set up to call 911, you may not feel well enough to talk to them. The monitoring center keeps a record of your home address along with details about your medical history and the code to get into your spare key lockbox.

If you use a GPS-enabled mobile device, your precise location also transmits to the monitoring center. They can relay all of this information to the emergency responders who won’t waste any time trying to find you or get into your home.


Best Quality Life Alert Button for Senior Citizens

If you’re looking for the best medical alert systems for seniors, you’ve come to the right place. You can feel confident in our medical alert service for yourself or loved ones. Call Today!