Personal alarms and medical alert systems are emergency response systems. They are a critical safety feature to have in the house and especially for the elderly. They can be used by seniors who live alone, those with chronic illnesses, pain and are prone to falls. Medical alert systems are beneficial to the elderly, caregivers and the family. They provide peace of mind and a sense of security. Knowing that your loved one can always reach out for help whenever they need it is more than comforting.
|Medical Guardian Life Saving Medical Alert System
|CallToU Caregiver Pager Wireless Smart
|Wearsafe Personal Touch Security Alert System
|Mace Brand Alert 911 One Touch Direct Connection
|CallToU Wireless Caregiver Pager Smart Call System
|Daytech Caregiver Pagers Wireless Call Button for Elderly Patient
|JOYSAE Wireless Pager Personal Call Button Alert System
|SadoTech Necklace Caregiver Call Button
|DAYTECH Wireless Caregiver Pager Alert System
In this article, we will take you through a comprehensive buying guide to help you know what to look for when buying a medical alert device. We have also included our recommendation of some of the best personal alarms and medical alert systems ideal for the elderly to narrow down your options.
Basically, all personal alarms and medical alert systems function in the same way. They are programmed in such a way that once a button is pushed, a signal is sent to the system (company call center) which then directs the next call of action. This can be a call to a family member, caregiver, doctor, ambulance or neighbor. The call is made to a number that is in the system. Some devices directly send a signal to a phone number and keep calling until the phone is answered. If it is not answered, it will call the next number listed. Even though these emergency response devices function more or less the same way, they are different when it comes to features and performance.
In this guide, we will look at choosing the device and the service provider.
Choosing a service provider
Get to know their customer service
A device may have high-end functional features but if the service provider has poor customer service then the life of your loved one remains at stake. This is why you need to establish how their customer service delivery is. Find out:
- If they are patient when talking to people?
- If they take the time to understand their users?
- If they go out of their way to offer assistance?
- If they follow up on their customers?
- How they react to complaints?
- And finally how fast they respond?
You can get answers to these questions by looking up what their customers are saying about them. Also, take time to talk to their sales reps before making any purchase. You should gather a lot of information during the conversation. Lastly, find out if they will come to install the device and if they will show you and your loved one how to use it. Some companies may ship the device but offer installation assistance over the phone. Either way could work.
Check out if they have a free trial period
We would highly recommend that you choose a company that gives a free trial period, however, that should not deter you from getting a great product that has no trial period. A trial period is important because it allows the user to test out the product to see if it is the best fit for their situation. The best way to know what you need is to actually try it out. During this trial period evaluate whether all the features are beneficial and how fast the response is picked up.
Life can slip away in just a matter of seconds, so every second matter when it comes to response time. Look for a company that has the quickest response time. Under 3 minutes is ideal.
Beware of companies with complicated pricing plans and extra hidden fees. Look for a company with listed prices on their website. When talking about costs ask for a price guarantee and scrutinize each and every fee indicated. Some companies will list something like an activation fee which they cannot explain what it means. According to AARP, the monthly fees should range between $25 – $45.
Also, beware of companies trying to lock you into a long contract. Contracts if any should be short term.
If the company doesn’t have a trial period, ask for a full money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with their services. You should be able to get a full refund on the months paid for in case you terminate the services. And No matter the case, do not accept to pay in advance, stick to monthly payments.
Choosing the device
The device should have an in-built fall detection feature. A fall detection feature immediately sends a distress signal when a person falls down. This is important since most seniors don’t have a stable body balance and often fall down. Sometimes, a person may fall down and become unconscious making them unable to push the button.
There are two main types of personal alarms and medical alert systems; The Home-based and the Mobile system. The Home-based systems are designed to be used within the house. They can be used within a certain range often anywhere within the house. Mobile systems, on the other hand, are portable devices that can be used anywhere cellular network and GPS can reach. These are perfect for seniors who step out of the home often. Even without pressing the press button, a senior can be located using the GPS when they get lost. They work more or less like a cell phone. If your loved one is confined in the house, then the Home-based system would work best otherwise a mobile system is the most preferred.
You can either choose a monitored system or an unmonitored one depending on the health condition of your loved one. A monitored system will provide round-the-clock access to a live dispatcher. The live dispatcher responds immediately your loved one presses the button. They then either call 911 or the listed contacts to get them help. They will stay on-call until help arrives as they comfort the senior. They are more expensive but very ideal when your loved one has a condition that requires constant monitoring.
For the unmonitored system, you won’t get access to a live dispatcher so you only pay for the device and that’s it. You then set up the system and enter the contacts you wish to be contacted in case of an emergency. So whenever your loved one presses the button, the phone number is automatically dialed. You can add multiple contacts including the 911. Obviously, the unmonitored is less expensive however it does not guarantee that your loved one will get help immediately because people may be unavailable on phone.
Ensure that the cellular service provider has good coverage where you and loved live. This is why having a product on trial period is important. You can easily tell how strong the network coverage is.
Look for a device that can alert you when the battery is due for a replacement. This ensures that your senior has his wearable device with him at all times as long as you replace the battery on time.
Do not at all cost purchase a medical alert device that is not certified. A non-certified device does not meet the safety standards and therefore cannot guarantee your loved safety. It also means that the dispatchers have not been fully trained to operate and respond to an emergency.
The essence of a medical alert system is to ensure that your loved one can reach out for help at any given time. This means that they have to wear it 24/7 and more so when in the shower, and kitchen where 60% of falls happen because of wet slippery floors. Therefore get a waterproof device.
Device comfort and style
This is among the most important things to consider. Since your loved one will be wearing the device 24/7, it is important for them that you choose one that is comfortable, lightweight and suits their style. You can choose one that they can wear on the wrist just like a watch, on the neck or one that they can clip on their clothing. If they find it comfortable, then they will gladly have it on at all times.
Best Personal Alarms and Medical Alert Systems for the Elderly 2024
#1 Medical Guardian Life Saving Medical Alert System
This device is pretty simple to use. The oversized icons make it easy to use for seniors with sight difficulty. It comes with an audible feature which reads out messages, date and time so that your loved one is able to keep track of date and time. Freedom Guardian guarantees a 24/7 availability. Your loved one can get help at any time of the day every day with the two-way communication feature. In case the senior presses the help button but is unable to tell where they are, the dispatcher can use triangulation, GPS AND WiPS (Wi-Fi Positioning Systems) to locate them.
The smartwatch will keep you and your loved one connected through the text-to-speech messages that they can send and receive. However, they can only send and receive messages from their care circle. Freedom Guardian’s Alert and Remainders can be programmed to remind your loved one of tasks and events that are due like a doctor’s appointment or when it’s time to take their medication. You can set alerts and reminders for basically every aspect of their lives.
And what is super amazing is that it can give up to- 3 days weather forecast. You can be sure of your loved one not getting rained on or stuck in the mall because of a storm.
- Easy to use
- Can be worn in and out of the home
- Can send and receive text messages
- Gives real-time alerts and reminders
- It is UL Certified
- It only works with the AT&T network service
#2 CallToU Caregiver Pager Wireless Smart
CallTOU Caregiver Wireless Smart call button is the perfect pager for caregivers who take of patients either at home or in nursing homes. In just one call, the caregiver is able to contact multiple receivers at once. Its operation range is quite large, well over 500 feet. The push call button is easy to carry around. It can be worn on the neck or be put in a pocket. At night it can be placed by the bedside.
Both the pager and the call button are powered by in-built batteries. The pager’s battery is rechargeable and has a standby time of up to 3 days while the call button has a standby time of 1 year. The alert prompt is both audio and vibration. So if your loved one has a difficulty in seeing or hearing they can still use it. You can also set it on vibration only during the nights if you don’t want to disrupt other people’s sleep.
- Consumes less power so the battery lasts longer
- Easy to install
- Has a stylish and modern design
- Waterproof buttons
- The battery in the transmitter is not rechargeable and has to be replaced once it drains out
- The user manual is not self-explanatory
#3 Wearsafe Personal Touch Security Alert System
The Wearsafe Personal Emergency tag is an award winner for its exemplary performance. It was named the top gadget of CES by the Women’s Health and also appeared in the top 100 Red Herring’s list. The best thing about this Wearsafe device is that upon purchase there are no contract fees or monthly subscriptions thereafter. This makes it cheaper in the long run compared to devices from other brands.
Using the Wearsafe tag is pretty easy. Just pair the tag with your cell phone, download the Wearsafe App and link contacts of people you would like contacted in case of an emergency. Another great thing about Wearsafe tag is that it lets you know once your alert has been received and viewed. This reduces your panic and anxiety as you know that help is on the way. When in distress, Wearsafe sends out the detail of your location and streams live audio so that your networks can tell what sort of emergency you are in. This ensures that you are able to get the exact help that you need. The Wearsafe tag does not need any charging, just replace the battery every six months which should be free up to three years from the date of purchase.
- Works both in and out of your home
- The battery has to be replaced twice every year
- Does not have a fall detection
#4 Mace Brand Alert 911 One Touch Direct Connection
Mace Alert 911 provides security by dialing 911 emergency dispatcher upon a push on the button. This provides you and your loved one the peace of knowing that there is help on the way. It can be used by your loved one both in the house and on the go. So seniors with an active social life can still be guaranteed security wherever they may be. Mace Brand Alert comes at no extra costs besides the purchasing price. This means no monthly fees and no maintenance fees. It also comes with a lanyard connection so you have the option of clipping it on to a belt, backpack or a purse- anywhere that is easy to reach.
- The battery has a one-year standby life
- You can use with any cellular carrier
- No monthly subscriptions
- To use it you must be living in an area with a cell tower
#5 CallToU Wireless Caregiver Pager Smart Call System
CallToU wireless pager comes as a kit of 3 pagers/transmitters and 2 call buttons. So you can place each in different parts of the house. If you, however, need more transmitters, you can add as many as 55 and 20 receivers. The call button can be worn on the neck as it comes with a neck strap or be put in the pocket. The button is lightweight so it can easily be worn all day then placed on the bedside at night. There are 55 ringtones to choose from so if you are not a fan of the “ding dong” sound you can change it to what you like. You can adjust the volume with the 5 available levels from 0 dB to 110 dB. The transmitter is waterproof so you won’t have to worry about food or water splashing on it or using it in the bathroom.
- No monthly subscriptions
- Easy to install
- Easy to use
- Has a fairly good working range
- Easy to press buttons
- The pairing process is simple
- The duration of the alarm tone is very short so one has to keep pressing to be sure that they are heard
#6 Daytech Caregiver Pagers Wireless Call Button for Elderly Patient
The idea behind this Daytech call button is for both the patient or the elderly to operate with freedom, not worrying about how to get their caregiver’s attention when they need help. This also gives both parties such a peace of mind. The device operates on a distance range of 500 plus feet this means you can basically use it in the home and the immediate area outside your home, however, this depends on how big your home is.
If you want to use it outside the home, you can carry the portable batteries with you. With the batteries, you can also put it in the bag, your pockets or outside your porch. You are not confined to a place with a socket or power source. The call buttons can be worn as a pendant. Insert the call button into the neck strap that comes with the package and hang it around your neck as you would a necklace. You can also just put it in your pocket or have it placed right next to you as long as it is reachable in case of an emergency.
Since the receivers are 3, they can be placed in different places in the house that the caregiver spends so much time in. A good example would the kitchen, sitting room, and the bedroom. For the call buttons, they can be placed in the bathroom since they are waterproof. This is very convenient as most falls happen in the bathrooms.
- Comes as a package of 2 receivers and 3 call buttons
- The call button is waterproof
- The pager comes with 55 ringtones to choose from
- No set up needed, just plug and play
- Has 5 adjustable volume settings with the highest being very loud (100 dB)
- Comes with a neck strap for wearing the button around the neck
- The button transmitter works only with a 23 A 12 V alkaline battery
- Most people have complained of how difficult it is to lock in the ringtone of their choice
#7 JOYSAE Wireless Pager Personal Call Button Alert System
The best part about JOYSAE wireless pager is that it is customizable and expandable. You can pair one receiver with different buttons or one button with different receivers. You can then set a different ringtone for each receiver; Pairing and changing ringtones is a straightforward process. You can set each of the three receivers and buttons in different rooms or different locations that your loved one and the caregiver spend most of their time in. The receiver can be heard from every room because of its long operating range; it operates on a range of up to 500 feet long. Its transmitter is designed with style and comfort in mind- It can be worn around the neck or be put in a pocket.
- Easy to use
- Portable transmitter and receiver
- Waterproof push buttons
- No motion sensors
#8 SadoTech Necklace Caregiver Call Button
SadoTech Necklace Caregiver Button is easy to set up and easy to operate. You can pair it with over 30 SOS necklace buttons. The buttons are easy to squeeze so not struggling or fumbling when an emergency occurs. It is ideal for seniors to reach out to their caregivers whenever they need them. It comes with a neckstrap so you can wear it on the neck like a pendant. You can also simply put it in the pocket. The device has 32 tones to select from including vibration alert. The volume of the device has 4 levels which you can adjust from the button o the side of the receiver. The vibration alert is ideal for night time when you don’t wake to disrupt the ones sleeping.
- Easy to operate
- Easy to install
- A variety of ringtones to choose from
- Cannot be used outdoors
#9 DAYTECH Wireless Caregiver Pager Alert System
DAYTECH wireless pager offers convenience to the family and the caregiver. They have the peace of mind of knowing that they will always get an alert when their loved one needs their help. The device is easy to set up, as well as easy to operate. This makes it perfect for seniors who can’t operate complicated tech devices. Once installed, all they do is push a button whenever they need assistance. The device has a nighttime light indication function. This enables you to turn off the audio and use the light indication to reduce night noises which may disrupt other people’s sleep.
The device has an operating range of 800+ feet. This is enough coverage for a fairly large home. It works perfectly fine in enclosed spaces like the laundry room or noisy places. The alarm has 4 levels of volume control. The volume is loud enough, one can hear it from any corner of the house. The pager can be worn on the neck as a pendant or be put in a pocket. A neck strap is included in the package upon purchase.
- Stylish design
- Easy to install and use
- Has a variety of ringtones to choose from
- Does not have fall detection
Personal alarms and medical alert systems are a life-saver. They offer security, guarantee the safety and give one a peace of mind. If you are thinking of a perfect gift for your aged parents, then either of these options reviewed would be perfect. To get the best of these devices, make sure you go for a device that has features that are not only functional but suit the condition of your loved ones. And if you are going to opt for a monitored device consider the service provider.