Many older Americans want to remain independent as long as possible. As they age, however, the most dangerous location for potential accidents, such as falls, sprains and burns, is their own home.
Falls are the leading cause of death among Americans aged 65 and older and burns are second. Even if not fatal, falls are responsible for 25% of all hospital admissions and 40% of nursing home admissions. They are also the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in seniors.
While seniors and their families can make changes to their living spaces, such as better lighting, grab bars in the shower (bathrooms are the number one place for falls among seniors) or lever handles on doors, nothing is foolproof. That’s why it makes sense for seniors who want to live independently to have a medical alert system.
When seniors use medical alert systems, it gives them and their families an extra measure of comfort to know that if something happens in their homes, they can reach out immediately for help. Many medical alert systems now include fall detection, so if a senior falls in the kitchen or bathroom and can’t activate the help button on their own, the system automatically alerts a family member and the provider’s monitoring center.
Whether a senior is housebound, or enjoys gardening or just relaxing in their backyard, the medical alert systems below can provide the added security and peace of mind that they and their family needs.
Medical Alert Systems to Consider for the Home
Medical Guardian: Best Choice for Spending Time Outside
Medical Guardian’s Family Guardian plan may be a good choice for seniors who enjoy spending time outside of the home, such as doing puzzles on the patio, tinkering in the shed or working in the garden. The Family Guardian base station has a range of 1,300 feet and features a 32-hour backup battery. Its wide coverage area makes it ideal for seniors who don’t want to spend all day inside. The package also includes several motion detectors, which family members can use to monitor their loved one’s activity through the Family Guardian app.
Also well-known for its customer service, Medical Guardian offers three plans for seniors who want that extra bit of home protection. These include cellular and landline options and the Family Guardian plan, which provides activity monitoring along with in-home emergency monitoring.
Starting at $79.95 per month, the Family Guardian plan isn’t cheap. It works on a cellular connection and includes all the components that allow activity tracking. If seniors select an annual plan, the cost falls to about $73.29 per month or $879.45 per year. Fall detection can be added to the Family Guardian plan for additional $10 per month.
Mobile Help: Best Choice for Seniors on a Budget
Mobile Help is the most affordable in-home cellular system available, which makes a good choice for seniors on a budget. The Mobile Help Classic plan costs $19.95 a month and can be paid monthly, quarterly or yearly. Mobile Help will waive the $49.95 activation fee if seniors choose a longer payment plan.
The Classic plan includes a base station with a range of 600 feet and a 30-hour backup battery. A waterproof help button is also included. Seniors can choose to wear the help button as either a wristband or a pendant. Fall detection is available for an extra $10 a month.
Oriented toward cellular service, Mobile Help doesn’t charge an extra cellular fee as many of its competitors do. The company also offers the Wired Home plan, which is a landline system for seniors who live in remote areas where cellular service may not be as strong. It comes with a base station that covers a range of 1,300 feet. The plan’s starting cost is $24.95 a month, but fall detection isn’t available as an add-on.
Rescue Alert: Best Choice For Senior Couples
Rescue Alert is a medical alarm system that offers a lot of attractive options, including one that makes it a great choice for seniors who live with their spouse, another senior family member or an older friend.
When a senior subscribes to Rescue Alert, they’re eligible to get a free add-on device. They can either choose a lockbox to stow a key that gives emergency responders easy access or a second personal help button. Rescue Alert monitors this second device free of charge. So seniors pay one fee to monitor two people.
Its basic MXD plan is normally connected via a landline, but can also be used with a cable connection or over the internet. It’s the only medical alert plan that offers these connection options. Yet it’s the other extra options available under the MDX plan that make this a good solution for in-home protection. The MDX base station has a range of 600 feet and comes with an 80-hour backup battery.
The MDX plan costs $32.95 per month, which drops to $29.95 on a quarterly payment plan, and $27.95 on an annual plan for seniors who lease the Rescue Alert equipment. Seniors who subscribe to Rescue Alert have the option of purchasing the equipment for $849 with free monitoring included, or paying $199 up-front and $15.95 per month for monitoring. Fall detection is available under the MDX plan for additional $10 a month.
While these three options present good solutions for seniors looking for at-home systems, our guide to medical alert systems offers other options for seniors who may be more mobile or want to look at other home plans.