Best Medical Alert Systems for Women

Getting older doesn’t mean women stop caring about their appearance, and even women who need the security and peace of mind of a wearable medical device don’t necessarily want a device that looks like an emergency paging device. The best medical alert devices for women are ones that combine leading-edge technology and a visually appealing and feminine design.

Why Should Seniors Choose a Medical Alert Device?

Medical alert systems are designed to help wearers summon help in an emergency if they can’t get to a phone. Falls and other accidents may be more common for seniors living alone, and older women, especially, may not have the physical strength to get up and call 911 for assistance. Wearing an emergency pendant or watch allows users to summon help with one push of a button.

Some devices are equipped with a range of beneficial features, such as sensitive monitoring that can detect if the wearer falls and alert the system’s monitoring service if the wearer is unable to speak, two-way communication and waterproof devices.

We’re comparing medical alert systems from three of the top manufacturers: LifeFone, Medical Guardian and Bay Alarm Medical. These three companies have flexible plans with reasonable pricing and choices that include wearable pendant or wrist styles designed for a fashionable woman.

LifeFone

LifeFone is a comprehensive medical alert system provider, offering both landline and cellular options for home use and integrated mobile devices for seniors on the go. The home-based systems are easy to move to a new location, for example, to move to a new home or to take on trips – just plug the unit into an outlet at the destination. LifeFone’s technology is fairly straightforward and user-friendly.

The company has been in business for over 40 years and has a U.S.-based monitoring system with operators around the clock. Each operator undergoes extensive initial training and ongoing training for reliable customer service. Operators speak English and Spanish.

LifeFone’s main benefits are:

  • Price Lock Guarantee, which locks in the initial subscription price for the lifetime of the account
  • One-month free trial
  • Flexible home and mobile devices for 24-hour coverage
  • Battery life up to three years
  • Optional spouse add-on for free

The mobile devices are GPS-capable and use cellular tower service, which gives users plenty of coverage from location to location. Subscribers may select from a pendant (it looks like a medical alert pendant, but it has a smaller profile than others and may be worn under clothing) or a wristwatch-style in either white or black. The wrist devices are slender, with silicone bands that don’t chafe or irritate delicate skin.

Each mobile device comes with a button for emergencies, a base station for in-home use and a charging cradle, and the wearable devices can be integrated with a landline in-home system. Unlike some medical alert plans, LifeFone’s aren’t all-inclusive. Instead, the company offers a series of flexible add-on services, which allows seniors to customize their subscriptions according to their needs.

Feature
Type of DeviceWrist or Pendant
Water-ResistantYes
Fall DetectionYes, $5 per month
Range1300 feet from the home base station, 350 feet from the mobile device
Battery Life30 hours for mobile devices
Base Plan CostsCellular at home $30.95/month Mobile GPS unit $36.95/month Integrated mobile device $42.95
ContractNo, subscriptions are monthly, quarterly or annually, prepaid
Set-Up or Equipment FeeNo
Add-On FeaturesDaily check-in $19/month Daily activity checks $6/month Medication reminders $6/month Location services for caregivers $9/month
Additional AccessoriesLockbox For EMS access Wall button Extra pendants Lanyards

Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian founder and CEO, Geoff Cross, began the company specifically to address the needs of the elderly who wish to remain independent in their own homes but may need the additional peace of mind that a medical alert system provides. To that end, he focused on integrating advances in cellular and GPS technologies with easy-to-use systems for greater sensitivity and responsiveness.

Medical Guardian is one of our favorites because of the range of all-inclusive medical alert device plans. The family option is unique; it offers coverage for everyone in the home, with an option for seniors to alert the operators if they believe there’s a prowler inside the house and they can’t get to a phone. Home devices also have larger buttons and print, plus Braille labels.

However, it’s the Freedom Guardian that we feel most women will appreciate. It looks just like most smartwatches and fitness trackers. Another benefit to the Active and Freedom Guardians is the contacts feature, which allows the wearer to summon assistance (such as in case of a minor fall or if the user is lost) that doesn’t warrant a full EMS response. The wearer simply summons one of their preloaded contacts, preserving their dignity and reducing the number of emergency alerts.

Medical Guardian has six plans:

  • Classic – the traditional in-home system connected through a landline
  • Home – an in-home system with either a landline or cellular option
  • Family – monitors everyone in the home, with different user profiles for all monitored residents
  • Mobile – wearable pendant device with a GPS button and two-way communication (integrates with home systems)
  • Active – wearable pendant device with GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity plus two-way communication
  • Freedom – wearable smart watch-style device with a companion app for family or caregivers and voice-to-text communication

All home systems come with a base unit and emergency button, and the Family Guardian also has additional activity sensors. Monitoring is either through the Medical Guardian’s operating system or by family or caregivers (up to five) designated by the subscriber. The mobile devices come with a charger or charging cradle. While we like the range of options for Medical Guardian subscribers, the plans themselves are among the most expensive of all major medical alert brands and, therefore, may be inaccessible for seniors on a budget.

Feature
Type of DevicePendant or wrist for all mobile devices; Freedom Guardian is a smart watch
Water-ResistantYes for pendants, no for the Freedom Guardian smart watch
Fall DetectionYes, $10 per month
Range1300 feet from the home base station, 350 feet from the mobile device
Battery Life32 hours for Classic and Family 24 hours for Mobile Five days for Active Freedom Guardian doesn’t need charging
Base Plan CostsClassic: $29.95/month Home: $34.95/month Family: $79.95/month Mobile: $39.95/month Active: $49.95/month Freedom: $44.95/month
ContractNo, subscriptions are monthly, quarterly or annually, with discounts for prepaid subscribers
Set-Up or Equipment FeeNo for all but Freedom Guardian, which has a $99 one-time fee
Add-On FeaturesAll plans are inclusive
Additional AccessoriesLockbox for EMS access Wall button Car charger for mobile Leather carrying case for mobile

Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical is another established medical alert company and, like Medical Guardian, has a caregiver tracking option. This works through a smartphone app, compatible with either iOS or Android devices, and allows caregivers to track the wearer and interact with them via voice-to-text. Bay Alert has a variety of options for older women, including one specifically designed for in-car use, which has GPS tracking and is compatible with the caregiver tracking app.

There are three systems from Bay Alarm Medical:

  • In The Home – a base station that monitors seniors in their home and comes with a wrist button or pendant to wear outside the house
  • On The Go – a wearable device, either wristwatch or pendant, with a caregiver tracking app
  • In The Car – a car-specific system with GPS and integration with the caregiver app
Feature
Type of DevicePendant or watch for In The Home Pendant only for On The Go
Water-ResistantYes
Fall DetectionYes, $10 per month for mobile or in-home
RangeUp to 1,000 feet from the base station
Battery Life72 hours for On The Go In The Car plugs into the car itself
Base Plan CostsIn The Home: $19.95/month On The Go: $39.95/month In The Car: $29.95/month Bundle of all three: $69.95/month
ContractNo
Set-Up or Equipment FeeNo
Add-On FeaturesSpouse monitoring $3/month
Additional AccessoriesLockbox for EMS access Spare buttons “Bella” charm, designed to cover the pendants to make them look like a necklace

Our Verdict

Each of these companies has a 24-hour U.S.-based monitoring system, which many reviewers state that they appreciate. The technology is comparable, and the features of the individual devices share many similarities. However, Medical Guardian, which has the greatest flexibility for plans and devices, is also the most expensive. If price isn’t a consideration for senior women, then Medical Guardian is our top selection. For seniors on a budget, however, Bay Alarm Medical, with its reasonable prices (especially for the bundle), the “Bella” charm to disguise the pendant and the integration of the caregiver app, has an edge over the other two systems.