It’s common for seniors to become less mobile as they age, and be at greater risk of injury from slips, trips or falls. Devices such as those offered by Medical Alert give seniors peace of mind that help is always just a button push away. Medical Alert is a part of Connect America, a Pennsylvania-based company that has been providing emergency monitoring systems and home alarms to families across the United States since 1977. The company is known for its experience and quality of service for both home users and healthcare providers.
Medical Alert is a respected and reliable brand in the world of personal emergency response devices. It offers a range of at-home and on-the-go devices, as well as a mobile app for extra connectivity. The company offers a simple pricing structure with monthly, semiannual and annual billing options, making its range affordable and appealing to seniors from all walks of life.
In this review, we look at the cost of Medical Alert’s products, features and available extras to help families make an informed choice as to whether it’s the best brand for their household.
Medical Alert's Device Options
Medical Alert offers several products, including:
- At Home: The At-Home solution is a basic medical alert system with a base unit equipped with two-way speaker communication, and a wearable help button. Users have a choice of a landline or cellular base unit.
- On-the-Go: The On-the-Go device uses AT&T cellular connectivity and GPS tracking to allow seniors to stay connected to the emergency monitoring center even when they’re away from home. This basic mobile product is a two-way communication pager that can be worn on a lanyard.
- On-the-Go + Button: This upgraded version of the On-the-Go device comes with a discreet wearable button that can be worn on a wrist strap or as a pendant, ensuring the help button is accessible at all times.
- Fall detection: Automatic fall detection is offered as an add-on for all of the above systems. The fall detection pendant triggers if it senses the sudden motion of a fall. When the pendant triggers, monitoring center agents will attempt to talk to the user to confirm whether a fall has occurred. If the user confirms they need help, or the agents are unable to get a response, emergency responders will be sent to the user’s home or the GPS location of the pendant.
Medical Alert's Plans
Medical Alert offers three subscription options. Users can pay month-by-month, semiannually, or annually. There are discounts for longer subscription plans, and those who sign up for the annual subscription receive a free lockbox as a welcome gift.
The lockbox mounts securely to the wall, and can be used to hold keys to the senior’s property, allowing emergency responders to gain access quickly, and without causing damage, in the event of an accident.
The At-Home plan costs just $19.95 per month if paid annually or semiannually, rising to $22.95 per month on a month-to-month subscription. The On-the-Go + Button plan costs $39.95 per month on an annual plan or semiannual plan or $42.95 on month-to-month billing. Fall detection is an optional extra on all plans and costs $10 per month. The minimum contract period is just three months, which is one of the most flexible and generous on the market. Medical Alert often runs seasonal promotions so it’s worth watching the store around major holidays to see if there are other discounts available.
Extra Services Offered by Medical Alert
Medical Alert’s products are quite bare bones compared to some other manufacturers. The company doesn’t offer extra wall-mountable buttons, monitored smoke detectors or medication dispensers. It does, however, offer lockboxes as a welcome gift for annual plan subscribers, and it has a useful mobile app.
The Medical Alert Connect mobile app is aimed at caregivers and allows them to check in on all users in their care. This means a family can easily monitor both sets of parents, other relatives, or even close friends. The app shows the GPS location for mobile users, the current system status, when the system was last tested and when the emergency button has been triggered.
Customer Reviews of Medical Alert
What Customers Like
Customers appreciate the flexible pricing structure and quality of support offered by Medical Alert. One reviewer says, “It’s great. I have fallen several times. The response time is wonderful. I live alone and if I didn’t have Medical Alert I couldn’t live alone.”
The option to pay month-to-month is something many seniors appreciate because it allows them to subscribe to the service without fear of wasting money if they later decide to move into an assisted living facility or nursing home. In addition, the company’s fast response times and multilingual support mean even those for whom English is a second language can use the system confidently.
What Customers Don’t Like
Some seniors report issues with false positives when wearing the automatic fall detection button. This is a common issue with these buttons across all personal emergency response providers. In addition, some seniors feel the buttons are too bulky and not visually appealing, preferring smartwatch designs or jewelry-style buttons available from other providers.
Who Should Consider Medical Alert
Medical Alert is a good choice for seniors who want a simple in-home or mobile medical alert system at an affordable price. The systems are easy to use, and there’ s no long-term contract required, making the system a good choice for those who aren’t sure if an emergency response device will work for them. The company offers support in 150 languages and has fast response times, so subscribers can be confident they’ll get the help they need in a timely fashion.