Best for Experienced Monitoring Center Operators
An increasing number of older adults are choosing to remain in their own homes as they age, and Medical Care Alert helps make aging in place a safer option for the increasing number of seniors who wish to do so. The company was founded to help seniors live independently and remain in their own homes longer. Medical Care Alert is owned by Michigan-based security company, American Response Technologies, Inc. With over a decade of experience in the medical alert industry, American Response Technologies has a proven track record of keeping its customers safe.
One way in which Medical Care Alert goes the extra mile to keep customers safe is with its strict hiring policies in its monitoring centers. The company’s operating centers are fully staffed by operators with EMT/EMD certification. These people have first-hand experience handling emergencies and the invaluable knowledge that comes with it. Medical Care Alert users can have peace of mind that monitoring center dispatchers are well prepared to handle high-stakes emergencies.
Who Medical Care Alert Is Best For
Seniors with Outdoor Hobbies
Medical Care Alert’s HOME & YARD system provides another great option for seniors who do not often run errands independently or travel, but like to spend time in the garden or on the porch. This in-home device has a two-way speaker built into the wearable pendant, so users can communicate with the monitoring center even if they’re outdoors. HOME & YARD provides a “happy medium” for seniors who are not necessarily active, but need coverage that goes beyond the walls of their home.
Another option for lovers of the outdoors is the HOME & AWAY ULTRA, designed for outdoor and mobile use. This system is fully-portable and uses AT&T’s cellular network to connect with the monitoring center, so users are protected anywhere in the United States with cellular service, whether that be at the beach, on vacation, or on a hike. Users are also still protected in the home, so long as their home has AT&T reception.
Caregivers of Seniors Who Wander
Medical Care Alert’s Track & Find feature gives caregivers the ability to check their loved one’s location in real-time via an online portal. The portal shows the user’s current location on a map, as well as their recent movements. Track & Find is particularly beneficial for caregivers of seniors with memory impairment who may be prone to wandering. The feature is included free with the HOME & AWAY ULTRA device.
Seniors Likely to Need Medical Assistance
Medical Care Alert takes the extra step of only hiring monitoring center operators with EMT/EMD experience. All calls to its emergency monitoring center are answered by an EMT/EMD certified operator. With first-hand experience dealing with emergencies, these operators can confidently handle callers’ situations and get them the help they need. This extra experience can give those with medical conditions peace of mind about their emergency support team.
Plans and Starting Costs
New customers have the choice of paying for their devices on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. Once they have completed one of the above billing cycles, they have the option of switching to month-to-month payments. Medical Care Alert devices range in price from $29.95 for an in-home system to $39.95 for a portable device, when paid for on a quarterly basis. Prices are the same for month-to-month, quarterly, and semi-annual plans, but the annual plan does save users several dollars per month. Service costs are price-locked and guaranteed to never go up.
Users are never required to sign long-term contracts and may cancel their plan at any time. If users prepaid for several months at the time of cancellation, they receive a prorated refund.
Medical Care Alert does not charge any device, activation, or installation fees, but some customers must pay $12 for shipping. The shipping fee is waived for users who choose the annual payment option.
Device Prices and Features
HOME is an in-home, landline-based system. There is no cellular option for the basic HOME device, so users must have a working landline in their home. The system includes an in-home base station with a 72-hour backup battery and range of 1,000 feet, and two personal help buttons. The personal help buttons are water resistant and shower-safe.
HOME is Medical Care Alert’s least expensive device at $29.95 a month. Those who choose the annual payment plan receive a discount of several dollars per month, bringing the price to $27.45 a month. Automatic fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
HOME-3G is an in-home system that includes a cellular connection with AT&T’s network, so it is the ideal choice for those who want protection in the home but do not have a working landline. Other than the connection type, HOME-3G has all of the same features as the standard HOME. However, only one personal help button is included with this system.
HOME-3G is slightly more expensive than the HOME with a monthly cost of $34.95, or $32.04 with an annual plan. The monthly price includes the cost of an AT&T cellular connection. Those interested in automatic fall detection may add the feature to their plan for an additional $10 a month.
HOME & YARD
HOME & YARD is a unique device specifically designed for seniors who enjoy gardening and spending time outdoors but do not need a fully portable device. The system includes an in-home base station with a 24-hour backup battery, plus a portable device with a two-way speaker. The portable device replaces the standard personal help button included with the other HOME systems. The HOME & YARD wearable device allows users to speak with the monitoring center directly through the device, rather than through the in-home base station. This means they can be in areas where their voice will not carry indoors such as the yard, at the mailbox, on the porch, or in the garden and still have protection. It has a range of 600 feet.
The HOME & YARD base station requires a landline connection; there is no cellular option for this system.
This system costs $34.95 a month with quarterly and semi-annual plans or $32.04 a month with an annual plan. Automatic fall detection is not available with this system.
HOME & AWAY ULTRA
Medical Care Alert’s newest device, the HOME & AWAY ULTRA, is an all-in-one portable device with advanced location tracking and upgraded cellular signal. The device uses AT&T’s 4G LTE wireless network to connect with the monitoring center and comes with a three-pronged location tracking system that uses GPS and both WiFi and cellular signals. The device is waterproof and shower-safe and has a battery life of up to 3 days. All HOME & AWAY ULTRA users receive free access to the Care4Mom smartphone app.
HOME & AWAY ULTRA costs $39.95 a month, or $36.62 with an annual plan. Automatic fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
HOME & AWAY DUO
This bundled system combines Medical Care Alert’s on-the-go emergency monitoring with extra in-home coverage for all-around emergency support. The package includes a mobile GPS medical alert device that users bring with them when they leave the home, and an in-home pendant (choice of pendant or wristband) that the user can wear while they charge the mobile device. This ensures that Medical Care Alert users are never without protection, even while they sleep or charge their main medical alert device.
The HOME & AWAY DUO system costs $39.95 a month, or $36.62 with an annual plan. Automatic fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
|HOME System||HOME-3G System (Cellular)||HOME & YARD System||HOME & AWAY ULTRA||HOME & AWAY DUO|
|Type of Device||In-Home system||In-Home system||In-Home system||Mobile system||In-Home and mobile system|
|Battery Life||72-hour backup||72-hour backup||24-hour backup||3 days||3 days|
|Range||1,000 feet||1,000 feet||600 feet||N/A||N/A|
|Fall Detection||$10 a month||$10 a month||Not available||$10 a month||$10 a month|
Medical Care Alert offers several add-on devices, such as:
- Wall-Mounted Button: Wall-mounted buttons function as extra personal help buttons. Users can press them in order to place a call to the emergency monitoring center. They can be placed anywhere in the home, mounted or un-mounted. Medical Care Alert customers can purchase the buttons for $29.95 each.
- Lockbox: Lockboxes are a safe way to store a spare key for emergency services. Users can purchase a lockbox from Medical Care Alert for $29.95. Those who choose an annual payment plan receive a lockbox free of charge.
- Extra Personal Help Buttons: Users of one of Medical Care Alert’s in-home systems can purchase a second personal help button for $29.95. This allows a second person who lives in the home to be monitored at no additional monthly cost. The cost of additional buttons with automatic fall detection is $60.
Medical Care Alert owns and operates its own monitoring centers. Monitoring services are entirely U.S.-based, with call centers located in Michigan and California. Spanish speaking operators are available at all times.
Medical Care Alert received the Monitoring Center of the Year Award in 2016 from the Central Station Alarm Association.