Best for Premium Device Options
Medical Guardian CEO Geoff Gross was inspired to start the company in 2005 after his grandmother experienced medical problems and needed assistance in the home. In the years since, the company has maintained an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Medical Guardian offers six different device options to meet the needs of a wide range of users. In addition to standard in-home and mobile systems, the company offers the Family Guardian, which combines in-home and on-the-go emergency alert monitoring, and the Freedom Guardian, a smartwatch-style device. For seniors interested in a medical alert device that goes beyond the basics, Medical Guardian has plenty to offer.
Who Medical Guardian Is Best For
Seniors Interested in a Smartwatch-Style Device
Medical Guardian is currently one of just two medical alert companies to offer a smartwatch-style medical alert device. The Freedom Guardian combines the protection of a standard medical alert device with the appeal of a smartwatch. The device looks like a standard watch, making it attractive to those who are reluctant to wear a medical alert device due to its appearance. It also includes many features typical to a smartwatch, such as weather forecasts, reminders and alerts, and voice-to-text SMS messaging.
Seniors Who Want Extra In-Home Protection
Medical Guardian offers two in-home devices, including the Family Guardian, a comprehensive system that combines in-home emergency monitoring with activity monitoring. In addition to an in-home base station and a wearable help button, Family Guardian also includes motion sensors and a door sensor to ensure the user is going about their day as usual.
For those interested in standard in-home monitoring, Medical Guardian offers two devices, the Classic Guardian and Home Guardian. Both of these systems are also compatible with automatic fall detection, providing an extra layer of protection in the home.
Two Medical Guardian devices, the Family Guardian and Freedom Guardian, include free access to a caregiver app. The Family Guardian app displays activity data collected from the device’s numerous motion sensors, so caregivers and family members of users will see if something seems abnormal about their loved one’s daily activity. The app also notifies caregivers and other designated contacts anytime the user contacts the emergency monitoring center, so they know immediately if their loved one may need assistance.
In addition to emergency alerts, the Freedom Guardian app allows caregivers to track their loved one’s location in real-time. Caregivers and preferred contacts can also contact their loved one directly through the device via voice-to-text SMS messaging, making it very easy to stay in touch with their loved ones and remain aware of their whereabouts.
Plans and Starting Costs
All Medical Guardian devices may be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. The prices range from $29.95 a month for the basic in-home device to $79.95 a month for the comprehensive Family Guardian system. Paying annually reduces the cost by several dollars per month. Annual plans also include free shipping.
There are no long-term contracts required, and users may cancel their service at any time without paying a penalty. Medical Guardian also offers prorated refunds on any prepaid months at the time of cancellation.
The only Medical Guardian device that carries a one-time fee is the Freedom Guardian, which has an equipment fee of $99. There are no additional device, activation, or installation fees for any other devices.
Some Medical Guardian customers may also have to pay $9.50 for ground shipping. The shipping fee is waived for those who choose to pay for their devices annually.
Device Prices and Features
The Classic Guardian is a basic in-home system that uses a landline to connect with the emergency monitoring center. There is no cellular option for the Classic Guardian, so users must have a working landline in their home. The system includes a base station with a 32-hour backup battery and a range of 1,300 feet, and one wearable waterproof personal help button. The help button may be worn as a pendant or a wristband, and also may be worn in the shower.
This device costs $29.95 a month when paid for on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis. Users may also pay for their device annually in one lump payment of $329.45, or $27.45 a month. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
This in-home device uses AT&T’s cellular network to connect with the monitoring center, making it a suitable choice for those who do not have a working landline. The Home Guardian system includes a base station equipped with a cellular connection, a 30-hour backup battery, and a range of 600 feet, and a wearable personal help button. The wearable help button may be worn as a pendant or wristband and is waterproof and showerproof.
The Home Guardian is slightly more expensive than the landline-based in-home option, at $34.95 a month. This price applies to the monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual payment plans. The annual payment option reduces the monthly cost to $32.04. Users who want automatic fall detection will pay an additional $10 a month.
The Family Guardian is an in-home system that provides an extra layer of protection with activity monitoring. Family Guardian includes a standard in-home system equipped with a cellular connection, a base station with a range of 1,300 feet and a 32-hour backup battery, and a wearable waterproof help button. It also comes with three motion sensors, including one door sensor, for activity tracking. Activity data is displayed on the free Family Guardian app so caregivers and family members of users can monitor their loved one’s activity and know right away if something seems abnormal.
This comprehensive system costs $79.95 including a cellular connection and all activity tracking components. Customers who choose an annual payment plan pay $879.45 for 12 months of service, or $73.29 per month. Fall detection is also available for an additional $10 a month.
The first of Medical Guardian’s portable device offerings, the Mobile Guardian, includes cellular service with AT&T’s network as well as GPS location monitoring. The system has two components: a small portable device that functions as a mobile base station, and a wearable help button. Both components have a built-in help button that users can press to connect with the monitoring center, and are waterproof (however, the wearable help button does not have a built-in speaker, so users must always have the other device on them in order to communicate with an emergency operator). The battery life of the Mobile Guardian is 24 hours, so it is recommended that users charge the device every night.
The Mobile Guardian costs $39.95 a month with a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual payment plan, or $36.62 a month with an annual payment plan. Fall detection is not available with this device.
The Active Guardian is an all-in-one mobile device designed for seniors who spend a lot of time on-the-go. The device features a built-in two-way speaker and a personal help button, and comes equipped with a cellular connection through AT&T’s network and upgraded location services with both GPS and WiFi technology. Active Guardian is water resistant and showerproof and has a long-lasting battery with up to 5 days of power between charges.
This mobile device costs $49.95 a month when paid for on a monthly, quarterly, or semi-annual basis. Paying for the Active Guardian annually brings the monthly cost down to $45.79. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
The Freedom Guardian is a unique smartwatch-style device. Users simply wear the watch; there is no additional component to the device. In addition to emergency medical monitoring, the watch has features similar to those of a standard smartwatch, such as voice-to-text SMS messaging, weather forecasts, and reminders and alerts. The watch has a pre-installed SIM chip, so all features are available without the need to connect to Bluetooth. It also has upgraded location tracking that uses GPS, WiFi, and Cell Tower Triangulation technologies.
This is the only Medical Guardian device to have starting fees. All users must pay a one-time equipment fee of $99, plus the monthly monitoring cost of $44.95. For those who pay for their service annually, the monthly cost is $41.20.
|Classic Guardian||Home Guardian||Family Guardian||Mobile Guardian||Active Guardian||Freedom Guardian|
|Type of Device||In-Home Only||In-Home Only||In-Home Only||Mobile||Mobile||Smartwatch-style device|
|Battery Life||32-hour backup||30-hour backup||32-hour backup||24 hours||5 days||2 days|
|Range||1,300 feet||600 feet||1,300 feet||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Fall Detection||$10 a month||$10 a month||$10 a month||Not Available||$10 a month||Not Available|
Medical Guardian offers the following add-on devices:
- Wall-Mounted Button: These buttons may be placed anywhere in the home for extra protection. They function as extra personal help buttons and connect users with the emergency monitoring center when pressed. Wall-mounted buttons may be leased from Medical Guardian for $2 a month per button.
- Voice-Activated Wall Button: Another option for extra protection in the home is a voice-activated wall button. Like the wall-mounted buttons, these can be placed anywhere in the home and connect users with the emergency monitoring center. However, the user does not need to physically press the button in an emergency. They can simply say “call Medical Guardian” twice in a row to start a call to the emergency monitoring center. These buttons may be added to users’ service plans for an additional $5 a month.
- Lockboxes: Lockboxes provide easy access to users’ homes during an emergency, eliminating the need to break down the door or cause other damage to the home. Medical Guardian users can lease a lockbox from the company for $2 a month.
Medical Guardian’s monitoring center is 100% U.S.-based, Underwriters’ Laboratory Listed, Factory Mutuals Approved, and Five Diamond Certified by The Monitoring Association. The center is also a member of the Electronic Security Association and has a triple-redundant power system, which means it can sustain its own power during an emergency.
When Medical Guardian users call the monitoring center, they will speak with operators who have undergone intensive training. Operators are trained to handle both emergency and non-emergency scenarios, and translation service is always available so operators can assist callers who speak a language other than English.