If you or a loved one have a medical condition or are prone to falls, a medical alert system can be a life-saver. It can alert family or caregivers and send medical help. Features vary by manufacturer and the supporting network. With so many options, our partners at ConsumerAffairs did the work for you to find the best medical alert systems in Phoenix.
The population in Maricopa County of those over 65 is growing year-over-year and is now about 15 percent. In retirement communities like Sun Lakes and Sun City, where many seniors live with other seniors or alone, medical alert systems are especially popular.
However, medical alerts benefit more than just older adults. Those with disabilities such as severe allergic reactions, chronic disease and seizures also depend on medical alert systems in Phoenix.
So how does it work? While exact mechanics and logistics depend on the brand, a medical alert system usually works in these basic ways:
The at-risk individual wears a call button (as a necklace or bracelet). This requires a battery, which is charged or replaced. Or, a button can sit on a counter or attach to a wall.
If the individual falls or an emergency occurs, he or she pushes the button.
An operator answers the call and speaks with the individual through the device or a home base. Some models that are not monitored will just call the individual’s emergency contact directly.
The dispatcher responds to the emergency by calling for medical help or calling contacts previously provided by the individual.
Beyond the medical alert system basics, there are a variety of features:
Systems can be home-based and work through a landline phone, or they can be mobile and work through a cellular network.
Mobile systems that run on cellular networks can include GPS, which helps if the individual gets lost.
Systems can be monitored 24/7 by a dispatching center, or calls are sent directly to a family member.
Some systems can detect falls and call automatically without pressing the button.
Daily check-ins or medication reminders are available on some systems.
Some companies and systems offer a free trial and/or money-back guarantee.
The cost of a medical alert system includes the device, the home base and monthly monitoring (if selected). Some companies charge for equipment, shipping and installation/activation while others include these as part of the monthly contract. Depending on the device, you can pay someone to install it or it can be done yourself.
Once the system is purchased and installed, the only recurring cost is monthly monitoring, which depends on the company. Look for discounts, such as through AARP and their insurance providers and possible coverage through private insurance because Medicare does not cover it. You can even try to negotiate pricing with the company directly. The cost might even be tax deductible if taken as a medically necessary expense.
A variety of Medical Guardian medical alert systems help individuals in the home and on the go. All are monitored 24/7 and notify users of low battery. Several systems are also water resistant and include GPS tracking. Specials and discounts are available, such as months at no charge.
With LifeFone medical alert systems, you can protect an entire household for one monthly fee. The monthly cost includes equipment, activation, spouse protection, 30-day money-back guarantee and a locked-in rate. Features like fall detection and discounts, such as free shipping and a free month of service, are also available.
MobileHelp medical alert systems are designed to work wherever there is a cellular service signal, both inside and outside the home. Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual and annual payment plans are available, with a discount offered when paid annually. You can try MobileHelp for 30 days risk-free.
LifeStation medical alert systems can include fall detection and GPS and work without a landline. Customers can try the systems for 30 days with a money-back guarantee. The monthly cost includes equipment, shipping and activation, and additional users can be added for a small monthly fee.
Medical alert systems through Medical Alert feature GPS technology, fall detection, waterproof design and additional buttons. The variety of systems allows for monitored landline or cellular use, and an operator can stay on the line until help arrives. Payment can be made monthly, semi-annually or annually.
Active seniors love the customized response plans, automatic fall detection and two-way voice communication available with the GoSafe and HomeSafe devices by Philips Lifeline. With devices built to meet a variety of needs, even medication dispensing, the company makes sure you're covered at all times. Founded in 1974, Philips was the first company to provide medical alert devices to consumers.
Medical Care Alert
Medical Care Alert offers three different devices to cover seniors with different activity levels. The company locks in your price and guarantees it for life and offers an in-home risk-free trial on its service. Medical Care Alert’s devices have optional fall detection, GPS and cellular connection.
GreatCall Lively provides an easy-to-wear, waterproof mobile device that comes with GPS and optional fall detection. The company also offers an optional Urgent Care service that gives customers 24/7 access to nurses and board-certified doctors. GreatCall Lively has no annual contracts and no cancellation fees.
One Call Alert
One Call Alert has helped thousands of customers maintain safe and independent lifestyles at home and on the go. Medical alert systems come with flexible payment choices, optional automatic fall detection and no cancellation fees, and there are no long-term contracts. One Call Alert’s certified U.S.-based call centers are standing by to assist in an emergency 24/7.
ADT Health has medical alert systems to fit any lifestyle. Both in-home and on-the-go systems come with professional monitoring, flexible payment options and free battery replacement with no long-term commitment required. Bracelets and pendants are 100% waterproof so you’re always protected.
Bay Alarm Medical
Medical alert systems through Bay Alarm Medical come with a 30-day free trial. They offer in-home, in-car and mobile systems, as well as a bundle of all three systems. All systems are monitored 24 hours, so costs are reflected as monthly rates. Sales and association discounts (AARP, USAA, etc.) are often available.
Life Protect 24/7
With guaranteed pricing, no contracts and no equipment fees, Life Protect 24/7 offers mobile and landline monitoring units. Mobile devices work outdoors, indoors and even in the shower. The battery stays charged for up to one month. There’s no cost for the medical alert device, but for an additional fee you can get a front door lockbox that can be opened by first responders.
RescueTouch provides medical alert systems tailored to your level of chosen response. Its devices come monitored or unmonitored and can contact family and EMS. The company was founded by an EMT and is owned and operated by first responders. RescueTouch also offers discounts for AARP members, individuals with disabilities and the families of nurses, first responders and veterans.
Acadian On Call
Acadian OnCall offers medical devices that contact one of 3 certified, U.S.-based monitoring centers. Its certified medical dispatchers will notify emergency medical services, family or other trusted contacts based on your needs. Acadian OnCall’s medical alert pendants are waterproof, allowing you to wear them 24/7. Acadian also consistently exceeds the industry average response time.
Named Best Medical Alert of 2018 by Modern Senior Magazine, Alert1 prides itself on treating customers like family with unlimited button pushes and talk time. The AlertOne Command Center is based in the U.S. and has a 5 Diamond certification from The Monitoring Association (TMA). Devices are made for in-home, on-the-go or both, and feature fall detection.
MedGuard Alert offers a wide range of products, including in-home and mobile help devices. The company has both monitored and unmonitored options, and its in-home devices can connect by landline or cellular. MedGuard Alert requires no long-term agreements and provides free equipment with any monthly monitoring program.