Page Reviewed / Updated – December 16, 2020

Seniors who are thinking of investing in a medical alert system should do thorough research to ensure they select the right system for their needs. Many seniors wonder, “How can I compare the top medical alert systems?” This is a good question because choosing a medical alert system without comparing several options can waste money. It can also leave an individual stuck with a system that doesn’t do what they thought it would.

Medical alert systems can provide seniors and their loved ones with greater peace of mind. When the emergency button on a medical alert device is pressed, caregivers or emergency medical professionals are quickly alerted. These devices can make elderly individuals feel safer, and they’re especially helpful for seniors who live alone and want to maintain their independence without risking their health and well-being.

Luckily, comparing medical alert systems doesn’t have to be challenging. By looking at each system’s features, capabilities and costs, seniors can narrow down their options and make an informed choice. Here’s a detailed guide on how to compare the top medical alert systems.

Check Each System’s Features and Capabilities

Not all medical alert systems have the same features. Some systems are basic, with only a few features, while other medical alert systems are more advanced. It’s a good idea to first narrow down a few top-rated options by checking reviews. Then, look at what each system can do. Here are some considerations to make when comparing medical alert systems options:

Home vs. Mobile Capabilities

Some medical alert systems are made for only home use, while others are made from mobile use. There are also medical alert systems that offer a combination of solutions for home and mobile.

Battery Life

It’s a smart idea to look into battery life before choosing a medical alert system. Some device batteries can last for days or even weeks, while others need to be charged every day or two.


There are unmonitored and monitored plans available. With unmonitored, only people on a senior’s contact list are alerted when there’s an emergency. In contrast, monitored plans connect the individual directly to emergency services. It’s also a good idea to check to see if 24/7 monitoring is offered.

Fall Detection

Fall detection can be a useful service to have because seniors are more prone to falls. Some companies charge extra for this service, while others include it in their service packages.

Activity Monitoring

Some seniors may need more safety features, such as activity monitoring that lets family members keep track of their loved one’s movements. Not all medical alert systems offer this feature, but many do.

Water-Resistant Devices

Many medical alert systems sell water-resistant or waterproof devices so seniors don’t have to worry about forgetting to take off their device when getting in the shower.

Wearable Device Options

Some companies only offer one wearable device style, usually a pendant that’s worn around the neck. Other companies offer additional wearable options, such as a wristband-style device.

Consider All of the Costs

Looking at all of the potential costs is essential when comparing medical alert systems. Some systems are quite expensive, while others have more affordable price tags. Price can be a significant factor for seniors, especially if they have a limited budget to work with and don’t want the worry of surprise expenses. That’s why it’s a must to understand all of the fees and payment options in advance. Here are some cost-related factors to consider:

Upfront Equipment Charges

There may be upfront equipment costs associated with using a particular medical alert system or device. Be sure to look into this to avoid surprise fees. Some companies charge for equipment, but many don’t.

Activation Fees

There may be a one-time activation fee charged for a system or device.

Monthly Service Fees

Most companies charge a monthly service fee. The price may vary based on the particular package and features. Be sure to compare a provider’s plans and device options to get a feel for the pricing.

Monthly Service Fees

Most medical alert companies bill monthly, but many also offer quarterly and annual payment options. Some companies even offer discounts to seniors who pay yearly.

Contract Requirements

Always check to see if a medical alert system bills on a month-to-month basis or requires a longer commitment, such as a multiple-year contract.

Contract Requirements

Another important consideration is whether monthly rates are locked in. Some companies offer this, while others don’t, which means the monthly service fees may increase in the future.

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Investigating features, capabilities and costs is the best way to compare medical alert systems. Seniors should also consider their personal needs and goals as they begin to research options, so they can choose an affordable system that matches their requirements. There are a number of top-rated medical alert systems available at different price points that can help keep seniors safe.