Medical alert systems help seniors retain their independence by enabling communication with emergency services and caregivers in case of a fall or injury. With so many options on the market, choosing the best features at the best price can be complicated, particularly with so many options, such as automatic fall detection and voice-to-text communication. Our comparison of some of the top medical alert systems is designed to help seniors choose the best systems to meet their needs at a price that fits their budget.
Our comparison of Medical Guardian vs. Medical Care Alert systems found that while the former offers a wider array of devices, the latter has lower all-around costs. We found that active seniors who want to keep connected might prefer Medical Guardian’s Freedom Guardian smartwatch, while those more concerned with costs might prefer Medical Care Alert’s basic systems and lower monitoring prices.
|Category||Side By Side Comparison||Medical Guardian||Medical Care Alert
|Monthly Monitoring||$29.95 – $79.95 +$10/month for optional fall detection monitoring in select devices||$27.45 – $36.62 +$10/month for optional fall detection monitoring in enabled devices
|Contract||No contract; month-to-month, quarterly, semi-annual and annual plans||Quarterly, semi-annual and annual contracts with month-to-month continuations available|
|Optional Monthly Add-On Services||Lockboxes – $2 or free for annual users Wall buttons – $2 per month Fall detection monitoring – $10 per month||Fall detection monitoring – $10 per month Wall buttons – $29.95 purchase fee Lockboxes – $29.95 purchase fee|
|Water-Resistant Wearable Devices||Pendant or wristband||Pendant or wristband|
|Connection||Landline or cellular (AT&T network)||Landline or cellular (AT&T network)|
|2-Way Voice Communication||Via in-home base or two-way speaker built into Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian devices||Via in-home base unit and wearable pendant|
|Range (From in-home base unit for landline service)||Up to 1300′||Up to 1000 feet in HOME systems, 600 feet in HOME & YARD systems|
|Battery Life||Rechargeable batteries in wristband and pendant of Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian units. Up to 24-hour battery life in Mobile Guardian and up to 5-day battery life in Active Guardian
32-hour battery backup in Classic Guardian and Family Guardian home bases, 30-hour backup in Home Guardian devices
|Up to 72 hours of backup battery life in all home base units Up to 36 hours battery life in HOME & AWAY ELITE systems Up to 96 hours of battery life in HOME & AWAY PRIMO devices|
|FALL DETECTION, LOCATION and RESPONSE SERVICE|
|Fall Detection||Optional monthly add-on with Classic Guardian, Home Guardian, Family Guardian and Active Guardian units||Optional monthly add-on with all devices except HOME & YARD|
|GPS Locator||Available in Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian devices||Available in HOME & AWAY ELITE and HOME & AWAY PRIMO devices|
|Coverage Away From Home||Available in Mobile Guardian and Active Guardian devices||Available in HOME & AWAY ELITE and HOME & AWAY PRIMO devices|
|24/7 USA Call Center||Yes; Service in English and Spanish, translators available for other languages||Yes; Two award-winning U.S. operating centers with service available in Spanish|
Medical Guardian is one of the top-rated medical alert systems in the United States. It is one of the only companies to offer a smartwatch-style device, called the Freedom Guardian. For a price of $99, this device offers voice-to-text messaging, a day planner and wellness apps. This is the only Medical Guardian device with a purchase price. Monthly monitoring fees can range from $29.95 for basic home units up to $79.99 for mobile devices, and service is available in English and Spanish.
Medical Care Alert offers three devices, one for home protection, one for home and yard protection, and one with service across the United States. Its monthly monitoring plans start out at $27.45, a price slightly more affordable than Medical Guardian’s basic coverage. Coverage for roaming units starts at $36.62, which are some of the lowest prices in the industry for country-wide coverage. Medical Care Alert operates two call centers in order to ensure 365-day coverage, and Spanish-speaking and EMT-certified operators are available.
While each company offers the same traditional coverage options, Medical Guardian’s wider range of devices makes it a great choice for tech-savvy seniors who like to stay connected. On the other hand, due to its high monthly monitoring prices, it may be cost-prohibitive to seniors on fixed incomes. Because of Medical Care Alert’s lower prices and highly trained call center operators, it comes out on top as the better all-around medical alert provider for basic services.