For seniors living independently, whether in an owned home or a senior living community, safety can be a concern. For this reason, medical alert systems are extremely valuable for those who choose to live alone. With the push of a button, seniors can reach emergency contacts and medical services – a valuable resource should an accident or injury occur.
Medical alert systems are available in numerous styles and at varying price points, making it a challenge for seniors to find the right fit for their needs. For those who want to make the right choice for their budget, these are some of the best, most affordable medical alert systems to consider.
The Most Affordable Medical Alert Systems
Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical is among the most affordable options on the market for medical alert services, with plans starting at just $19.95 per month for basic in-home services. There are no long-term contracts, either, and plans are all-inclusive – there are no hidden fees or extra charges on top of the cost of a subscription plan.
Bay Alarm Medical offers several different avenues for protection. Their standard in-home services provide an alert bracelet or necklace with fall detection as well as a home base station and, with the higher tier plans, wall buttons. Also available are LTE-powered GPS location devices for protection when away from home, in-car units for help when driving, and packaged bundles including some or all different plan options for coverage at all times. All plans come with 24/7 monitoring
For those who flinch at shipping costs, LifeStation is an excellent option from the start. With free ground shipping and no activation charges, LifeStation is easy to use from day one, offering a convenient resource for seniors who want a little additional peace of mind. In-home service starts at just $19.95 per month with a 30-day money-back guarantee if products or monitoring aren’t up to par.
Customers can choose from two plan categories: in-home devices or GPS-enabled LTE mobile devices for use at home and while traveling or spending time away from home. All medical alert devices come with fall protection and 24/7 monitoring by trained agents who are able to contact friends, family members, and emergency medical services when needed.
MobileHelp, as its name implies, is an LTE-enabled medical alert system that is available anytime, anywhere, as long as AT&T service is available. Products come in three tiers based on lifestyle needs that start at $19.95. As MobileHelp is based solely on an LTE signal, there is no need for a home phone line – a requirement with other similar at-home products.
MobileHelp is available in three packages: MobileHelp Classic, MobileHelp Solo and MobileHelp Duo. The Classic package offers an in-home unit with a medical alert necklace, while Solo provides a small, light mobile base unit as well as a necklace. Duo combines the two and includes a bracelet for just $41.95 a month for active seniors on the go. Monitoring is available 24/7, and fall detection is available.
Medical Guardian is a great choice for medical alert services, offering landline, cellular and mobile options for seniors in need of monitoring. Monitoring fees start at just $29.95, providing protection for $360 a year. Professional monitoring is available around the clock, and installation is quick and easy.
Medical Guardian offers four product tiers. Classic Guardian is a traditional in-home unit, offering a base station and an alert necklace with a range of 1,300 square feet. Home Guardian offers similar services without a landline requirement, and Active Guardian is a mobile device with GPS, LTE service, and Wi-Fi compatibility. For tech-savvy seniors, Freedom Guardian, which comes in the form of a smart watch, is an app-enabled device that provides two-way messaging, fall detection and alert services in a stylish package.
Why Cost Matters
Many seniors live on a fixed income, so paying attention to budget is important, even with services that are necessary. Spending too much on a medical alert system can result in potential consequences, like a need to cancel in order to prioritize other expenses, like medical care.
Further, some services have contracts or cancellation fees; accidentally purchasing a plan like this can lead to unforeseen expenses should there be a need to cancel, like moving to a new location. Others still may include additional service charges, installation fees, activation fees, or other expenses that can raise prices well beyond advertised rates.
By focusing on a budget-friendly system that still meets seniors’ needs, they can rest assured that they have the coverage they require without potentially sacrificing other areas of life due to steep costs.
How to Choose a Medical Alert System Based on Price
As with most purchases, it’s important to balance price with function. When weighing the pros and cons of medical alert systems in your budget, keep these factors in mind.
- Necessary Functions: What do you explicitly need out of a medical alert service? Do you need assistance largely at home, or are you regularly driving or attending events without a support system? Do you have a landline, or is LTE service a requirement? Do you leave home enough to warrant a GPS system? Are you at risk of falling often, do you require fall identification? It’s important to distinguish personal needs rather than being dazzled by fancy features – or choosing a base-level package when something more advanced is required.
- Total Cost: You may know the monthly cost of a particular plan or service, but true total expense can be a different story. Some services include fees on top of a subscription cost, resulting in a much higher price than an initial quote may imply.
- Cancellation Options: If you choose to cancel your medical alert services – say, for example, you move into an assisted living facility and will always be close to professional assistance – you need to be sure this is an option. Assess contracts and cancellation policies carefully to ensure you won’t be paying for a service you can no longer use on an ongoing basis.
- Potential Changes to Income: Many seniors live on a fixed income, but others may be receiving payments, such as from an annuity or pension, that have a termination point. If there is a chance that cash flow may be variable in the future, take this into account before selecting a costly option.
A medical alert system can be extremely important during emergencies, like falls or medical events. The right service can ensure help will be notified immediately and the right health care professionals, friends, and family can be mobilized without delay. For those with temporary health issues or ongoing medical conditions, this can be a critical part of maintaining both health and independence.
By evaluating medical alert systems by both cost and functionality, seniors living on a fixed income can find a perfect solution for any budget. With these affordable medical alert systems, it’s possible to get the help you need, no matter when you need it.