If you have an elderly parent, you know how difficult it is to successfully monitor their safety especially if they are not living with you.  There is the constant possibility of falls and medical emergencies.  Sure you might be able to call in and check on them on occasion, but emergencies don’t usually happen in convenient moments.  We wanted to help distinguish an almost necessary element of senior care for our loved ones….the emergency medical alert device.

We went through and tried to find the most efficient and dependable emergency alert devices that we could find on the market today.  During that process we discovered a number of options available, at almost every possible price point.  We also discovered a primary difference between the types of devices that are currently out there.

Amazon vs. MobileHelp

We found that you either went with a device that is a one-time purchase and acted as an extension of a current landline or cell phone OR you went with a company that not only provided a proprietary product, but also a monthly monitoring service.  In our research, we discovered the premier source for this type of monthly service as MobileHelp.  

In order to maintain a manageable comparison between one-time purchase devices and monthly monitored devices, we ended up making one definitive list with all of them combined.  Because MobileHelp is the premiere source for the monthly service side of medical monitoring we decided to use their products as the primary counterpoint to some of the best one-time purchase options on Amazon.  All of our listed Amazon options do not have monthly costs, while all the MobileHelp options come with baked in monthly service fees.

We hope this list comes in handy when you are in need of making this important decision.

Our Selection Criteria

  1. Dependability – We only wanted to consider options that were highly rated by people that actually bought and utilized each specific device.  We delved deep into testimonials and overall ratings to discover each device’s benefits & shortcomings.
  2. Usability – The main purpose of all these devices is how they work.  We also wanted to consider how manageable they were for not only the user, but also their families.
  3. Price – We wanted to make sure we analyze what you get for the money.  Peace of mind has a different budget limit for everyone, so we didn’t make it a high level criteria distinction.

 

The Top 10 List

10) FastHelp – Medical Alert Device

  • Price: $149
  • 136 reviews – 4 stars

The FastHelp device is a one-time purchase device so there will not be any monthly service or call center that you would need to be concerned about.  It also works pretty much anywhere you want to be in and out of the house.  It is not connected with a landline so all you need to be is in or near an area that has available cell signal.

This device is a single button device limited to calling 911 emergency services only.  It functions like a 2 way speakerphone with 911 once they are on the line.

The reason we have this device listed at #10 is simple.  It is highly limited in options and has highly limited dependability.  You can only call 911 in even the simplest of emergencies, where it would have been preferable to call a family member first.  It also depends greatly on local cell coverage to connect to 911.  Without having a dedicated cell service to reference, the device would be subject to its surroundings, which could limit its functionality at the most inopportune time.

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9) MobileHelp – Wired Home

  • Price: $275.40/yr or $24.95/mo
  • 5 reviews – 5 stars
    • Landline connection hookup – no cellular signal required
    • Works with a wearable help button with two options (wrist or lanyard)
    • Up to 1,300-foot coverage area
    • Two-way communication capability in your home with built-in speaker
    • 24/7/365 emergency monitoring service
    • FREE ground shipping on most plans ($15 value)

Wired Home, from MobileHelp, is landline-based product with the MobileHelp signature 24/7 service.  This one is for those of you that want a home-based device AND still want your loved one to have the 24/7 dedicated monitoring that MobileHelp provides.

It works at an impressive 1300 foot range and boasts a 2-way communication style that helps when most needed.  Emergency help can be accessed by simply pushing the help button on the base station or wearable device and communicating with a 24/7/365 emergency operator.

What brings this particular device down to #9 is the price point.  If you are looking for a landline based system with some more personable settings (and don’t want the monitoring), you can certainly get more bang for your buck higher up the list.

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8) Life Guardian – Medical Alarm Emergency Alert Phone System

  • Price: $119.77
  • 266 reviews – 4 stars
    • No Monthly Fees 
    • Home Phone Line Required
    • 2 Panic Buttons Included – 1 Wrist Panic Button and 1 Necklace Panic Button
    • Instantly sequentially calls up to 3 phone numbers & plays your personalized emergency message.
    • Pacemaker Safe – 100 Foot Range 
    • Water Resistant Wrist Panic Button
    • Uses Normal Phone Line, with Optional Bluetooth Adapter (sold separately) 
    • Can also use Cell Phone

The Life Guardian from Assistive Technology is a great option with some of the more personalized options you might want.  It is a one-time purchase device with no monthly service and boasts 2 panic buttons, one for the wrist and the other on a necklace.

Using a home phone line, when the panic button is pressed the system dials the first number that is programmed into it. The system then waits to ‘hear’ any key pressed on the other end of the line. This tells the system that a human answered the call. If the system hears a key pressed it will stop calling numbers and turn on the speakerphone. If the system does not hear a key pressed it will hang up and call the next number in sequence. We suggest that you have 911 programmed as the 3rd number to ensure that someone is contacted in the event of an emergency.

You can also receive normal incoming calls using the receiver, like a speakerphone.

What keeps this down the list is specifically its limited range.  It is connected to a landline that must be within 100 feet of the user or you are going to have problems connecting.  Most people will probably be within 100 feet, but if that is your maximum working range, you are more than likely going to have problems with walls, furniture and in the bathroom.

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7) 321 Alert – Family Caregiver Aid

  • Price: $115.00
  • 324 reviews – 4 stars
    • You must have a home landline.  It does not work on any cell system.
    • No monthly fees
    • You can  program 3 family’s phone numbers into the system.  It holds up to 3 numbers.
    • Works at a 300 foot range and is waterproof
    • 2-wat voice communication.

This device from 321 Alert is compact and helpful for the price.  It has a better range than those lower on the list, but is ultimately also limited by its range.  The reason this option lands at number seven is primarily because even though it might work within a 300 foot range, that advertised range is mostly within line of sight.  It might be useful form most standard homes, but if you start putting too much furniture (or other home floors) in the way you’re going to have limitations.  

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6) MobileHelp – Classic

  • Price: $443.40/yr or $41.95/mo
  • 588 reviews – 5 stars
    • No landline required
    • Easy installation 
    • Waterproof help button
    • Remote activation, 1400 ft. range
    • Compatible with MobileHelp Fall Button
    • 24/7 US Based monitoring

The MobileHelp – Classic system includes an in-home base unit and one waterproof help button that can be worn in the shower and provides easy access to summoning help.  With the simple push of a button, summon the MobileHelp service team..

This is a great option for those looking for something specifically in the home.  Maybe if you or your loved one is mostly home-based.  It does not need a dedicated landline because it works on its own cell service and with, of course, 24/7/365 monitoring from MobileHelp.  Reviews tested through the roof, as is the case typically when you get dedicated coverage.

Our placement of the next three options on our list, including this one, means that these are all pretty close in features.  What really keeps this device set from moving up on our list is the number of cheaper options with similar hardware.  It only comes with the homebase and one button.  Like all the MobileHelp options, It really depends on how much you really want to pay for peace of mind with outside dedicated monitoring.

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5) MobileHelp – Solo

  • Price: $395.40 or $37.95/mo
  • 528 reviews – 5 stars
    • No landline required
    • GPS tracking
    • Remote activation
    • Compatible with MobileHelp Fall Button™
    • 24/7/365 US Based monitoring

Unlike the MobileHome classic system, the solo system gives you a home base that can also be used as a mobile unit that can leave the home with you.  It comes also with a waterproof help button that can be worn in the shower and in and around the house.

If you or a loved one have more of an active lifestyle this would be the way to go.  Not only be safe in the house, but also outside and in the shower.  Be covered on your way to the store without ever having to worry about a landline, or depending on your local area connection to 911.  The price might be a bit high compared to some other options in the top 5, but keep in mind it’s the dedicated 24/7 coverage that you are paying for.

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4) MobileHelp – Duo

  • Price: $443.40/yr or $41.95/mo
  • 911 reviews – 5 stars
    • Easy installation
    • GPS tracking
    • Waterproof help button
    • Remote activation
    • Compatible with MobileHelp Fall Button
    • 24/7 US Based monitoring

Unlike the previous two systems, the MobileHelp Duo system includes an in-home base unit, a mobile unit for when you’re away from the home and one waterproof help button that can be worn in the shower and provides easy access to summoning help.

Cover yourself or your loved one with a device system set-up that covers even more than you need.  A home based unit that covers you inside your home, outside your home (e.g. in car, store, parks), and also a mobile unit that can be used as a homebase whenever you are anywhere for any extended period of time.

A well-rated option that covers any senior that might have an active lifestyle and yet still have issue with possible falls or other incapacitation.  Again we took into account the price of the unit and know that it might push an overall budget, but we had to place it in the top 5 mainly because of its usability, effectiveness and available options.  You can be sure that the last few on our list are the best of the bunch.

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3) LogicMark – Freedom Alert Emergency System

  • Price: $206.89
  • 490 reviews – 4.5 stars
    • 600 Foot Range 
    • Talk Through The Pendant Two-Way Voice
    • No Monthly Fees
    • Answer Incoming Calls With The pendant

The LogicMark freedom alert emergency pendant communicator allows instant 2-way speaker phone communication to family, friends, or neighbors, through your mini wearable pendant.  You can program up to 5 phone numbers to call in an event of a fall, injury or sickness.

If your programmed contacts are unreachable at the moment, the system can default to contact a 911 emergency operator. 

It includes a lanyard, wrist strap (wheelchair strap), belt clip and rechargeable batteries.  It also is fully portable for use in homes with land lines. You can also connect up to 4 pendants to work on the same system to either share with other elderly loved ones in the home or just to have spare options throughout the house.

The reason this option takes our number 3 spot is primarily because of its overall ratings for ease of use and its price point for what you get.  You don’t have to worry about a high annual cost or monthly fee, while you or your loved one has easy access to 5 personal numbers to call in succession, with 911 being the default.  It has all the wearable benefits of the high priced options and yet you can expand the system for more pendants.  It’s in-home range of 600 feet is also higher than most other one-time purchase devices.

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2) Assistive Technology – Freedom Talk VII 2-Way Pendant

  • Price: $249.77
  • 139 reviews – 4.5 stars
    • No Monthly Fees 
    • 2-Way Voice Communication 
    • Panic Button Communicator
    • 600 Foot Radius / 1 Million Square Feet Of Coverage Area
    • Water Resistant
    • Answer Incoming Calls With Pendant
    • Calls 5 Numbers – 4 Friends/Family + Optionally 911

This second entry from Assistive Technology on our list is considered the worlds first 2-way emergency pendant communicator. So whether you are just checking in with a friend, need some quick help from a neighbor, or are in an emergency…your portable communicator pendant will allow you to communicate your message instantly and efficiently from anywhere in and around your home. All with ONE button activation. 

You can take this device all over your home with a 600 foot radius and even in the shower, but also works as a totally portable device.  Take this system with you when traveling to family or another location. Just plug it in and you are ready to go. It boasts the battery life of the other options and it’s coverage can penetrate walls and floors.  You can also add a wall mount communicator for even easier usage.

This is by far the best one-time, no monthly fee device that can be purchased on amazon today.  At about $250, out the door, you are able to get solid day to day coverage of a loved one’s home and more.  It doubles as a daily communicator (via the phone line) that can always be with the user so that there is no more need for cell phones or randomly checking in.  We all know that emergencies aren’t always the only reason an elderly loved one might reach out…make it outright easier with this option.

It makes our number two spot as the best option at amazon, because of its reviews, price and effectiveness.  After this we get into the final spot that, of course, takes everything into account as the premier device on the market today.

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1) MobileHelp – Touch Duo

  • Price: $599.40/yr or $54.95/mo
  • 4 reviews – 5 stars

Our number one spot goes to the much deserved premier option for medical alert devices on the market today, the MobileHelp – Touch Duo.  It encompasses all possible technology into one device that not only boasts extraordinary range & features, but also top end usability.

  • Emergency response with customizable features and benefits;
  • Enhancing the self-care experience with easy-to-use health and safety applications at your fingertips; and
  • Creating an in-home connection hub between you and your caregivers (both personal and professional alike).

The first of its kind in the industry, the MobileHelp Touch is revolutionizing emergency response with features such as:

  • Simplistic Functionality: The device offers a very basic home screen to leverage the best of technology without complexity.
  • Easy-to-Read Screen: Device applications are easy to interact with on its large 8-inch touchscreen display.
  • Manage Medications: In-home medication reminders (optional) are available on the tablet to streamline health management.
  • Rotating Picture Gallery: Users can customize the device with scrolling pictures of family and friends on the tablet.
  • Cognitive Games: The device features brain-power games such as Sudoku.
  • Help when you need it: Access to 24/7/365 emergency monitoring service is available directly from the home screen with soft key touch, or using any of the accompanying help buttons (pendant or wrist).

Take all these features into account and, although you are paying a premium, you are getting more than what you need compared to each and every other device on our list.  Even though it is fairly new and has limited reviews we know that this device will eventually take over the font spot in almost every category.  The cost is high, we know, but we just want everyone searching for options out there to see what is possible in the space of medical alert devices.  There are options, like this, that would not only help give you peace of mind but also help monitor the lives of you or loved one in every supportive way. 

Check in on them with regard to medication, manage family pictures for them to access, show them games that will help keep their minds active and while all that is happening know that it’s backed 100% by 24/7/365 coverage of dedicated support to help determine if your loved one needs emergency services.  

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Conclusion

We know just how difficult it is to get to the point where you need to consider a device from our list.  These devices are all designed to support not only the most vulnerable members of our community, but also the families surrounding them.  You can’t really put a price on peace of mind and help especially when a loved one needs you most.

We hope that our list helps in your search for the perfect medical alert device out there. Comment below if you end up going with one of our recommendations or if you have relevant story to share.  

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