Using a medical alert device helps an older adult living independently get the immediate help they need during a medical emergency.

Written by Emily BreauxMedical Alert Systems Expert
Medically reviewed by Christopher NormanBoard Certified Nurse Practitioner (NP)

Growing older doesn’t mean giving up your independence. Feel safe in and outside your home when running errands, taking a walk in the park, or even performing simple tasks like showering and cooking. A medical alert system can help keep you protected as you age in place in your own home.

An AARP survey found that 76 percent of older adults in the United States want to age in place. At the same time, 14.7 million (almost 30 percent) of older adults live alone. Using a medical alert device helps an older adult living independently get the immediate help they need during a medical emergency.

Many medical professionals agree, including Debanjan Banerjee, MD, consultant geriatric psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences. “Medical alert systems can keep the elderly and other vulnerable people safe while living alone. With just a push of a button, an elderly person can summon help in times of emergencies, whether it’s a fall, heart attack, or other conditions that may require rescue or a trip to the ER,” Dr. Debanjan said.

A medical alert system, also known as a personal emergency response system, connects you with a 24/7 call center during an emergency. You’ll contact a monitoring center verbally or with the press of a button, and an agent will send emergency responders to your location.

Medical alert systems have evolved from bulky, at-home systems connected to phone landlines to discreet mobile devices using a cellular network connection. Some medical alert companies even offer smartwatches with an emergency button.

The AgingInPlace.org team extensively researched and tested numerous medical alert systems. We selected only the best medical alert companies in eleven different categories to help you choose the right system for you or your loved one.

Company Our Rating Equipment Fee Activation Fee Range Fall Detection Lowest Monthly Fee Learn More
Bay Alarm Medical 9.62/10 $0-$159 $0 1,000 feet $19.95 View packages
Medical Guardian 9.57/10 $0-$199.95 $0 1,300-1,400 feet $29.95 View packages
MobileHelp 9.05/10 $0 $0-$99.99 600-1,400 feet $19.95 View packages
Alert1 8.95/10 $0-$19.95 $19.95 600 feet $28.95 View packages
LifeFone 8.77/10 $0 $0 600-1,400 feet $29.95 View packages
ADT Health 8.71/10 $0 $0 300-600 feet $29.95 View packages
Medical Alert 8.64/10 $0 $0 600-800 feet $22.95 View packages
GetSafe 8.23/10 $79-$229 $0 1,300 feet $24.95 View packages
HandsFree Health 7.99/10 $119.95-$189 $0 N/A $44.95 View packages
Aloe Care Health 7.64/10 $99.99-$349.99 $0 200 feet $29.99 View packages
One Call Alert 7.53/10 $0 $0-49.96 600-1,400 feet $19.95 View packages

Best for a Tight Budget


Bay Alarm Medical logo
Bay Alarm Medical device
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Our Rating: 9.62/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $19.95
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $29.95
Current Deal: Free shipping and free month of service on select plans
Range: 1,000 feet

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • Landline or cellular connection  
  • Fall detection: $10/month 
  • Smartwatch option 
  • Wall-mounted buttons available in two and four packs

Best for an Active Lifestyle


Medical Guardian Family Guardian Review
Medical Guardian Family Guardian
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Our Rating: 9.57/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $29.95
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $39.95
Current Deal: Free month of service, free ground shipping, free lockbox and free second help button with an annual subscription
Range: 1,300-1,400 feet

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular connection
  • Fall detection: $10/month
  • Smartwatch option

Best for Those Who Stick Close to Home


MobileHelp
MobileHelp device
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Our Rating: 9.05/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $19.95
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $33.95
Range: 600-1,400 feet
Current Deal: Two free months of service + 50% off fall detection

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • AT&T cellular connection
  • Fall detection: $10/month
  • Medication reminders: $5/month

Best for Add-On Safety Accessories


Alert1 logo
Alert device
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Our Rating: 8.95/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $28.95
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $38.95
Current Deal: 11th month free when prepaying for 10 months
Range: 600 feet

At-a-Glance Features:

  • Landline and cellular connect
  • Fall detection: $10/month
  • Smartwatch option
  • Multilingual operators: 190 languages available

Best On-the-Go Coverage


LifeFone
LifeFone
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Our Rating: 8.77/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $29.95
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $39.95
Range: 600-1,400 feet
Current Deal: Free month of service + free shipping

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • Landline, AT&T, or Verizon cellular connection
  • Fall detection: $5/month
  • Caregiver app: $8/month
  • Daily check-in services: $19/month

Best for Customer-Friendly Practices


ADT logo
ADT device
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Our Rating: 8.71/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $29.99
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $39.99
Current Deal: Free activation + free shipping + two wall-mounted buttons for the price of one
Range: 300-600 feet

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • Landline and cellular connection
  • Fall detection: $10/month
  • Temperature monitoring

Best for Aging Travelers


Medical Alert logo
Medical Alert device
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Our Rating: 8.64/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $22.95
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $42.95
Current Deal: Free shipping + one free month of service + protection plan for $1/month
Range: 600-800 feet

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • Landline and AT&T connection
  • Fall detection: $10/month
  • Medical Care Alert Connect app included
  • Multilingual operators: 140 languages available

Best for Reluctant Users


GetSafe logo
GetSafe device
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Our Rating: 8.23/10
Starting Monthly Price: $24.95
Current Deal: Equipment fee discount
Range: 1,300 feet

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • AT&T cellular connection
  • Fall detection + GPS tracking app: $10

Best for Dementia


 HandsFree Health logo
HandsFree Health device
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Our Rating: 7.99/10
One-Time Price for At-Home System: $189
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $44.95
Current Deal: 10% off first order 
Range: N/A

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • Cellular connection
  • Medication reminders
  • Health database
  • Voice-activated smart speaker
  • Smartwatch option

Best for Mobility Challenges


 Aloe Care Health logo
Aloe Care Health device
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Our Rating: 7.64/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $29.99
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $24.99
Current Deal: Free shipping
Range: 200 feet 

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • 4G LTE connection
  • Fall detection included for free with mobile device

Best for Couples or Roommates


One Call Alert logo
One Call Alert device
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Our Rating: 7.53/10
Starting Monthly Price for At-Home System: $19.95
Starting Monthly Price for Mobile System: $32.95
Current Deal: N/A
Range: 600-1,400 feet 

At-a-Glance Features: 

  • Landline or AT&T cellular connection
  • Fall detection: $10/month
  • Medication reminders: $5/month
Emily Breaux

Author: Emily Breaux

Emily Breaux has written for multiple audiences in healthcare, higher education, tech and more, combining her writing experience with her background in education.

Christopher is a Board-Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner and Holistic Nurse. As a Nurse’s Aide, Registered Nurse and now Nurse Practitioner, he has loved working with older people since 2004. He earned his Master’s Degree with Honors at Yale University, completed an Advanced Practice Nurse Fellowship in Geriatrics at New York University, and gained comprehensive experience working with people with dementia (and their families) at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY.