Selecting a medical alert device needs to be done with the utmost care. It needs to offer the freedom and confidence of independence, yet promise 24/7 care and support. The device has to be unobtrusive, while ensuring quality and reliable monitoring is provided in the event of an emergency.

It’s not easy to realize you or a loved one may need help, but it’s far too dangerous to ignore the possibility. Every single day, someone has a medical alert system to thank for the safety of themselves or a loved one. These devices allow all the comforts and security one could want, but also allows an immediate response to an unexpected emergency.

Waterproof, get a wristband or a pendant, and keep it near at all times. In the event of a medical emergency, simply push a button. The proper authorities and family will be notified immediately.

Choosing a Medical Alert System

Before picking any device, consider some of these points about the service providers:

Does the company operate its own monitoring center?                                                                  Avoid services that outsource the actual response and monitoring. Only a service that takes full responsibility — one that owns its monitoring facility — has control of the quality and care that is promised, and that should be guaranteed.

Do the calls go to emergency services or to the monitoring center?                           Overuse and misrepresentations have gone a long way in making emergency services skeptical and slow. If your device calls 911 directly, you could fall victim to this. The medical alert device should contact the monitoring system, who in turn will reach out to friends, family and the appropriate emergency personnel.

Is the company’s monitoring center listed with the Underwriters Laboratories?     The fact is, anyone can claim to be a monitoring service. The UL is a world recognized organization that provides standards for reliability and public safety. Do not partner with any service that isn’t certified by the Underwriters Laboratories.

In case of an emergency, who exactly will be contacted?
The appropriate emergency personnel, be it the fire department, the hospital or your personal physician. Anyone, and everyone, that is on your list of personal contacts.


Costs of medical alert devices

No medical alert device or service should cost an arm and a leg. Most are affordable, charging a monthly fee. The average will be in the vicinity of $25USD. See the reviews page for more information on specific service providers.

Beware of cheaper service providers.  It is likely able to do so by drastically cutting corners. They may be outsourcing certain aspects of service, which we have already discussed is a liability.

Any company charging substantially more can’t give you a better medical alert system. So be wary of promises that say their costs are substantial because they have a better system or professionally trained staff.

Additional features worth considering

Multilingual Service capability

Especially in the case of a senior, it is important to know if the personnel on the other end of the line will be able to speak their first language. It doesn’t matter if it’s Spanish or Hungarian. In the case of an emergency, we have to be prepared for the possibility the client may lapse into their native language. It would be a disaster having the responder scrambling to find a solution in this situation. There shouldn’t simply be a rapid response, but the right one.

Automatic Fall Detection

Studies have shown that, in the majority of cases, when a client has fallen — the primary reason for these devices in the first place — the device is never activated. There are a number of unfortunate reasons, including inability to reach the device or the client has passed out.

Automatic fall detection doesn’t require manual activation of the device. Motion signal processors will determine and distinguish various movements with unprecedented accuracy. A good monitor can tell if the body is horizontal because it is sleeping or on the floor. A better one will know if you or your loved one has fallen against a bureau, or into a chair and can’t get up, automatically sending a signal.


A variety of medical alert systems cater for the US public. Form more information on specific features, costs and reviews of the best medical alert systems check out the review page.