What Else Should Potential Customers Know
Before purchasing a monitored medical alert system, its important that potential customers not only study the contract but also educate themselves about the different equipment available. When it comes to choosing medical alert systems, remember that necklace and bracelet buttons are by far the most popular options, especially for seniors.
Besides contract terms and equipment, also look into the companys customer service, make sure they provide 24/7 monitoring and employ trained professionals. Knowing that a loved one will receive the level of care and attention an emergency situation may warrant could provide caregivers with additional peace of mind.
Check Medicare Or Medicaid Benefits
Although Medicare provides reimbursement for some medical equipment, medical alert bracelets arent covered under the standard Medicare plan. However, there are many Medicare Advantage plans to choose from, and some of them may cover the cost. If you have Medicare Advantage coverage, you can check with your provider. Its also worth looking into if youre covered by Medicaid since sometimes Medicaid will pay for a service or an item that Medicare doesnt.
What Does Lifeline Cost
The monthly cost depends on the type of system you choose, but whether you choose our On the Go or HomeSafe system, you will receive the same dependable, industry-leading service.
You pay for your service only while you need it, you can cancel anytime with no cancellation fee. Our customers do not sign a long-term contract, there are no hidden costs and theres no need to buy additional equipment.
Lifeline offers nationwide coverage, available throughout the U.S. Please remember that although a cell phone may seem like a cost-effective alternative to a medical alert service, it cant replace one.
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Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. Weve spent collectively more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. To make our picks, heres what we did:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed medical alert system users
- Tested various medical alert systems
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
Over 7 Million* People Have Counted On Lifeline To Feel Safe At Home
Lifeline is an easy-to-use personal response service that lets you summon help any time of the day or night even if you cant speak. All you have to do is press your Personal Help Button, worn on a wristband or pendant, and a trained Personal Response Associate will ensure you get help fast. Thats why Lifeline provides the #1 Medical Alert Service to offer you something else: peace of mind.
Dependability is key to peace of mind. Thats why doctors, hospitals, and professional caregivers trust our Medical Alert Service.
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Can I Find A Medical Alert Necklace In Stores
Most medical alert systems require you to order online or call in to have one shipped to your home. The only device we found available in stores is the Lively Mobile Plus by GreatCall which you can find at local Walgreens or Rite Aid stores. GreatCall has a store locator on its website if you want to find one near you.
How We Reviewed The Best Medical Alert Necklaces
All of the best medical alert systems have a lanyard or necklace option of some kind. We wanted to find the perfect combination of style, functionality, and comfort. We put practical features first, so devices with features like two-way talk and fall detection landed on top.
Showers and bathtubs can be a dangerous place for older adults due to slippery surfaces. Thats why we added waterproofing to our list of considerations. Its important to have a medical alert necklace that can go with you everywhere.
And, of course, we considered style. A medical alert necklace isnt much use if you dont want to wear it every day. We found a couple options that were more fashion-forward choices disguised as everyday jewelry.
Learn more about how we approach reviews like this one from our methodology page.
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Pros And Cons Of Medical Alert Necklaces
Medical alert necklaces are easy to put on, making them ideal for people with finger dexterity issues.
Larger help buttons make finding the button easier during an emergency.
The necklaces come in a variety of sizes and fashionable styles.
Some medical alert necklaces are stainless steel and look more like jewelry than a help button.
Medical alert necklaces are either waterproof or water-resistant, allowing you to wear them while bathing or showering.
Many medical alert systems come equipped with automatic fall detection or offer it as an add-on.
Most necklaces come with a generous battery life.
Medical alert necklaces are generally more affordable than some wrist buttons and smartwatches.
Some styles are bulky and not comfortable to wear.
May be difficult to find in an emergency if clothing covers the help button
At-home systems have a limited range from the base station.
Active older adults might not like wearing the device around their neck while exercising.
Most necklaces have limited features aside from fall detection.
Sleeping with it on may be a nuisance for some people.
At-home systems may not have GPS tracking abilities for family members to keep tabs on users.
How Do Medical Alert Systems Work
In their simplest form, medical alert systems connect you to an emergency monitoring service when you press a button. Most systems use cellular service, such as the AT& T network, to call for help the same way you would through a cell phone. However, these devices always connect you to their emergency monitoring team rather than a local dispatcher.
Once you connect to an operator, they assess your situation, pinpoint your location, and send help your way. If you request it, the operator can contact a family member or friend to assist you. However, if you are unresponsive or ask for emergency assistance, the operator will call your local EMT services and request an ambulance for you.
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Are Medical Alert Systems Covered By Insurance
It depends on the type of insurance you have. Most private insurance or Affordable Care Act plans will not cover the cost, and those that do require a doctors signature. Your best chance for insurance coverage is if you have long-term care insurance5 or use Medicaid. In both cases, plans vary according to state. Call your provider to learn more.
Who Can Use It
In general, wearable medical devices are a great option for those who lead an active lifestyle and require 24/7 protection. Medical alert bracelets are especially helpful for people with conditions such as memory loss/impairment, blood disorders, allergies, diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions and so on.
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Is Lifefone Right For Me
LifeFones affordable and versatile at-home and on-the-go systems will be a great match for many different types of users in their golden years:
- Users looking for large in-home signal range
- Those who want affordable fall detection
- Hearing or visually-impaired seniors
- Those who want a mobile system with an ultra-long battery life
For more information, take a look at our full LifeFone review.
Learn More About Wellbe Medical Alert Systems
Whether youre aging in place and living on your own, caring for an aging loved one, or managing a senior living community, a WellBe medical alert system can provide peace of mind that help is available any time its needed.
To learn more about how technology can help keep seniors healthy and comfortable, . This comprehensive guide was developed with senior caregivers and community managers in mind and reveals how everyone can benefit from the WellBe® family of products. You can also shop now and choose the medical alert system that works best for you.
- 292 Main Street Mailbox #296 Harleysville, PA 19438
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What To Look For In An Emergency Alert Necklace
When youre looking for the best medical alert necklace for seniors, you have many options to choose from. Knowing what to look for can help you make sense of the options and choose the best one for your needs. When comparing your options, ask the following questions:
- Does it work on the go? Some medical alert systems are only effective when within a certain distance of the receiver, and arent appropriate for use away from home.
- Does it offer 24-hour access to emergency services?
- Does it include fall detection?
- Does the device use GPS or a location service to send EMS to your exact location?
- Does the device let you know when it needs to be charged? Some will provide verbal notications vibrate when its time to charge the battery.
- Is the device water-resistant? Can it be worn while bathing?
- Does it integrate with other devices or applications for additional services, like medication reminders?
- Is the emergency necklace comfortable and discreet?
- Does it allow you to call contacts other than medical monitoring, like a caregiver or loved one?
People With Chronic Health Conditions
People who have chronic health conditions can also benefit from emergency alert systems. These systems are ideal for people at a higher risk of needing emergency medical attention. Users with chronic medical conditions can also take advantage of features like medication reminders and automatic fall detection that give them additional medical protection.
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Are Medical Alert Systems Worth It
Yes, medical alert systems are certainly worth it. They serve a wide variety of purposes, from immediately responding to calls for help in life-threatening situations to giving older adults the confidence to leave home in order to remain active and social. Medical alert devices can also provide peace of mind for caregivers and supplement health services for aging family members. Medical alert systems, or PERS, are a solid layer of protection for people who live with chronic diseases, are at a greater risk of falling, or live alone.
Medical Alert Systems For Home Or On
Injuries can occur anywhere, so many medical alert systems include lightweight pendants for mobile seniors. Some medical alert necklaces only work in a seniors home, while others are equipped with GPS for on-the-go tracking. When a senior unexpectedly falls or experiences another emergency, such as becoming stuck in a bathroom, they can press the necklaces generously sized button for help.
Sometimes a senior may be unable to move or reach the button during a crisis, so many medical alert system necklaces are equipped with automatic fall detection. When a fall is detected, caretakers are notified about the incident, and emergency personnel is dispatched to help the injured senior. In situations like this, timely care may save a seniors life.
Medical alert necklaces are essential accessories for many elderly adults, but choosing the best alert system can be tricky. Many seniors prefer the convenience and practicality of a water-resistant necklace because they can wear it in the shower or pool without damaging the device. Many injuries occur due to slippery surfaces, so choosing a water-resistant medical alert necklace offers protection when a senior may need it most.
Weve put together detailed information about water-resistant medical alert system necklaces, including three of the best picks for elderly adults.
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Do Unmonitored Medical Alert Systems Work
Yes, unmonitored medical alert systems work, but they provide limited protection. Most work by connecting with 911 or predesignated contacts in the case of an emergency. They use either a landline or connect through a cellular plan. Many of these systems are bare-bones and lack important features like fall detection and a caregivers app. The most important thing to remember is they do not include 24/7 monitoring coverage. This does mean they are more affordable and dont require a monthly fee.
Have questions about this review? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Is The Difference Between A Medical Alert Necklace And A Medical Alert System
If youre new to medical alert systems, you might be wondering if there is a difference between a medical alert necklace and a medical alert system. The short answer is yes, but it requires an explanation. A medical alert necklace is a wearable device with a medical alert system. You might see it referred to as a help button. Most medical alert devices come in a necklace or watch-style wrist button. Some companies have a smartwatch that provides other features like activity tracking, texting, and GPS location services in addition to a help button.
A medical alert system is an overall package or plan that may include a base station, voice-activated wall buttons, necklace or wrist button, smartwatch, on-the-go mobile devices, caregiver apps, lockbox, monthly monitoring services and services related to home security monitoring that detect smoke, fire, or elevated carbon monoxide levels. One thing to note as you research systems online is that some websites and companies refer to medical alert systems as personal emergency response systems.
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Are Medical Alert Systems Covered By Medicare
Original Medicare, otherwise known as Medicare Part A6 and Part B,7 does not cover the cost of the top medical alert systems. Medicare Advantage, also referred to as Medicare Part C,8 might cover part of the systems cost. The plans differ in each state, so if you use Medicare Advantage, call your plan provider to check for coverage. For more information on how to maximize your Medicare benefits, see the in-depth Medicare Guidance on NCOAs Age Well Planner.
How To Choose A Medical Alert Necklace For Seniors
Not everybodys priorities align when it comes to finding a medical alert necklace for seniors. That said, weve found that some features are almost universally important. Below, weve presented the medical alert system features that are the highest priority for our members in the order in which most folks prioritize them. We hope this helps you decide which medical alert necklace will work best for your elderly friend or relative.
1. Pacemaker compatibility: Not all medical alert systems are compatible with pacemakers. This might not be a priority for those without pacemakers, but for those who do have them, this is of the utmost importance.
2. Fall detection technology: For many seniors, fall detection is the most important factor in a medical alert system. This is especially true for folks who have experienced falls and emergencies in the past. However, not all alert necklaces are equipped with fall detection technology. Be sure to double check your product choice.
3. Multilingual protection: Your medical alert necklace is only useful if you can ask for help in the language that feels most comfortable. Unlike most of our competitors, our devices can connect to responders representing over 190 different languages, including Spanish, Mandarin, French, Russian, and Vietnamese.
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Smartwatch Features For Seniors
Here are some key smartwatch features that older adults should look out for:
EXPERT TIP: Though a smartwatch with a heart rate monitor may help you track your heart health on the go, those with medical issues affecting the heart shouldnt rely solely on these types of devices. Be sure to talk to your doctor about the best way to monitor your heart health.
Best Medical Alert Systems Of 2022
Our experts tested and researched 20 medical alert devices and narrowed the list to their top recommendations.
Linda earned her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University and has assisted 10,000+ seniors throughout her 25-year career. She specializes in home health care and fall prevention for seniors and has nearly three decades of experience recommending medical alert systems. Her insights have helped inform the reviews and ratings below. Learn More about Linda
5 experts consulted
20 products considered
12 products selected
SeniorLiving.org is compensated when you click on the provider links listed on this page. This compensation does not impact our ratings or reviews.
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Only Lifeline Offers Autoalert The Most Widely Adopted Fall Detection In North America
For an added layer of protection, AutoAlert lets us know if you need help even if you cant. Its superior technology is designed to automatically detect most falls1 and achieve a low rate of false alarms by distinguishing between actual falls and everyday activities like sitting, standing and reclining. It even gives you 30 seconds to cancel an alarm, or you can cancel by starting to stand back up.
Over 30% of the time seniors experiencing a fall cant or dont push their button potentially due to unconsciousness or confusion.
Lifeline with AutoAlert has automatically detected over 200,000 falls that services requiring a button to be pushed mightve missed.
At the heart of all of our services is a discrete call button, worn as a necklace or bracelet. It connects you or loved one to help in a case of a fall or an emergency 24/7. Our button is paired with an in-home Communicator which acts as a speaker phone for two-way voice communication with our Response Centre. All calls go directly to the Lifeline-owned Response Centre in Canada. You can always be sure that your call will be answered by highly trained and caring Response Associates who will access your profile, contact the people youve identified, and request the help you want. Our Response Associates will even follow up to confirm that help has arrived.
What Is Automatic Fall Detection
Medical alert providers typically offer automatic fall detection pendants in certain packages or as an add-on feature. With fall detection, the user wont even have to press a button after a fall. The pendant will detect the downward motion followed by inactivity and automatically connect to the monitoring center. This is a useful feature for any users, but especially for those more prone to falls due to health conditions or mobility issues. When choosing a system, look into the companys fall detection options. Consider if the person youre buying for will need, or feel more secure with, fall detection and determine whether or not this add on will fit in your budget. To help your search, weve compiled a list of the best medical alert systems with fall detection.
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