Top 3 Medical Alert Systems - Seniors Bulletin Ratings
- Best Overall
- Canadian-based Galaxy offers high-quality and affordable medical alert solutions for your protection giving you complete peace of mind while you’re at home or away.
- Best Mobile App
- Medical Guardian offers a wide range of innovative emergency response products for your every need. Device restrictions may apply in Canada.
What is a Medical Alert System?
A medical alert system is designed to offer peace of mind for the family and loved ones of those who may experience medical emergencies in and out of the home. They have been designed to alert family and contact emergency personnel in the case of a medical emergency.
How Medical Alert Systems Work
Medical alert systems work by triggering an alarm which will send a signal to monitoring systems. The call can go out to family, caregivers, and an emergency response base. The situation will be assessed and medical personnel can be dispatched if needed.
There are some medical alert systems that include wireless voice, data, and GPS technology. This allows for monitoring in real-time, location tracking, and quick emergency services when needed.
Medical alert systems have a button that can be pressed when help is needed. Pressing the button will send an alarm out to a 24-hour emergency call center. An operator will answer the call while being able to view the user’s medical history and a list of emergency contacts. The help button can be worn by the user either on the wrist or as a pendant. The buttons are usually waterproof so that they can even be worn in the shower.
GPS technology (Global Positioning System) allows the operator to find the location of the user. This provides added safety for the user who may be out of the home when assistance is required.
Some systems even come with automatic fall detection. The button can detect a fall and activate the emergency call.
- The user presses the pendant or emergency fall button
- Information is transmitted to the emergency call center
- An operator will set up 2-way communication to see if help is needed
- Depending on the need, an operator will contact a family member, caregiver, or emergency service
Types of Medical Alert Systems
There are four main types of medical alert systems.
AUTOMATIC FALL DETECTION SYSTEMS
A fall detection system is an add-on component for a mobile medical alert system or a home-based system. This add-on makes it possible to receive help even if the user is unable to press the help button. The fall detection system is usually worn on the wrist or on a pendant around the neck. It is equipped with sensors that will help to limit false detections.
MOBILE MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEMS
With a mobile system, it is easier to get around in the community and know that you can still get help if you need it. A mobile system works without a base station and works anywhere there is cellular service available.
Mobile systems feature:
- GPS tracking – This is useful if users frequently leave the home to do their errands or if they tend to wander away and get lost easily. Having GPS means that if someone is lost, he can contact the emergency response center and someone can be directed to the correct location.
- Built-in cell service – The built-in cell service can be used to contact the emergency monitoring center.
- Fall detection – The unit can detect a fall and make an automatic call for help. This is useful if the user cannot reach the button or is unconscious and unable to call.
- Waterproof – This feature allows the device to be worn in the shower so that if a fall occurs, help can be sent.
ALL-IN-ONE MOBILE GPS SYSTEM
An all-in-one system includes all the features you need in a medic alert system. It will have a lightweight help button that is easy to take off and put on. It is quick to charge and can be put on a docking station when it is not being used.
The user wears the help button that is used to connect them to an emergency operator who can send the appropriate assistance. The help button is also a speaker through which the user can speak in the instance that they can’t reach a phone.
This type of system will also have built-in GPS tracking so that the location of the user can be detected.
HOME-BASED MEDICAL ALERT SYSTEM
A system built for use in the home will have a base with a 2-way speaker and microphone. It will also have a portable button to be worn by the user. Pressing the button will connect the user to the monitoring system.
The home-based system will only work within the range of the base. It can be used with a landline phone or with a cellular phone.
With the home-based system, you can usually add a fall detection button as well.
Who Needs a Medical Alert System?
A medical alert system is a great option for seniors who still want to maintain some independence. Loved ones can be assured that if anything were to happen, help could be on the way quickly.
The system is also great for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or other memory loss. If the user wanders away and becomes lost or disoriented, he can be found with the help of GPS monitoring.
A medical alert system is also beneficial for those who are physically disabled and perhaps more prone to falls or other accidents. It allows the user some autonomy with the reassurance that help can be reached quickly.
A Comparison of the Best Medical Alert Systems in Canada
Bedford Medical Alert
This company offers several different systems for individual needs that will offer peace of mind for a loved one. They have a Home Freedom Device, Go Freedom Device, and Stay Safe Devices. All of these devices can connect the user to a monitoring center in case of an emergency. The cost per month is reasonable for a home medical alert system.
- Excellent value for landline
- Fast response times
- High quality mobile speaker
- Not many additional services
- Mobile service more expensive than the competition
Bell Medical Alert
Bell offers an at-home system as well as a system for use outside of the home. Bell’s system offers immediate support to users who need medical attention. Bell acquired the system (formerly known as Alarmcare/Alarmforce) in 2018 and is one of the numerous services that Bell offers.
AT HOME SYSTEM
- Crystal clear connection with the monitoring station
- Long battery life Comprehensive voice prompts
AT HOME SYSTEM
- Require landlines to connect with the monitoring center
ON THE GO
- Wireless connectivity
- Extremely portable
- Accessible emergency button
ON THE GO
- Relatively short battery life
Telus Health/Direct Alert
Direct Alert (acquired by Telus Health in 2019), a Canadian company, has been providing customers with comprehensive medical alert systems for over ten years. They offer personalized customer care so that you can choose a medical alert system that will best suit your needs. It is not a one size fits all; the staff are dedicated to making sure that you have the unit you need for your peace of mind. Choosing Direct Alert means choosing a Canadian owned and operated business that allows seniors to stay in their home and feel like they have the protection they need if an emergency should arise. Full review here.
- Easy installation guided by experts
- Several units and add-on options
- Limited warranty
- High equipment fees
- Additional fees
Galaxy Medical Alert
Galaxy Medical Alert Systems have been providing independent living for seniors across North America for more than 25 years. The company believes that all seniors and individuals who are vulnerable should have the ability to enjoy the freedom of independent living. The use of a personal emergency response system can help individuals to achieve this goal. Galaxy Medical Alert takes the task of ensuring the safety and care of your loved one seriously. The company has certified operators who can assess emergency medical situations and take the appropriate action to provide help when needed. The company will recommend the system that is best for the given situation. Everyone has different needs and different ability levels and that will be assessed prior to the recommendation of a system that will work for you and your loved one.
Galaxy Medical Alert provides service and support in over 150 languages in order to serve clients of any ethnicity. With six different options for systems and available add-ons, you will be able to get a package that suits your needs. Options include the Home System, Home & Yard System, Fall Detection System, Cellular System, Mobile with Fall Detection System, and the Home and Away System with GPS. Full review here.
- Provides emergency medical support in over 150 languages.
- Very small but easy-to-use buttons.
- Fall system also works with carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Lots of great services and add-ons.
- Works across all of the U.S. and Canada.
- CSAA 5-Star rated call centers.
- Some products have a small range while others have a very good range
- No medication tracking options
- The company is relatively new so reviews and information are limited compared to some competitors.
- No complete option for working or moving outside of the home.
Life Assure is a Canadian company committed to providing medical alert devices for seniors across the country. Their goal is to keep seniors safe while allowing them to live in their own homes, maintaining independence. They have state of the art technology at affordable prices. Full review here.
- No long-term contract required
- Quick response
- weight and size of the unit is cumbersome
- Tech support is slow
- Service fees are high
LiveLife Alarms is popular amongst the public for their mobile alert device that summons help for individuals (primarily seniors) during an emergency or potentially dangerous situation. The gadget uses the 3G cellular network to communicate with the monitoring base and also call multiple emergency numbers (including 911) with the push of a button. Full review here.
- Wide network coverage
- Multiple emergency contacts (including 911)
- Long battery life of 5 days and a short charging time of 30 minutes
- Fall detection
- GPS tracking to deliver your location accurately
- It is relatively expensive
The Medical Guardian is a product that allows seniors to participate in all of their favorite activities with the knowledge that if they need support, help can be on the way immediately.
The Medical Guardian has trained operators who can assist in an emergency. They can contact a friend or family member to support the senior in need, eliminating the need for the expense of calling paramedics to assist with a fall.
The Medical Guardian offers many products from which to choose that will suit your lifestyle. They offer the Classic Guardian, Home Guardian, Family Guardian, Mobile Guardian, and the Active Guardian. These products suit the needs of seniors with varying abilities and independence levels. These products can offer a sense of security to seniors who are at home or on the go. Full review here.
- No Long-Term Contracts
- Variety of Medical Alert Systems for Any Budget or Lifestyle
- Excellent Range (1,300 ft) for Classic In-Home System
- Sleek, Updated Hardware
- Smartwatch Option
- Water-Resistant Pendants
- Free Caregiver Platform
- Higher Monthly Fees Than Some Competitors
- Add-Ons Require Monthly Charges
Philips Lifeline offers a full line of products to suit the needs of users. The line of products helps users to maintain a level of independence they would not otherwise have. Seniors or people with chronic illness are able to maintain an active lifestyle that help is only the push of a button away. Full review here.
- Waterproof Help Buttons
- No Long-Term Contracts
- Automatic Fall Detection
- Personalized Response Plans
- Responsive Monitoring Center
- All-In-One Mobile Pendant
- Long-Lasting Batteries
- Affordable Monthly Plans
- Activation Fees for Most Systems
- Costly Automatic Fall Detection
- No Activity Tracking or Smart Features
SecurMEDIC is a Canadian medical alert systems provider, founded in 2009, with its headquarters located in Vancouver. The company currently possesses six interconnected monitoring stations that help monitor over 200,000 of its customers 24/7. Additionally, these six centers are certified by Underwriters Laboratories of Canada (ULC). Full review here.
- Water resistance
- 1000 feet of wireless connectivity
- Portable and ergonomic
- Direct connection to instant support at the push of a button
- Doesn’t have sensors to detect a heavy fall
With several systems to choose from, SafeGuard has medical alert systems, monitoring services, and proactive health management solutions that continue to provide the opportunity for seniors and vulnerable individuals to enjoy the activities of daily living and to maintain an independent lifestyle while staying safe at home and beyond the home. Full review here.
- Waterproof pendant
- No contract
- Take it with you
- No fall detection
- No live chat