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      July 16, 2018

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Medical Guardian vs Alert 1

Best Medical Alert Systems

To help you find the Best Medical Alert Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Medical Guardian and Alert 1.

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Who has the best Medical Alert Systems? As the US population ages, the need for medical alert systems grows. Given the increasing number of seniors who prefer to "age in place" - living in their own home as long as possible, rather than moving to an independent or assisted living facility for the elderly - it is easy to see why a medical alert system could make the difference between life and death.

Medical alert systems give users the ability to rapidly contact emergency services, typically through a button worn on the wrist or as a pendant around the neck. All it takes is a click of that button to get in touch with an operator who will help determine if a call to emergency medical services is needed. For added peace of mind, a number of companies offer equipment that can automatically detect when the wearer has fallen.

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Best Reviews

2018

Medical Alert System Reviews

5 stars
Medical Guardian

MEDICAL GUARDIAN Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $29.95/month

TopConsumerReviews.com Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Medical Guardian was created by CEO Geoff Gross to address the need to help older adults live with greater freedom while still ensuring their safety, after seeing what his own grandmother went through after falling at home and needing assistance. As an A+ rated company with the Better Business Bureau and glowing reviews from thousands of satisfied customers, Medical Guardian has established itself as the nation's first choice for medical alert systems.

All plans include wearable, lightweight, waterproof panic buttons, as well as round-the-clock monitoring that is always based in the US. There are two main types of service offered by this provider: In-Home and On-the-Go. If you're primarily looking for protection at the user's residence, you'll be choosing among the following three plans:

  • Classic Guardian: starting at $29.95 per month, this plan uses a home landline to connect with Medical Guardian's 24/7 monitoring center. The button-to-base coverage is 1,300 feet - almost as long as four football fields, ensuring that the wearer can connect to the base station no matter where they are in the home. The system also has a 32-hour backup battery life, keeping the user connected even in the event of a power outage. Fall Detection is available for an additional $10/month.
  • Home Guardian: starting at $34.95 per month, this plan frees you from the requirement of a landline, because it uses cellular coverage to connect. You do sacrifice some of the coverage range, which is only 600 feet. On the other hand, because the system uses the AT&T nationwide network for its cellular coverage, you can bring the system with you if you're visiting family or going south for the winter. Fall Detection is also available with this plan, for the extra $10/month.
  • Family Guardian: starting at $79.95/month, this plan combines the extended range of the Classic plan with the cellular coverage of the Home plan. It also gives you the ability to monitor your loved one's activity levels through three in-home safety sensors and the Family Guardian mobile app. You'll be able to see that the person is up and active, or if they've left a door open or wandered during the night. Once again, you can add Fall Detection for $10/month more.

On the other hand, if you're looking for protection that goes with the user, you'll want to consider Medical Guardian's two mobile medical alert systems:

  • Mobile Guardian: starting at $39.95/month, this plan includes a portable device with a built-in speaker, small enough to be worn on a belt or tucked into a pocket or purse. Pushing the emergency button connects the user directly to the monitoring center. This plan also includes a smaller pendant or watch button, with a range of 350 feet from the portable unit. The portable device has a 24-hour battery life and comes with a charging cradle. The system also includes GPS tracking, allowing the wearer to receive help at his or her exact location There is no Fall Detection upgrade available with the Mobile Guardian plan.
  • Active Guardian: starting at $49.95/month, this plan includes the benefits of the Mobile Guardian plan and adds several benefits. You do have to wear the device as a lanyard, because the plan includes Fall Detection. This device also includes WiFi capabilities, allowing the emergency operators to pinpoint the wearer's location through hotspots in the event that the GPS isn't available (e.g. inside a building). The Active Guardian device features a 5-day battery life and recharges within 3 hours.

Medical Guardian also offers several add-ons you may want to consider. For example, if first responders may need a key to enter your residence, you can include a 4-digit lockbox for $2/month; the code is then given to the emergency personnel by the call center, so that they can get in as quickly as possible if the door is locked. You may also want to install a wall-mounted button in locations of frequent falls, such as the bathroom.

We found the pricing for all of Medical Guardian's systems to be very affordable and competitive with other services, especially given that there's no charge for the equipment itself. And, while you never have to sign a lengthy contract to use this company's services, you can save money by choosing a quarterly or annual payment plan. Also, at the time of our review, new customers could get two free months by using a promo code featured at the top of the site, so keep your eyes open for any special promotions that may be in place at the time of your order.

Another plus of using Medical Guardian for your medical alert system is their fantastic customer-friendly policies. If you're not happy with your device, coverage, or any other aspect of the system, you have 30 days from delivery to call Medical Guardian, and another 15 days to return your equipment - for a full refund of your service fees, with no cancellation charge. This is the most generous return policy in the industry.

It's no surprise that customers have glowing things to say about their experience with the service. Their comments say everything you'd want to hear about a medical alert system: "fast response time", "reliable coverage", "saved my life more than once", and much more.

Medical Guardian consistently outpaces other systems with respect to affordability, technology, and reliability of both equipment and emergency response. With their five different plans, available Fall Detection upgrade, and no required contracts or activation fees, Medical Guardian earns our highest rating among companies offering the best medical alert systems.

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2 stars
Alert 1

ALERT 1 Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $19.95/month

Alert1 is based in Pennsylvania and is a partner brand of ResponseLINK - sharing a BBB listing and offering much of the same equipment. However, Alert1 seems to be the more modern version of the two, offering a total of 5 service options compared with just 2-3 sold by ResponseLINK:

  • Home: starting at $19.95/month for semi-annual and annual payment plans (or $25.95/month for quarterly plans), this system requires a landline to connect the base to the 24/7 monitoring center. A waterproof pendant-style or wristwatch button is used to communicate with the base, and it has a range of 600 feet.
  • Fall Detection: starting at $30.95 for 6- and 12-month prepayment plans (and $36.95/month for quarterly plans), this plan adds automatic fall detection and does not require a landline for service. However, this plan only supports a range of 400 feet from the panic button to the base. The button can be either a pendant or wristwatch-style device.
  • On-the-Go: this system is also priced at $30.95 (6- and 12-month plans) or $36.95 (3-month plans). This medical alert service uses a pendant-style device that looks something like a pager, and it connects the wearer to the monitoring center via T-Mobile or AT&T mobile networks. It does not include GPS technology or fall detection.
  • Mobile + Fall Detection: this service plan costs $41.95/month on semi-annual and annual payment plans, and $47.95/month when paid quarterly. It includes GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular coverage (via AT&T's network) to locate the user if the button is pushed or a fall is detected. The system uses the same pendant-style device as the On-the-Go plan.
  • Home + Mobile + Fall Detection: Alert1's top-tier plan costs $52.95/month for 6- and 12-month payment plans, and $58.95/month for 3-month plans. The system is controlled either by a pendant (home or mobile use) or wristband (home use only).

All plans can include a second user for a discounted price; on some plans it is only just $5 more per month. Each plan includes unlimited button-pushes and talk time; we thought it was interesting that Alert1 says that their system can be used even if someone just feels like having a conversation.

Also, Alert1 does not require a long-term commitment or charge equipment fees for any of their medical alert systems. They do offer a 30-day money-back guarantee, but only on plans that are prepaid in 6- or 12-month installments. In other words, if you select the shortest term, quarterly, and aren't happy with your service, you will not get any money back if you cancel. We found many customer reports that Alert1 does not make it easy to take advantage of that satisfaction guarantee, even when a user passes away or the service is no longer needed for some other reason. These complaints are part of the reason that the BBB has downgraded Alert1 / ResponseLINK's rating to an "A" instead of the "A+" they previously held.

We like the greater range of products and services offered by Alert1 when compared with their partner company, but we think most customers will not love the need to pay 6 months in advance just to get a 30-day guarantee - especially when many of their competitors have medical alert systems with more features and less money per month, with no need to prepay in order to have the possibility of a refund.

Alert1 is an improvement over ResponseLINK, but doesn't quite go far enough to put it in the same league as the higher-ranked medical alert systems in our review.

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Continued from above

There are a wide variety of choices when it comes to medical alert systems: some services that have been on the market for many years, and others that are newer to the industry. When shopping around for the right product for yourself or for a loved one, you may find a straightforward, easy-to-use website that clearly explains your options. On the other hand, some companies still rely on pushy sales tactics that won't give you much information unless you speak with a representative.

As you compare the various medical alert systems currently available, there are several aspects to keep in mind:

  • Cost. How much will you spend for equipment and monitoring fees?
  • Variety of Productsand Services. Can you get the coverage you need? Does the business offer upgrades like fall detection?
  • Cellular vs. Landline. If you or your loved one doesn't have a landline, can they still use the system? Or will you need to incur the extra expenses of installing a landline and paying for a phone plan?
  • Ordering Process. Can you easily shop the site and get what you need on your own terms, or will you have to work with a representative in order to start service?
  • Contracts. Will you have to sign a lengthy service contract for the medical alert system? Can you cancel the service if it doesn't meet your expectations or the user no longer needs it?
  • Reputation. What do other customers say about the company, the equipment, the service, and the attitude of company representatives? Does the business have a rating with the BBB?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best medical alert systems on the market today. We hope these reviews give you the information you need to select the medical alert service that will give you or your loved one extra safety and peace of mind.

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