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Medical Guardian vs Life Station

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MEDICAL GUARDIAN

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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LIFE STATION

LifeStation is based in New Jersey and has been in business for 14 years. They offer both landline- and cellular-based medical alert systems, along with Fall Detection if desired.

Unfortunately, you can only get pricing on non-landline medical alert systems if you call a representative; LifeStation could improve their ability to compete with other services by being more transparent with all of their systems and prices right on their website.

We did speak with a very knowledgeable customer service representative. We like that their reps do not work on commission, which makes it less likely that callers will be pushed to commit to a plan. Between the representative and the website, here is the available information for LifeStation's plans:

  • In-Home: landline required. Base unit plus button wristband or pendant. 500 foot range. Fees range from $25.95/month to $29.95/month, depending on whether you choose annual, quarterly, or monthly payment plans. Fall Detection can be added for an extra fee.
  • Enhanced Location with GPS: necklace has two-way speaker to communicate with the monitoring center. We were given a quote that included Fall Detection, priced at $42.95/month if paid annually, $44.95/month for quarterly, and $46.95 if we paid month to month.

LifeStation does offer a 30-day trial period, where you can return the equipment and get a full refund if you're not satisfied with any part of the service. However, if you choose a prepaid plan and cancel after the first 30 days, you will not be eligible for a refund of your prepaid fees. This is also true if the user no longer needs the service, so we suggest you consider carefully before committing to a quarterly or annual plan if there's any chance that you may not use the medical alert system for the full three months or year.

The rep we spoke with gave us a "limited time offer" of $29.95 per month on the Enhanced Location system, but we would have had to give them a credit card over the phone to hold the price until making a decision. Without having that pricing in writing, we were hesitant to give them that kind of information.

Looking at many of the complaints filed with the BBB, it's a good thing we didn't: several people report being asked to provide a credit card "to hold the special pricing", and they were charged for the plan/medical alert system even though they never called back to authorize it. LifeStation has an A+ rating with the BBB and seems to respond - using a copy/paste response - to the complaints.

On a positive note, a plus offered by LifeStation is 24/7 customer service. While all medical alert services have 24/7 monitoring for emergency response, these operators aren't necessarily able to help users with technical issues like getting a GPS unit to track properly or installing a base unit. LifeStation does both: 24/7 monitoring as well as customer service, to make sure their clients can get either kind of help whenever they need it.

LifeStation gets high marks for a good rating with the BBB and round-the-clock customer service. On the other hand, they could improve by adding transparent pricing to their website, as well as by not seeming to play games with using credit cards to hold "special-offer pricing" and then charging customers without their permission.

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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 Life Station.

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.

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:

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.



How to Choose a Medical Alert System

Each year many sick and elderly people encounter accidents and health issues that needlessly take their lives. Medical alert systems can make all the difference in the world for those living alone and in distress. In an emergency, medical alert units create a direct line of communication to needed assistance. If a person falls or becomes ill they simply press a button on a pendant or wrist transmitter to gain the attention of an emergency specialist. That person will immediately call the authorities to send help if needed. The fear of a loved one waiting hours or even days for assistance is no longer an issue with a medical alert system available.

If this is your first medical alert system purchase you may be looking for help with choosing the right device. Making a well informed decision will ensure you get the most for your money and are satisfied with the end result.

There are several important elements to consider when choosing a medical alert system. Some of these include:

Equipment
Not all equipment is created equal. The medical alert button needs to be easy to wear and use. Some may want a unit that's water proof and sturdy to handle showers. If hearing is an issue you'll want a unit that is easy to adjust and has adequate volume options. Knowing the size of the home and how far the transmitter will reach is also important. You'll want UL tested equipment with a good history. Look for products with a battery back-up should the power go out. Also look to see how often batteries need to be replaced. Some batteries last a few months while others last for years. Ask about installation and if a professional is required and how much that will cost.

Warranty
If something happens to the equipment you'll want to make sure it comes with a guarantee. Preferably, the company will replace any broken equipment at no cost. Also look for a company that regularly tests the in home system for good working . Are extended customer support hours available should an issue or question come up about the equipment.

Monitoring Center
In the event of an emergency you'll want a company that provides fast, top notch service. A monitoring company that utilizes its own employees, and doesn't outsource, will most likely provide the best overall service. One that is accountable and well staffed. Does the monitoring company have back-up power, during outages, and are they UL certified?

Cost and Contracts
All medical alert companies price their equipment and monthly monitoring fees differently. Some will sell you the equipment and then charge a monthly fee while others will allow you to rent the equipment and including the monitoring costs in the monthly charges. Some require a several year contract while others are more flexible. If you decide to cancel the contract early you may encounter an early termination fee. Make sure you understand any fees associated with a medical alert system you're considering.

 



Medical Alert Systems In The News

Cox Homelife Care introduces medical alert system designed to support aging adults

It was late at night. Cindy had fallen while walking through her home and was unable to get up, or to reach her phone to call for help. That was the moment that the birthday gift that she didn't want saved her life. Cindy was one of the first people in ...

Published:  Sat, 16 Jun 2018 22:00:00 GMT



UMd. grad advances medical alert system startup with new tech

There have been many a product over the years aimed at getting help to seniors who suffered a fall. But when Erich Meissner's grandmother had a fall of her own, her device didn't work for her - because she wasn't wearing it, a problem the ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 05:40:00 GMT



Global Medical Alert System/personal Emergency Response System Market Is Expected to Register a CAGR of 5.5%

Princeton, NJ -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/19/2018 -- Personal emergency response systems (PERS), also known as medical emergency response systems, allow users to call for help when in an emergency by pushing a button. It has three components: a small radio ...

Published:  Tue, 19 Jun 2018 10:04:00 GMT



Medical alert system/ pers market insights shared in detailed report

Medical Alert System/ Pers Market By Type (Landline PERS, Mobile PERS, Standalone PERS) By End Users (Home - Based Use, Nursing Home, Assisted Living Facilities, Hospices). North America region holds the highest market share in 2017. Asia Pacific market ...

Published:  Wed, 13 Jun 2018 22:34:00 GMT



Life Alert Review: Getting Help When It's Needed

There are dozens of medical alert systems that aim to come to the rescue of victims of medical emergencies such as a fall, heart attack, stroke, or even a seizure. How do these products work By alerting someone at a call center, or a medical professional ...

Published:  Thu, 07 Jun 2018 13:59:00 GMT




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