Medical alert companies have helped keep the elderly and disabled safe for decades. Dozens of companies offer service, but only a few stand out as truly valuable. Too many of these providers have let their equipment and options get outdated—making them way less useful.
We like Bay Alarm Medical for their experience in the industry and commitment to giving the best service.
Newer company that's providing better care and equipment than most competitors
Choosing your medical alert system shouldn't be that hard.
If you live by yourself and are prone to injuries when you fall, or have other health issues (e.g. heart problems) you probably need a safe way to call for help in the event of an emergency.
Picking from the group of available companies is a matter of gauging the value and quality of each provider while considering your needs.
We've done the heavy lifting in laying out the best in the business, but some things you want to consider include:
1) Mobility: How often do you go out and is coverage while you're away from home important to you?
2) Range: How big is your home, apartment, or living situation?
3) Services: Do you need a basic coverage, or something more complex like environmental monitoring?
After you've established what you need out of a monitor, it's time to find the best one to suit your quality standards and budget. We went over all of the important details of the top medical alert companies and boiled them all down into three different categories:
After figuring out how well each provider stacked up, we gave them an overall rating based on value and quality (ranked from 1.0 to 10.0).
Each company has plans and the plans include (at their basic level) monitoring and it goes up to include other features and even equipment in some cases.
Some companies make you pay for equipment up front and charge less of a monthly fee. The companies with this set up usually have little to no contract terms. Most include equipment (or charge way less than cost) with their plans, but they are more expensive (monthly) and will almost always include a contract (1 to 5 years).
Pay special attention to the plans to ensure that you are getting everything you want and not paying for things you don't need.
Mobile plans are common, but almost always cost extra. If you want a home-based system and the ability to leave home with the same level of coverage, it will be a premium price tag.
The equipment itself is also something to look at. The range of home-based and mobile units can vary from a few hundred feet to over 1,000.
If you do want a mobile option, but not bulky equipment, the style and layout of certain buttons that you wear are more fashionable than others.
This is the customer service offered by the company. In a non-emergency situation, can you connect with someone helpful?
Sometimes equipment goes haywire, questions need answered, and other issues may arise. We looked to see if they have a dedicated customer support and then how fast they responded (if they did have one). Surprisingly, very few alert companies have dedicated customer support.
The main reason to have one of these services is to have individuals ready to notify authorities if you can't. You press a button, or in certain cases, the device you wear knows you fell and the monitoring services goes to work and gets you help.
All the companies offer monitoring, but only a few do it "in house". Many use third-party call centers for their customers.
It's not (necessarily) a bad thing, either.
Many of these call centers are highly accredited and rated—you just have to know what you're looking for.
Since this is the crown jewel on any service that you'd want, we spent time looking at exactly who is going to be answering your call for help.
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