Most of the monitoring companies charge about $30 a month. You can sometimes save money by paying for a year at a time. This discounted price is often what you see splashed across their websites. I don’t consider a difference of a couple of dollars a month significant, so I list these products as “about $30 a month.” This usually includes the equipment rental.
In alphabetical order:
Alert-1 is a monitored medical alert system that offers a waterproof button that is bright red on off-white plastic. There’s no contract. The button has a range of 600 feet. The unit is a base station speakerphone with two-way communication, but you have to be within voice range to talk with the monitoring center. They also have room buttons that you can put around your house; they work the same way as the button you carry.
Bay Alarm Medical offers monitored medical alert service for about $25 a month paid quarterly, or less if you pay for a full year. They use the standard “whole house speakerphone.” They are affiliate with a regular home alarm company that’s been in business in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1946. I’ve spoken with the company; they take pride in providing reliable service at a very good price. Visit Bay Alarm. Or you might want to read my insanely detailed review page. With videos…
Chaperone Medical Alert Systems offers medical alert monitoring for about $15 a month. In addition to regular emergency monitoring they also include a service they call “Care Call,” which is basically non-emergency help. They offer equipment rentals and also have an online store where they offer four different whole house speakerphone models. Some can interface with other elderly monitoring equipment. They offer an extension speakerphone to add distance within your home. They appear to provide monitoring for other alert units as well, so if you already have a unit or want to buy a better one than they sell, you might be able to use the unit with their monitoring service.
LifeGuardian is a monitored medical alert system that costs about $40 a month paid quarterly. They have 25 years of experience and offer two units. The basic unit is a two-way speakerphone and is available for purchase ($199) or monthly lease. They also have a model with two way communications through the pendant and a 600 foot range. This is available for $250. For that $50 difference, this is a big step up, but that doesn’t account for the fact that $199 seems like a very high price for the base unit. As you know from elsewhere on this site, I think two-way pendants like this one are a very good idea. They also offer a cell phone unit.
LifeFone is a monitored medical alert system that costs about $28 a month billed quarterly. They run their own monitoring center, a plus, and they’ve been in business since 1976. LifeFone currently uses the “standard” two-way base-station equipment because it’s time-tested and reliable. When I spoke with a representative from the company, he said the most important things are that the elderly person wears the button, the battery doesn’t need to be changed often, and the button is simple to press even in an emergency. LifeFone has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. They offer the LifeFone Emergency Care Plan™ that provides a customized response in an emergency based on your preferences.
LifeLine by Phillips offers a reasonably attractive button for their monitored medical alert service. Of special note is their “LifeLine with AutoAlert” system that can automatically detect a fall and notify the monitoring center without the user having to press the button. LifeLine equipment is self-checking and can notify the monitoring center if it detects a problem in its operation. The regular service starts at around $32 per month and it goes up for their two-way pendant with the AutoAlert feature. Call Lifeline at 888-871-7836 to find out the details (8am-9:30pm Eastern, M-F. 9am-6pm Sa. Closed Sunday.)
LifeStation is a monitored medical alert system that costs about $30 a month. They offer a waterproof button that can be worn as a necklace, on the wrist, or clipped to clothing. They advertise a 400 foot activation range, but the unit is a two-way speakerphone model, so if you’re out of voice range the monitoring center will simply follow your predefined instructions. LifeStation operates their own UL Listed monitoring center; they do not outsource their call answering. They offer free shipping and do not require a long-term contract. Click here to visit the LifeStation site.
MedicalAlert by ConnectAmerica is a monitored medical alert system with, in my opinion, an ugly button. They use a “whole-house” speakerphone that provides two way communication if you’re in range of the speakerphone.
Rescue Alert is a monitored medical alert system that manufactures it’s own equipment and has a great website that’s very upfront about the company and about its competitors. Their equipment is fairly attractive. They also have recently introduced a mobile unit that appears to dial 911 as a cell phone. Their prices range from about $30 a month for equipment rental and monitoring down to just about $15 a month if you buy the equipment outright for about $199.
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