The Best Medical Alert Systems for Seniors with Epilepsy
COVID-19 Update: Since the medical alert industry is considered to be “essential” during the COVID crisis, monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how a medical alert device can help keep you or your elderly loved one safe and connected during this pandemic, take a look at our list of essential products for seniors during COVID-19.
Medical alert systems are devices that can include wearable personal help buttons or wall buttons that directly connect seniors with an operator at a professional emergency monitoring center.
Many medical alert companies offer devices and systems that can be tailored to a senior’s needs. For seniors who spend most of their time at home, at-home systems are available, and for more active seniors, mobile systems that use cellular technologies are also available so users can connect with monitoring centers from anywhere in the world. Within each at-home or mobile category, companies offer a wide array of specific features and optional add-ons that can help ensure a system provides its user with just the right amount of protection and coverage they need at the right price.
Because seniors with epilepsy and their caregivers face a variety of highly specific challenges and concerns, some medical alert systems may be better than others. With the higher risk of seizures and falls that can accompany epilepsy, seniors are most likely to benefit from devices that offer features such as automatic fall protection, technology that monitors their activity and GPS tracking for those who are mobile and wear their device outside the home.
Below, we highlight our top three medical alert systems for seniors with epilepsy. Along with providing an overview of each company, we discuss specific device features and costs and offer tips on how to select the best system for you.
The 3 Best Medical Alert Systems for Seniors With Epilepsy
One of the top overall medical alert systems companies, Medical Guardian offers an abundance of value-rich premium features, pricing levels and well-put-together system plans.
Altogether, the company offers six distinct plans: three at-home plans, two mobile plans and one Freedom Guardian mobile smartwatch-style device. Of these plans, all but the Freedom Guardian and the base mobile plan can include fall detection for an additional $10 per month.
Unlike most medical alert systems on the market, Medical Guardian has an in-home plan that provides emergency monitoring and activity monitoring technologies for caregivers and family members. The company’s Family Guardian plan comes with a caregiver app that receives data from two motion sensors and a door sensor installed in the senior’s home. The app will also notify caregivers if the senior presses a help button. A wearable waterproof help button in the form of a neck pendant or wristband is included with the plan, but the company also offers two types of wall-mounted help buttons for a minimal additional monthly fee. One of these types has voice-activation, meaning seniors can signal the device to contact the monitoring center using just their voice. Medical Guardian is one of the few medical alert systems companies to offer a voice-activated device, another factor making it a standout choice for seniors with epilepsy.
The Family Guardian plan costs $79.95 per month or $73.29 per month if paid for annually. Wall-mounted and voice-activated wall-mounted help buttons cost an additional $2 and $5 per month, respectively.
QMedic stands out among our list of top medical alert companies for its compliance and activity monitoring features that provide information to caregivers through its online Caregiver Dashboard. Through the company’s device technologies and this dashboard, caregivers of seniors with epilepsy can monitor how often the senior wears their device and track data such as sleeping patterns and movements.
QMedic offers three plan options: a landline plan for $30 per month or $300 per year, a cellular in-home plan for the same price and a mobile plan with GPS tracking for $45 per month or $400 per year. Both of the in-home systems are fully waterproof and come with a wearable wristband or neck pendant help buttons, and the mobile device is water-resistant and can be worn around the neck.
With low monthly rates and its activity and compliance monitoring features, QMedic may be a good option for seniors with epilepsy who have caregivers or loved ones who can check on the user’s activity frequently to ensure they’re wearing their device and maintaining their normal level of activity.
Much like Medical Guardian, LifeFone offers a variety of optional premium features that provide extra levels of protection for seniors with epilepsy. It’s a U.S.-based company that allows customers to create personalized emergency care instructions at no extra cost so that monitoring center operators can immediately see that the senior has epilepsy and other information such as their medical history, medications and emergency contacts. Each of LifeFone’s four system plans (two for in-home use only and two that provide mobile coverage) comes with the option to add automatic fall detection, so seniors with epilepsy can choose any plan and know their device is capable of alerting the monitoring center if a seizure leads to a fall.
Each device is waterproof so seniors can wear them while showering or bathing, and optional services can include medication reminders for an additional $6 per month, activity assurance for at-home landline users for an additional $6 monthly fee and daily check-in calls for an added $19 per month. With these features, caregivers can rely on LifeAlert to play a more active role in ensuring senior users with epilepsy take their medications on time, can respond to alerts during scheduled times and generally make sure they’re doing okay. If a senior doesn’t respond to an activity assurance alarm and call within a certain amount of time, the monitoring center will follow procedures in the senior’s emergency care instructions to respond to the situation.
Why You Should Keep Epilepsy in Mind When Searching for a Medical Alert System
Finding a medical alert system that provides the most protection and coverage for seniors with epilepsy can help ease the minds of both seniors and their loved ones. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, many anti-seizure medications have the ability to impair a senior’s sense of balance, resulting in an increased risk of falling. Falls, in turn, can lead to sudden injuries and limited mobility, which makes it even more difficult for seniors to access help when they need it most.
Additionally, because seizures and falls can result in loss of consciousness, it may be important to consider whether or not a device comes with features such as automatic fall detection or activity monitoring so caregivers can see if a senior isn’t moving throughout the day as they should. By keeping the senior’s specific medical condition of epilepsy in mind when shopping, customers can prioritize the system and device features that provide them with the most protection while looking past offerings that may not be as necessary or useful.
How to Find the Most Reliable System at the Right Price
While some customers may be able to shop for a medical alert system without needing to consider the system’s cost, others may need to prioritize finding a system that offers the most protection while also matching their budget.
To help you determine what features are most important to you, some questions you may want to ask when searching for a medical alert system for a senior with epilepsy include:
- Does the provider’s monitoring center store the user’s health information and protocol an operator should take in the event of a seizure or if a senior is unresponsive?
- Does the system come with GPS, activity or compliance tracking so loved ones can monitor the senior’s activity, movement and device usage?
- Does the system offer features and services such as automatic fall detection, voice-activation and medication reminders?
- Is the device wearable and waterproof, and does it have built-in, two-way speakers?
Of the systems we listed as the best three for seniors with epilepsy, LifeFone offers fall detection with every plan and has an in-home plan that starts (with fall detection) at only $29.95 per month if paid annually. QMedic does not offer fall detection, but it does offer similarly low monthly rates and provides activity and compliance monitoring with each plan at no extra cost. Medical Guardian has slightly higher rates than LifeFone, but it offers activity tracking with two of its plans and fall detection with most.