Best GPS Medical Alert Systems
Benefits of Medical Alert Systems
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.
When seniors fall, it can have a serious impact on their physical health, personal independence, and financial security. While falls are among the leading causes of fatal and nonfatal injuries for aging adults, they’re not inevitable. When seniors take preventive measures, they can reduce their risk of fall-related injuries. These measures can include making lifestyle changes and fall prevention programs, such as exercise classes and balance and gait training. For an added measure of security, many seniors and caregivers turn to medical alert systems. These systems don’t prevent falls, but they can be used in and outside the home to provide immediate assistance in the event of an emergency.
Most on-the-go medical alert systems use GPS technology to track a senior’s location. If the senior falls or has a medical emergency when outside the home, these systems provide them with immediate access to emergency services. Timely care helps to mitigate the long-term consequences of injuries, and the knowledge that help is one click away can encourage seniors to lead active, fulfilling lives. Without this safety net, risk-averse seniors may choose to stay at home, which can lead to social isolation.
While medical alert systems provide an important service for aging adults, it can be hard to choose the right one. This list collects three of the best medical alert systems with GPS.
The 3 Best Medical Alert Systems with GPS
Life Alert has provided seniors with medical alert technology since 1987, and the company’s decades of experience have produced first-rate technology and customer service. There are three tiers of senior protection, covering everything from in-home assistance to mobile service. The Life Alert Mobile plan locates wearers using GPS and cellular connections, and it is designed for safety, health, and on-the-go emergencies. The plan comes with a small, wearable pendant fitted with a large, easily accessible button. Thanks to Life Alert’s nationwide coverage, the service can locate seniors anywhere in the United States where GSM cellular phones are operational.
The pinpoint accuracy of the GPS service is enhanced by the quick response service from the Life Alert dispatch team. When seniors press the emergency button on their mobile device, they’re instantly connected with a Life Alert dispatcher who sends help within minutes. The Life Alert emergency center can be reached 24/7, and the mobile pendants are equipped with batteries that last ten years and never need to be charged. This round-the-clock security ensures that emergency calls never go unanswered due to customer service or technological failures. Life Alert also offers a mobile app, which adds another level of protection in times of need.
Seniors who sign up for Life Alert’s mobile plan can augment their coverage with the company’s two at-home services: the standard in-home medical alert system, and the bathroom system. The standard system consists of a wearable help pendant and a base station, which has a service range of 1,000 feet. The HELP Button is designed for use in bathrooms where slippery surfaces increase the risk of injury. When mounted on the wall, the HELP button gives seniors another way to call for assistance in the event of an emergency. With a built-in two-way speaker and waterproof casing, this device gives seniors extra protection where they need it most.
Alert1 designs medical alert systems that keep seniors safe in and outside the home. The company’s five subscription plans provide a range of services from basic in-home protection to comprehensive plans that include on-the-go support and fall detection. For seniors and caregivers concerned with safety outside the home, several of Alert1’s on-the-go systems come with built-in GPS technology, which tracks the wearer’s location when they’re on the move. The built-in GPS technology is combined with Wi-Fi and cellular technology to ensure accurate location detection.
Alert1 offers two subscription plans with GPS technology: Kelsi Pro On-the-Go Fall Detection and On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection. The Kelsi Pro is a pendant device that detects falls via sensors. When a fall is detected, the device automatically notifies the Alert1 Command Center and connects the wearer with a U.S.-based operator ready to help. The waterproof device uses the AT&T network, and while it’s designed to be worn around the neck, it can be worn on the belt or wrist when accompanied by protective cases or wristbands.
For comprehensive coverage, seniors can opt for the On-the-Go + Home Fall Detection plan, which comes with an on-the-go Kelsi fall detection pendant with built-in GPS, and a home wristband and fall detection pendant. Alert1 customers also benefit from multilingual operators. Additional accessories include lockboxes, wall-mounted emergency buttons, medication dispensers, and fall protection upgrades.
LifeFone combines wearable medical alert devices with the Mobile Alert app to provide seniors with far-reaching protection. The company offers two portable plans: At-Home & On-the-Go GPS and At-Home & On-the-Go GPS, Voice-in-Necklace. Both use GPS location services and AT&T cellular connectivity to locate wearers in the event of an emergency.
When seniors sign up for the At-Home & On-the-Go GPS plan, they receive two medical alert systems, a base station and a mobile device, all of which work via the AT&T cellular network. The mobile device features a waterproof help button that can be worn around the neck or wrist. The At-Home & On-the-Go GPS, Voice-in-Necklace plan provides users with an all-in-one mobile system. The main component, a necklace device with a two-way speaker, finds wearers through GPS location services and AT&T or Verizon cellular connections. For enhanced safety, seniors can add fall detection service to either of these plans.
The Mobile Alert app is another unique aspect of LifeFone’s on-the-go technology. While other medical alert systems have accompanying apps, LifeFone’s is the only app that gives users three distinct assistance options. When seniors have the app open on their phone, they can press the concern button, which provides escort service, the panic button, which is for emergency situations, and the medical button, which sends help in medical emergencies. When seniors don’t have access to their phone, they can click the medical alert help button on their device to receive immediate assistance from a LifeFone representative.
Why Choose a Medical Alert System with GPS?
GPS-enabled medical alert systems give seniors more freedom and caregivers greater peace of mind. These mobile devices use GPS, cellular connections and Wi-Fi hot spots to accurately pinpoint the location of seniors in real-time. Many medical alert wearables come with batteries that last for years at a time, which means seniors don’t have to worry about charging them. Some have accompanying apps, which give users another way to access emergency assistance. When seniors leave home with one of these devices worn on their neck, wrist or belt buckle, they can go about their daily lives without worry. Whether they’re grabbing a coffee or attending an event at the senior center, they’ll know they’re protected in the event of an injury, accident or heart attack.
These systems also help family caregivers and doctors find seniors at a moment’s notice. While this can be lifesaving in emergency situations, it also has daily applications; many seniors with Alzheimer’s, for example, develop a tendency to wander.
Tips for Shopping for a Medical Alert System with GPS
When selecting a medical alert system with GPS, consider how your loved one will be using it. For healthy, active seniors living an independent lifestyle, mobile medical alert devices are primarily used for emergency purposes. These seniors need accurate, GPS-based location services and easy-to-use emergency features. Seniors who aren’t tech-savvy may prefer a streamlined service, opting for a mobile device with one large emergency button rather than a system that incorporates apps. If your loved one is hard of hearing, make sure the mobile device has a sufficiently powerful two-way speaker.
For seniors with dementia, make sure to select a GPS-enabled medical alert device that’s wearable, durable, and unobtrusive. The safety of seniors who wander is largely dependent on caregiver tracking. Seniors may not remember to press the emergency button when they’re lost, but as long as they’re wearing their device, caregivers can use GPS tracking to find them. That’s why it’s important to select a mobile device that seniors don’t mind wearing; if devices are bulky or cumbersome, users with memory problems may try to take them off. Look for devices that require minimal upkeep and are equipped with features, such as water resistance and a long battery life.
GPS Medical Alert System Fees and Add-Ons
Most medical alert systems offer in-home and mobile plans. When selecting a service, you can usually opt for one or both types of coverage. The prices of mobile plans vary, but most services cost between $25 and $60 per month. Because many GPS-enabled devices use cellular connections to enhance accuracy, you may have to pay a monthly fee for cellular coverage. Other common add-ons include fall protection, medication assistance, and daily wellness checks. Medical alert systems help to protect the health and independence of seniors. Before choosing a GPS-enabled alert system for your loved one, take the time to consider all your options.