Medical Guardian Medical Alert System Review
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.
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How Medical Guardian Compares to Other Top Medical Alert Systems
Medical Guardian ranks among the top three of 20 medical alert systems reviewed, receiving an overall star rating of 4.1/5. It scored the highest in the “Availability of Add-Ons” category thanks to its breadth of premium features and accessories, including a caregiver portal with on-demand location tracking, helping keep families in the loop regarding their loved one’s safety. Medical Guardian also ranked highly due to its low-cost in-home systems, one of which features an impressive 1,300 feet of range, the largest range of all medical alert systems we reviewed.
As one of the only companies in the industry to offer a smartwatch-style device, Medical Guardian is an excellent choice for anyone who desires premium device options and top-of-the-line features and capabilities. With a clear, well-designed website and a quick quiz to help consumers determine which of its six systems they are best suited for, Medical Guardian makes the shopping and sign-up process an easy, stress-free experience.
Caring.com’s Medical Alert Provider Rankings
Caring.com’s team of experts and researchers ranked the top 20 medical alert providers based on different features, price points, and qualities of the company. Those data points were split into 5 core metrics and 30 sub metrics that were weighted based on importance in determining the overall quality of the companies. Each company, including Medical Guardian, was scored and ranked based on those metrics and weights.
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Pros and Cons of Medical Guardian Medical Alert Systems
|Six device options to choose from||Mobile systems are more expensive than the industry average|
|Availability of premium features||Some customers must pay approximately $10 for shipping|
|Free caregiver portal with on-demand location tracking||Fall detection not included in monthly cost for any devices|
|No device or activation fees for most systems|
|Easy-to-navigate and informative website|
Medical Guardian’s Plans
|Classic Guardian||Home Guardian||Mini Guardian||Mobile Guardian||Active Guardian||Freedom Guardian|
|Type of Device||In-Home||In-Home||Mobile||Mobile||Mobile||Smartwatch-style device|
|Battery Life||32-hour backup||30-hour backup||5 days||24 hours||5 days||2 days|
|Range||1,300 feet||600 feet||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Fall Detection||$10 a month||$10 a month||$10 a month||$10 a month||$10 a month||Not Available|
The Classic Guardian costs $29.95 a month and may be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. Those who choose the annual plan will save a few dollars a month; the monthly cost with this plan is $27.45. Fall detection may be added for $10 a month.
The Classic Guardian is a standard in-home system that uses a landline to connect with the emergency monitoring center. Those who do not have a landline connection in their home may not use the Classic Guardian. The system includes a base station with a range of 1,300 feet and a 32-hour backup battery, and one waterproof wearable help button that may be worn as a pendant or a wristband.
The Home Guardian costs $34.95 a month on the monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual plans (the annual plan is slightly less expensive). The price includes AT&T cellular connection, a base station, and one wearable help button. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 a month.
This is an in-home device that uses cellular connection rather than a landline, so anyone can use it regardless of if they have a landline connection in their home. The system includes a base station with a range of 600 feet and a 30-hour backup battery and one wearable help button. The help button is completely waterproof and may be worn in the shower.
The Mini Guardian costs $39.95 a month when paid for on a monthly or quarterly basis, or $36.62 a month when paid for annually. The price includes 4G LTE cellular connectivity and location tracking, but does not include fall detection, which costs an additional $10 a month. Mini Guardian users must also pay a one-time equipment fee of $124.95.
The Mini Guardian is a compact, mobile device that features advanced functionality in a small package. Measuring at half the width and half the length of traditional medical alert systems, the Mini Guardian is an unobtrusive alternative for active seniors. The portable device uses 4G LTE cellular connection and advanced location tracking to provide continuous monitoring services with an unlimited range. Mini Guardian is water- resistant, has a long battery life of up to 5 days, and is available in three different colors.
This portable system costs $49.95 a month when paid for monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually, and approximately $45.79 a month with an annual plan. Fall detection may be added for an additional $10 a month.
The Mobile Guardian is a portable system that provides coverage on-the-go. The devices use AT&T’s service, so it works anywhere with a cellular connection. It also comes equipped with GPS location services. The monthly cost includes a portable device that functions as a mobile base station, one waterproof wearable help button, and a charging cradle. The portable device has a battery life of 24-hours, so it is recommended that users charge it each night.
The Active Guardian may be paid for on a monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis. It costs $44.95 a month with all of the payment options except the annual plan, which costs $41.20 a month. For an additional $10 a month, users may choose to upgrade their devices to include automatic fall detection.
The Active Guardian is an all-in-one mobile device with a help button, so users need only to have one piece of equipment on them. The device is worn around the neck, and is waterproof and showerproof. It has an impressive battery life of 5 days. In addition to GPS, the Active Guardian also uses WiFi location technology.
The Freedom Guardian is the only Medical Guardian device with a one-time fee- users must pay a device fee of $179.95. The monthly cost is $44.95 a month with the monthly, quarterly, and semi-annual plans, and $41.20 a month when paid annually. Fall detection is not available for the Freedom Guardian.
This smartwatch-style device offers many features beyond emergency monitoring. Some of the features include medication reminders, weather forecasts, and voice-to-text SMS messaging. It is an all-in-one device, so users simply need to wear the watch; they can contact the emergency monitoring center directly through the watch by pressing down a side button for 3 seconds. This device also connects with a companion mobile app for caregivers and family members of users to monitor their loved one’s activity and location.
Starting Costs and Contracts
Some Medical Guardian customers may have to pay one-time fees. Other than the Freedom Guardian equipment fee, there are no one-time activation or device fees. However, no devices include free shipping unless customers choose an annual plan. Customers who choose monthly, quarterly, semi-annual plans will have to pay $9.50 for ground shipping.
There are no cancellation fees, and long-term contracts are not required. Users may cancel their service at any time, and will receive a prorated refund for any prepaid months.
Medical Guardian devices are monitored by a 100% U.S.-based center with a triple-redundant backup system, which means that it can sustain its own power in worst case scenario situations and callers will never be without assistance. The center is Factory Mutual Approved and certified by the Underwriters’ Laboratory. It also holds The Monitoring Association’s Five-Diamond Certification, and is a member of the Electronic Security Association.
All operators undergo a strict screening process and an in-depth training program. They are trained to dispatch both emergency and non-emergency services, depending on the situation. Medical Guardian users can have contact information for up to four people, referred to as the Care Circle, on file for the monitoring center operators to call during non-emergencies.
Caregiver Tools and Extra Features
Activity and Location Tracking
The Freedom Guardian smartwatch includes location tracking with both GPS and Wi-Fi signals. Care Circle contacts of Freedom Guardian users can find their loved one’s exact location on a map at any time through the Freedom Guardian Companion App. This feature may be especially useful for seniors with memory impairment who are at risk of wandering and getting lost.
Freedom Guardian Companion Mobile App
This app is available to Care Circle contacts of Freedom Guardian users. In addition to activity monitoring and location tracking, the app allows Care Circle contacts to send SMS messages directly to the smartwatch device, making it easy to get in touch with their loved ones. Care Circle members can also check the user’s alert history to check if and when they called the monitoring center for help, and set up alerts for their loved one such as medication reminders. All of these features may also be accessed via a computer desktop.
Wall-mounted buttons are designed to provide an extra layer of protection in the home. They function as an extra help button, and will signal the emergency monitoring center when pressed. Wall-mounted buttons may be particularly useful in high-risk areas such as the bathroom. Medical Guardian users can add wall-mounted buttons to their plan for $2 a month per button.
Voice Activated Wall Button
These buttons are also designed for extra in-home protection, and may be placed anywhere in the home that users see fit. Unlike the wall-mounted buttons, these buttons do not actually need to be pressed to trigger a call to the emergency monitoring center. Users simply say the activating phrase, “call Medical Guardian,” twice in a row, and a call will go through to the center. Voice Activated Wall Buttons may be added to users’ monthly plan for $5 a month per button. This add-on is only available with the Classic Guardian device.
Lockboxes eliminate the need for emergency personnel to break down one’s door during an emergency. Users can store a key in their lockbox and provide the code to Medical Guardian, who will then provide the code with emergency services when they are sent to a user’s home. Lockboxes can be added to a user’s plan for $2 a month; annual customers receive a lockbox free of charge.
To get a free quote from Medical Guardian, click here.
Who Should Consider Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian’s offerings include three different mobile devices. This gives active seniors more flexibility and freedom when it comes to choosing a medical alert device that meets their needs. Medical Guardian customers who want protection on-the-go can choose between the traditional Mobile Guardian, the all-in-one Active Guardian, and the smartwatch-style Freedom Guardian with enhanced features.
Seniors Who Are Prone to Falls or Other Accidents
Medical Guardian also has options better suited for less active seniors, particularly those who are prone to falls or other injuries that may occur in the home. Almost all of its devices can be upgraded to include automatic fall detection, providing an extra layer of security in the event of an emergency. The voice-activated wall-buttons also allow users to contact the monitoring center during emergencies when they may be unable to physically press their personal help button.
Medical Guardian’s Freedom Guardian connects with a free caregiver app. The app allows caregivers and other preferred contacts of users to monitor their loved one’s activity and sends notifications if the user calls the emergency monitoring center, so caregivers will know right away if there is an emergency. The Freedom Guardian app even allows designated contacts to view their loved one’s location on a map and send SMS messages directly to the device, making it very easy to get in touch.
To get a free quote from Medical Guardian, click here.
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