Best Wall Button 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.
Since the first system’s invention in the 1970s, medical alert companies have strived to develop innovative systems that can be seamlessly integrated into the lives of aging adults. Landline and cellular technologies have enabled dozens of companies to create help buttons for inside and outside of the home. These buttons, which connect users directly with trained agents at certified monitoring centers, help seniors and their loved ones feel secure knowing help can easily be alerted in the case of a fall, health emergency, or any event in which the user feels uncomfortable or unsafe.
Many medical alert companies offer affordable systems tailored to homebound seniors and those seeking protection at home and on the go. Through these devices, users have access to help when alone, traveling, or not in the presence of an around-the-clock caregiver.
Why Choose Wall Buttons
For those looking for a high level of protection within the home, wall buttons are key to ensuring maximum access to a monitoring center. While many companies provide wearable help buttons, they can be easy for seniors (especially those with memory impairments) to misplace or simply forget to wear. A wall-mounted help button can be installed in permanent locations within the home. It affords seniors and their caregivers peace of mind in knowing it can’t be lost or misplaced, and wall buttons can also be installed in high-risk areas, such as the bathroom and kitchen.
Many companies offer selections of buttons at low monthly rates or a fixed purchase fee. A wall button can relay signals to a home landline base or function as their own system. It can be waterproof or water-resistant, and some companies even offer voice-activated wall buttons that give seniors access to monitoring centers even if they physically can’t reach the button due to a fall, injury or incapacity.
With so many options from which to choose, we realize that finding the best medical alert system with wall buttons can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve put together an in-depth guide describing three of our favorite wall button companies with tips on how to choose the best system to fit your unique budget and needs.
The 3 Best Medical Alert Systems With Wall Buttons
Known in the industry for its innovative add-on features and available smartwatch-style device that enables users to send voice-to-text SMS messages, Medical Guardian provides users with in-home door and motion sensors and a caregiver mobile app and online portal.
As part of its robust array of premium features, Medical Guardian offers two user-friendly types of affordable, wall-mountable buttons. The first type has additional buttons available for just $2 per month, and users can purchase as many as they’d like for extra coverage throughout the home, especially in high-risk areas, such as bathrooms. When pushed, these buttons alert the UL and five-diamond certified monitoring center. They can be added to any one of Medical Guardian’s alert plans.
The second type of wall button offered is voice-activated. Medical Guardian is currently the only company offering these voice-activated devices, and these buttons, available with the Classic Guardian and Family Guardian plans for an extra $5 per month, don’t need to be physically pressed to contact the emergency monitoring center. Instead, users simply say the phrase “call Medical Guardian” two times to place a call. This one-of-a-kind feature is perfect for seniors and their caregivers who want to further increase the chances that help is received in the case of a fall or injury that renders the user unable to move.
Life Alert, one of the oldest and most experienced companies in the medical alert industry, is unique because it offers an entire system package based around its waterproof wall button. As one of its two in-home systems, the In the Bathroom system adds to its basic In the Home plan with the inclusion of a fully waterproof, wall-mountable HELP button designed for tub and shower use. The button includes a microphone and two-way speaker so users can press it to connect directly to the emergency call center.
The HELP button’s battery lasts up to an impressive 10 years and doesn’t need to be charged, so the device is low maintenance. Also, with no need for extra wiring, it’s quick and easy to install. Although the In the Bathroom name refers specifically to that one room, the button can be mounted anywhere the user desires within the home. Seniors without a landline connection are happy to know they can also use this technology, since Life Alert’s home-based systems are compatible with cellular or landline connections.
LifeFone offers its customers low, clear pricing with its at-home and combined at-home and on-the-go packages with no long-term contracts and free cancellations. Along with a unique mobile app that provides users with three varying assistance options, the company stands out for its lifetime price-lock guarantee that lets seniors know exactly how much their systems cost upfront and over time.
To accompany this fixed pricing model, LifeFone’s wall-mounted help buttons can be purchased at a set price of $39.95 each. While its competitors mostly offer these buttons for rates between $2-$5, LifeFone users know their buttons are fully paid off within less than two years (if compared to a monthly pricing model). These wall buttons can be placed anywhere in the home and must be pressed to initiate a call to the emergency monitoring center.
The Importance of Wall Buttons
Wall buttons are a crucial element of any comprehensive medical alert system. Although wearable help buttons are an important piece as well, one can never fully ensure that a senior won’t remove their wearable device while sleeping or in the shower, misplace it, or simply forget to wear it around the home.
Unlike wearable help buttons, a wall button is permanently fixed in place, large, typically red and easy to spot, and able to work through voice activation if a senior is unable to physically move. Cognition or memory-impaired seniors may be more likely to spot or remember the button’s location in a time of need, and as these button’s batteries often don’t need to be recharged, caregivers can rest easy knowing there’s always a backup system in place if a wearable device is lost or broken.
Making Wall Buttons Work for You
To make a home wall button work best for the user, it’s important to thoughtfully examine the home and rooms that are mainly occupied and may be prone to falls or other types of accidents. These areas often include the bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and near a stairwell.
Consider placing a button low enough to the ground that it can be reached in case of a fall but can also be reached while standing. Also, consider the user’s current health condition and level of mobility. For instance, if the senior is wheelchair-bound or sometimes bedridden, it may be most beneficial to choose a system with a voice-activated wall button.
To choose the wall button medical alert system best suited to your needs, consider if you’d like to pay a one-time purchase fee for each button (such as LifeFone’s fixed $39.95 price) or a low monthly rate, often between $2 to $5. Additionally, it may be important to you to select a company that allows an unlimited number of button add-ons that are compatible with any system package, as some may only offer buttons with certain alert systems. You’ll want to make sure the company’s wall buttons include two-way speakers for placement far away from the home base. Finally, make sure the company’s contract policies work for your particular needs so that you can avoid being locked into something long-term.