COVID-19 Update: Medical Alerts are considered essential devices during the COVID crisis, so monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how these and other essential products can keep older adults safe and connected during this crisis, take a look at our list of 10 essential products.
As many seniors reach their later years, health concerns become an inevitable part of life. Mobility challenges and the risk of falling due to aging, disease or injury often increase, leaving seniors and their loved ones struggling to find low-cost solutions to keep them safe, happy and independent as long as possible.
For many such individuals, medical alert systems offer a cheaper and less intrusive option than hiring a full-time caregiver, attending adult day care or moving into an assisted living home. Now provided by dozens of reputable companies throughout Canada and the United States, these systems include simple, lightweight devices with emergency help buttons that, when pressed, connect seniors directly to certified 24-hour monitoring centers able to assist and dispatch help in the event of an emergency or health scare.
Medical Alert System Speakers
Through the combination of help buttons and speakers that allow seniors and monitoring center operators to communicate, medical alert system companies provide devices designed to accommodate mobile seniors, as well as those who spend most of their time at home.
Systems can include home base stations with speakers that connect to devices such as wall-mounted help buttons and wearable pendants or lightweight, portable devices with built-in speakers that can be worn both in the home and on the go. Many of these built-in speakers allow for two-way voice communication so seniors can talk to monitoring center operators directly — a feature that can be immensely helpful in both emergency and nonemergency situations alike. Some medical alert systems include voice-activated speakers, so seniors can reach a monitoring center operator even if they’ve fallen or are immobile and can’t physically reach their help button.
Because combing through the numerous available medical alert companies that offer speakers and their various device options can be a time-consuming, confusing task, we’ve put together a list of what we’ve found to be the best medical alert speakers on the market. In one place, we highlight the top systems and discuss their device offerings and speaker features to help you find the best system for you.
The 3 Best Medical Alert Systems With Speakers
Medical Guardian is widely considered one of the top medical alert companies on the market. Their robust offerings include three at-home systems and three systems with built-in speakers for seniors on the go, along with an abundance of optional accessories such as extra wall-mounted help buttons that seniors can purchase for low monthly rates.
For its at-home Classic and Family Guardian plans, Medical Guardian provides a base station that comes with a built-in two-way speaker with a range of up to 1,300 feet, while its Home Guardian plan has a range of up to 600 feet. The speakers in the Classic and Home Guardian base stations are a strong 60dB to ensure seniors can clearly hear the monitoring center operators when placing a call. The Family Guardian base station has an even more powerful 80dB speaker that allows seniors to hear call center operators from different areas throughout their home.
In addition to these plan features, Medical Guardian offers a voice-activated wall button for at-home subscribers that can connect seniors to their base station speaker without having to manually press a button. This voice-activated feature can be life-saving and provides an extra layer of security for any senior at risk for falls or immobility where they may not be able to find or reach their help button when needed.
Medical Guardian Mobile Options
Through Medical Guardian’s three mobile systems, seniors experience even more connection convenience, as each device comes with a built-in two-way speaker that allows seniors to travel anywhere with an AT&T cellular connection and still communicate by voice to the monitoring center. The lowest-tier mobile Mobile Guardian plan includes a lightweight, portable device with a built-in adjustable-volume speaker with a 350-foot range that connects to a wearable pendant.
The Active Guardian plan includes an all-in-one mobile device that has GPS and Wi-Fi location technology and a powerful, built-in two-way speaker. With this waterproof device, seniors can move freely within their home and while traveling and know they only have to remember this one device to speak directly with a monitoring center operator at any time.
Finally, Medical Guardian’s Freedom Guardian smartwatch-style device is a unique wearable, easy-to-use option that includes a two-way speaker and voice-to-text SMS messaging.
Bay Alarm Medical
Bay Alarm Medical offers seniors a variety of affordable systems that come with high-quality two-way speakers to ensure seniors and call center operators can easily and clearly hear one another. With the company’s In the Home plan, the base station’s high-output speaker has a sensitive microphone to provide especially clear two-way voice communication. Additionally, this system has the added perk of answering phone calls, so seniors can safely answer their phone without having to leave their seats or stop what they’re doing. Seniors who travel can also take this at-home system on their trip for ongoing protection because it easily plugs into any building with a landline.
For $39.95 a month, seniors can subscribe to Bay Alarm Medical’s simple on-the-go plan that comes with a small, lightweight, wearable all-in-one mobile device that has a built-in two-way speaker and charger.
Bay Alarm Medical also offers a unique device designed specifically for car use, so driving seniors are always protected while on the road. This device works in any vehicle, has a built-in speaker and includes an impact sensor for automatic crash detection and response.
Medical Care Alert
Medical Care Alert has an innovative at-home system called Home & Yard that ensures seniors who enjoy spending time outside can still easily access the monitoring center. Like many mobile medical alert systems, this at-home system is special in that it includes a wearable shower-proof two-way voice pendant that seniors can speak through from a range of up to 600 feet. Seniors can even answer their phone through the pendant, so they don’t have to stop what they’re doing inside or in their yard when the phone rings. This plan starts at $32.04 per month and comes with a price-lock guarantee.
For seniors who don’t spend much time in their yard, the base in-home plan is also a great option and includes a base station with a powerful, loud, two-way speaker designed to work throughout the entire home.
Finally, Medical Care Alert’s mobile system is low-priced, starting at only $36.62 per month, and comes with a single wearable two-way voice pendant that seniors can wear at home, in the shower or while traveling around the world.
Why Speaker Features and Quality Make a Difference
The speakers included with both at-home and mobile medical alert systems make all the difference in ensuring the system works as intended. At home, if a senior were to take a fall or experience an emergency or health concern of any kind, the ability to communicate by voice to a monitoring center operator is crucial to ensure they receive the help they need. That’s why a speaker’s volume and range is key to ensuring seniors can hear monitoring center operators from anywhere in their home.
Because trained operators can effectively determine a senior’s current state and concerns, they can best determine which emergency personnel should be contacted and if they should call a senior’s personal contact. Operators can also answer questions the senior may have and provide guidance and a calming presence as their voice, over a speaker, can ensure the senior knows help is on its way and let them know they’re not alone.
These speaker benefits are equally important in mobile medical alert systems, as seniors can speak directly with monitoring center operators any time they feel unsafe or lost. Additionally, speakers may allow seniors to connect directly with loved ones through voice-to-text SMS or voice calls.
How to Select the Best Medical Alert Speaker System for You
When selecting a medical alert system with speaker quality in mind, it’s important to think about where you’ll use the system the most. If you’re mobile and leave the home often, an on-the-go system with built-in two-way speakers is likely the right choice, and if you’re mostly housebound, finding a system with a loud, clear speaker that reaches all areas of your home or yard is key.
As for costs, many medical alert system companies offer monthly, quarterly or annual payment options so it’s easier to find a payment plan that meets your needs. Plans can start at just over $20 per month for the lowest-priced in-home options and can go up to as much as $80 per month for the most comprehensive mobile and in-home combination plans.
Some plans, especially those with all-in-one smartwatch-style devices, may also include upfront purchase costs or device fees. Medical Guardian, for instance, charges users a one-time $99 fee for its Freedom Guardian smartwatch device in addition to its monthly rates.