Medical Guardian Review 2021
- Health editors' top choice in medical alert systems
- Free activation and free installation
- Save $150 with annual order: free month of service, free lockbox, free shipping
- No long-term contracts
- Variety of products offered to fit any lifestyle
- Customers are highly satisfied with the products and services
Injuries and other medical emergencies are unfortunately very common among older adults especially. One in four adults aged 65 and older fall each year, and falls are the leading cause of fatal injuries and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions in older adults. If a person falls or has a heart attack while alone, they may be unable to call for help. This has become an increasingly common problem in the United States, where 27% of older adults live by themselves. If there's an emergency, living alone without assistance can be dangerous. For many people, a medical alert system can be a literal life-saver.
Health researched dozens of companies to provide you with all the information you'll need to pick the best medical alert system for you. Here, we review Medical Guardian, one of the best-known companies for providing lifesaving devices.
Why trust our expert review?
Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We've spent collectively more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. To make our pick, here's what we did:
- Engaged in ongoing independent research
- Consulted with geriatric physicians
- Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed medical alert system users
- Tested various medical alert systems
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
Why Medical Guardian is our top pick
Medical Guardian is our top pick for a medical alert system for several reasons. First, its emergency monitoring center earns the most trusted certification in the industry, which gives us confidence that you'll be in good hands if you need to call on the company for emergency help. Medical Guardian also offers a wide variety of products and services, allowing you to choose exactly that which fits your lifestyle. While Medical Guardian isn't the cheapest brand on the market, we think it provides the best value for your buck with the quality it offers.
After reading hundreds of customer reviews that consistently place Medical Guardian as the top company for customer satisfaction, we feel confident in recommending it to you as hundreds of verified customers have done and continue to do.
- Attractive offers: Right now, when you purchase an annual package, you'll receive one free month of service, a free lockbox, and free shipping (over $150 in value).
- No long-term contracts: Other medical alert companies require you to commit to long-term contracts. Medical Guardian offers month-to-month plans, eliminating the need to make a lengthy commitment.
- Free activation and free installation. There are no hidden fees or extra start-up costs.
- Most systems have no equipment fees. Only the Mini Guardian requires a one-time equipment fee of $124.95. Each of the other models have no costs associated.
- Power outage backup: Medical Guardian systems have backup batteries (30-hour for Home Guardian, 32-hour for Classic Guardian), thus ensuring you'll still be able to get help even if there's a power outage.
- Multiple sensor options: When you purchase a Medical Guardian system, you can choose different sensor options that match your specific needs. Available devices include watches, pendants, jewelry and wall buttons.
- Refund policy: If you cancel your policy before the month ends for any reason, Medical Guardian will refund you a prorated amount.
- Equipment fee for the Mini Guardian: While other Medical Guardian models do not require an equipment fee, the Mini Guardian requires a one-time fee of $124.95.
- Extra notifications are offered, but at an additional expense: You can opt for enhanced emergency notifications which notify your contacts in case of an emergency. The catch is that these extras come with an added expense of $2.99 per month on top of your system price.
- Fall detection is an added cost: Some in-home alert systems include wearable devices with fall detection included in the monthly cost, but most of the companies on our list charge extra for this. You can add fall detection to your Medical Guardian wearable devices, but it will cost you an additional $10 per month per device.
Top medical alert companies: Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian, which was founded in 2005, is a privately owned company based in Philadelphia that provides customizable medical alert systems designed specifically for older adults. Its devices range from home base stations to wearable alert buttons, providing older adults with comprehensive protection and making it a good choice for active seniors.
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With affordable monthly costs, Medical Guardian has multiple options to choose from, and there are no long-term contracts to worry about. For most of the systems—the Classic Guardian, Home Guardian, Active Guardian, and Mobile Guardian—there are no equipment costs or activation fees. For the Mini Guardian, there is a one-time equipment fee of $124.95, but no other activation or installation costs are required.
For a limited time, Medical Guardian is offering customers $150 in savings. By purchasing an annual package of whichever system you choose, you'll receive one free month of service, a free lockbox, and free shipping.
The Mini Guardian can clip to a belt loop and has enough battery power to run for five days. You can use it to speak with an operator and request emergency assistance and track your location. The cost of the Mini Guardian starts at $1.29 per day, plus a one-time $124.95 equipment fee.
The Classic Guardian is Medical Guardian's most affordable option, with costs starting at $0.97 per day. The system connects to your landline phone and includes an alert system base station and wearable alert button.
With the base station, you can press a button to reach Medical Guardian's operating system. It has a 32-hour backup battery life.
The wearable alert button is waterproof, so you can wear it while showering or bathing. The device has a 1,300-foot range.
The Home Guardian doesn't require a landline, instead using a nationwide cellular network to connect you to Medical Guardian's monitoring center. The system includes a base station and wearable emergency button with a 600-foot range.
The system also has a 30-hour backup battery life and a two-way communicator. The wearable pendant is waterproof, thus protecting you while you shower or bathe.
An added bonus is that if you have a partner living with you, you can add multiple medical alert buttons to the Home Guardian system so you both are protected in and around your home.
The cost of the Home Guardian system starts at $1.13 per day.
The Mobile Guardian is a portable device that works with a wearable emergency button. When you press it, you can connect to Medical Guardian's monitoring center as long as you're within 350 feet of the device. The cost of the Mobile Guardian starts at $1.35 per day.
A portable medical alert device, the Active Guardian gives you protection at home and while away from your house. It includes a cellular subscription, location tracking, and two-way speakers so you can contact a trained operator. The cost of the the Active Guardian starts at $1.20 per day.
If you decide to buy a Medical Guardian system, you have multiple payment options. Depending on which system you choose, you can select monthly, quarterly, semiannual, or annual payments. Choosing an annual payment plan will give you a discount on the overall cost.
Medical Guardian occasionally has special offers for new customers, including a free second button, a lockbox, or a complimentary month of service.
Medical Guardian reviews and customer support
Medical Guardian is regularly ranked among the best medical alert companies. Best Company ranked Medical Guardian as the top company, placing it above 87 other medical alert systems. It gave Medical Guardian an overall score of 9.8 out of 10, and the company has thousands of positive customer reviews. A vast majority of Medical Guardian reviews specifically highlighted the company's excellent customer support and trust-worthiness.
What customers are saying
Medical Guardian also has an outstanding reputation within the medical alert industry.
Medical Guardian has a TMA Five-Diamond Certification, a designation granted annually to monitoring centers that meet stringent guidelines. There are thousands of medical alert companies, but fewer than 200 achieve a Five-Diamond Certification.
To qualify for the certification, monitoring centers must demonstrate the following:
- A commitment to undergo random inspections and meet quality criteria standards
- The highest levels of customer service
- Ongoing job-related education and testing
- TMA membership and participation
- A commitment to reducing false dispatches
Medical Guardian also has an Underwriters' Laboratory Certification, recognizing the company's dedication to safety and reliability.
Medical Guardian customer reviews
How does Medical Guardian work?
Medical Guardian provides around-the-clock emergency help at the press of a button. Simply press your help button, and you'll receive a fast, reliable response from a trained emergency operator. In the case of emergency, first responders will be dispatched to your exact location and your family or emergency contacts will be notified immediately. If you've pressed the help button but do not need emergency services, your operator will stay on the line with you to assist you or connect you with a family member, neighbor, or caregiver on your contact list.
Your Medical Guardian system is covered by a warranty. This means if your system is affected by general wear and tear and needs to be replaced, the company will send you a replacement system.
You can also purchase a separate protection plan to protect your system from any damages.
Medical Guardian's monitoring center is available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. While other companies have operators overseas, Medical Guardian's operators are all based in the United States. Medical Guardians emergency operators speak English and Spanish, but can also communicate in other languages through a translation service.
Operators are trained to dispatch both emergency responses and non-emergency assistance. For example, if you need help in your home, an operator can contact emergency services, as well as your friends and family members, on your behalf.
How to choose an in-home medical alert system
If you're looking for an in-home medical alert system for yourself or a loved one, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the many options available. When comparing companies, make sure you look at factors like cost, certifications, required contracts, customer service, and available backup power.
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When it comes to the best medical alert companies, Medical Guardian stands out with its superior month-to-month services and US-based monitoring center.
If Medical Guardian seems to be a good fit for you, we can help you figure out which product works best for your lifestyle.
First, consider the places where you need protection. Are you an active adult that needs protection when you're out and about each day? You'll likely want to consider a mobile device that can provide protection wherever you are: the Mini, Mobile, and Active models provide this coverage for you. If you aren't able to leave your house alone, an in-home device such as the Home or Classic models may be a more cost-effective solution.
Do you live alone or have certain conditions that make it more likely you'll experience a fall? Automatic fall detection may be a feature that could save your life. If you have a condition that can make you dizzy or likely to pass out (like diabetes or low blood pressure), affects your ability to move around easily (such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis) or you're at risk of a sudden medical event (like a heart attack or stroke), you should consider adding the fall detection feature to your coverage.
Next, consider how frequently you prefer to charge your medical device. In-home devices don't need to be charged (Home and Classic models have a 30 to 32-hour backup battery in case of a power outage), but mobile devices do. If you're okay with charging a device every day, the Mobile Guardian will work well for you. If you prefer a longer battery life, choose the Mini Guardian or Active Guardian—both will give you up to five days of use before needing to charge the device.
Next, you'll need to consider your budget. Medical Guardian offers a wide range of options for an affordable monthly rate. You never have to worry about activation fees, hidden costs, installation fees or long-term contracts. If you choose to pay annually, you'll get $150 in savings that includes a free month of service, free lockbox, and free shipping. If you consider the cost of long-term care or assisted living, a medical alert system, which can help you stay in your home and independent, is a great investment. With Medical Guardian, you'll pay less money for more freedom and better quality of life.
Medical Guardian is our top pick for its wide variety of products and services, its record of consistently satisfying customers, and its emergency monitoring center that earned the most trusted certification in the industry.
For those looking for an industry-leading medical alert system they can count on, Medical Guardian will likely be the best choice. For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, Medical Guardian may not be the right pick, since Medical Guardian isn't the cheapest brand on the market. But despite its higher price tag, we believe Medical Guardian provides the best value for your buck with the quality it offers.
How we chose Medical Guardian
We chose Medical Guardian as our top pick based on the following criteria:
- Price of installation and monthly service
- Warranties, contracts, and whether it has any hidden fees
- Reliability of monitoring center
- Comfort and wearability of mobile devices
- In-home range of equipment
- Water resistance of wearable devices
- Battery life and recharging requirements
- Ease of installation and use
- Expert opinion
- Customer service accessibility and performance
- Customer satisfaction reviews
- Company reputation
- Special features such as automatic fall detection, smartphone apps for family members, and location tracking
Frequently asked questions
Does Medical Guardian require a contract?
No, Medical Guardian does not require a long-term contract, and you won't be hit with hidden fees, either.
What is the cancellation policy?
You have the freedom to cancel service at any time with no penalty. Customer reviews of other companies frequently cite the difficulty and hidden fees associated with cancellation as a major headache. However, customers of Medical Guardian tend to be very pleased with the ease and flexibility in which they can manage their service.
Does it require a landline?
No, a landline is not required. If you already have a landline, your medical alert system can be connected via a landline. If you do not have a landline, your medical alert system can be connected via cell service.
Is the monitoring reliable?
Medical Guardian's 24/7 emergency monitoring system is designated one of The Monitoring Association's (TMA) Five Diamond Alert Monitoring Centers. This is the gold standard for quality assurance in this industry.
Is Medical Guardian expensive?
In researching dozens of medical alert companies, Health editors found Medical Guardian to be one of the best options that combined high quality products, reliable service, and reasonable prices.
Does Medical Guardian offer fall detection?
Yes, Medical Guardian offers a high-quality fall alert pendant, which you can purchase as part of your plan or as an additional accessory.
Are Medical Guardian alert devices water resistant?
Medical Guardian's wearable pendants for the Home and Classic models are highly water resistant, so you can activate an emergency call, even while you're in the shower. Your Mini Guardian is highly water resistant as well, so you can wear your device in the shower, but it shouldn't be submerged and shouldn't be used in salt or chlorine water. Your Active Guardian device is waterproof and is designed for use in the bath or shower.
How much does Medical Guardian cost per month?
Depending on the package you choose, Medical Guardian may cost between $29.95—$49.95 per month. There are no activation fees, installation fees, hidden fees, or long-term contracts. Additional features such as automatic fall detection may add to your monthly cost. A one-time equipment fee of $124.95 is required for the Mini Guardian, but there are no equipment fees for any other available models.
Is Medical Guardian covered by Medicare?
Do I need a smartphone to use Medical Guardian?
No, you do not need a smartphone to use Medical Guardian.
What is Medical Guardian's refund policy?
You can cancel service at any time, with no penalty. If you have purchased equipment, your service will be canceled effective on the day of receipt of a signed cancellation letter via mail or email. If you have not purchased the equipment, you must return all equipment and accessories. Upon receipt of equipment or receipt of the signed cancellation letter, Medical Guardian will issue a prorated refund for any unused service that may have been prepaid.
Kat Tretina is a journalist and copywriter with expertise in personal health and personal finance. Her content has been featured on sites such as Everyday Health, HuffPost, Forbes, Investopedia, and Credit Karma. Kat calls Orlando, Florida home.