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 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.
Health researched dozens of companies to provide you with all the information you'll need to pick the best medical alert system for you. After analyzing the reliability of each company's monitoring center, we considered the usability and dependability of the devices, the range and requirements of each system, the cost of equipment and monthly monitoring service, and customer service and satisfaction.
Here, we review Medical Guardian, one of the best-known companies for providing lifesaving devices.
Medical Guardian is our top pick for a medical alert system for several reasons. First, their 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 they provide the best value for your buck with the quality they offer.
After reading hundreds of customer reviews that consistently place Medical Guardian as the top company for customer satisfaction, we feel confident in recommending them to you as hundreds of verified customers have done and continue to do.
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.
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 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.
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:
Medical Guardian also has an Underwriters’ Laboratory Certification, recognizing the company’s dedication to safety and reliability.
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.
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.
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.