Getting a medical alert system could save your life, or the life of your loved one. Designed for seniors, medical alert systems detect medical emergencies and immediately get help on the phone or on the way. And yes, we know there’s a stigma around medical alert systems. Stubborn seniors across the states refuse to use them because they don’t want to appear weak and frail – or they just think the devices are incredibly ugly! Well, lucky for you we’ve found some very cheap and free medical alert options that you won’t even realize you’re wearing. So, forget what you think you know about clunky medical alert necklaces (and the hefty price tag attached) and discover our 9 best free or cheap medical alert systems for seniors in 2021.
- There’s no one best medical alert system – different seniors living different lives will need different devices (see the section above on the three types available).
- We’ve analyzed whether a product can be considered cheap by looking at both the upfront costs and monthly costs.
On our list you’ll find options that suit people looking to pay more on the spot for a long-term discount, or pay the minimum amount possible per month with no upfront cost.
- Price isn’t everything – you need to consider comfort, convenience and reliability.
We know you’re reading this article because you want to find the cheapest possible solution, but when it comes to your health, spending a few more dollars a month is worth it. Just keep that in mind.
- We thoroughly researched each of the devices available, testing them in person if possible. They’re all based in the USA and verified by real customer reviews online.
If you decide to research on your own, you must make sure you’re buying from a reputable company! Use websites like Consumer Reports, Trustpilot, and Feefo to find verified reviews and advice.
Other key components to look for include customer service and where the responders are based (they should be located in the USA), extra features and whether you need to buy them separately, and battery life for mobile devices and range for home devices.
Let’s get to it!
Bay Alarm Medical Mobile GPS Help Button
Bay Alarm is one of the most popular medical alert system companies and although they aren’t the most affordable, they’re still considered relatively cheap once you get past the initial charge!
This device is a standard mobile alert system that’s worn around your neck. The button puts you in touch with the Bay Alarm support team who can assess the situation and send you help.
The basic plan with the device has very accurate GPS tracking on it, which makes it a very good system for those with dementia who’ve wandered too far but aren’t prone to falls.
For active seniors, we recommend one of the more expensive plans, so you get fall detection included
- Type: mobile
- Fall Detection: yes, on some plans
- Cost: $79 upfront, $24.95 to $39.95 per month
LifeFone Landline Medical Alert System
Working with your telephone landline, the LifeFone medical alert system has a range of 1300 ft and instantly puts you in touch with a professional care assistant with the push of a button.
You can also set up emergency care instructions with LifeFone to notify specific family members, friends, car givers and doctors when an emergency occurs. Although not the cheapest when bought solo, it is affordable considering that you can add a spouse to the basic service for free (halving the cost per person) and adding fall detection is considerably cheaper than other medical alert systems that offer it as an add-on.
- Type: home
- Fall Detection: yes, additional $5 per month
- Cost: no upfront cost, $29.95 monthly ($22.87/month when subscribed annually)
LifeStation At Home Medical Alert System
The LifeStation at-home medical alert system is great for medium-sized homes (range of 500 ft) with fall detection, an extra loud speaker, and waterproof qualities.
The device puts you through to LifeStation responders who assess the situation before sending help.
Some unique features that we really like about LifeStation include the size, weight and style of the pendant button. It’s just a bit larger than a quarter, is plain black, and weighs next to nothing.
There’s also a battery backup in the home device that lasts 32 hours, so even in a blackout you’ll still be able to reach support.
- Type: home
- Fall Detection: yes
- Cost: Begins around $20 per month
Senior Safety App
The senior safety app is an all-round safety app for seniors, operating on Android phones.
The free version offers you some basic features to keep safe, including an SOS alert which sends texts and emails to emergency contacts letting them know your location with the tap of a button.
It also has a round robin calling feature that will dial each of your emergency contacts one after the other until you get through to someone. It can store emergency health information.
We think it’s definitely worth the small monthly cost to upgrade the app, as you then get safety alerts and an online dashboard for your loved ones. It will send out an alert if a fall is detected, when the phone leaves a designated area (great for tracking those with dementia), and even has scam/fraud detection to protect the device.
- Type: app
- Fall Detection: yes
- Cost: no upfront costs, $4.50 per month for upgrades