3 Medical Alert Systems to Steer Clear Of

Elderly woman screaming

Think about you’re in the course of nowhere late at evening, your cellphone is lifeless, and also you’ve run out of fuel — after which you’ve got a medical emergency. Scary, proper? That’s what it’s like on daily basis for loads of growing old people with medical wants. Unbiased seniors who are suffering accidents of their properties could as properly be in the course of nowhere in the event that they haven’t any method to contact emergency providers.

Enter the medical alert machine.

Many corporations that manufacture them declare they’re lifesavers, and a few of them are. (Take a look at our listing of the best medical alert devices of 2023 for the names you’ll be able to belief.) However there are a shocking variety of units surfacing on Amazon that merely don’t work as marketed. Not even shut.

Listed below are the worst of the worst — medical units that for one purpose or one other usually go away older adults within the lurch. Stick round for a roundup of our favourite manufacturers and a fast guidelines of options each dependable medical alert machine ought to have.


The 2 i’s in Thriive are the least of this iffy medical alert machine’s issues, in line with plenty of fuming clients. Platinum Well being, the corporate that produces the Thriive, has no Higher Enterprise Bureau score — or entry, for that matter.

The Thriive is available in a bunch of shiny colours and its web site is slick, although its weblog went dry in 2021, a 12 months after the Thriive hit the market. So what’s the issue with the colourful, cellphone-shaped Thriive? The machine itself hasn’t racked up a mountain of hate mail like a number of the different lemons on this listing, however nonexistent buyer assist is a operating theme.

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Some Thriive clients couldn’t get in contact with a human to assist them arrange their units. Others couldn’t lengthen their monitoring subscription, and medical alert units are ineffective with out monitoring. It looks as if the operators aren’t standing by at Platinum Well being, which is, you understand, what you’re paying for.

Sound unhealthy? That’s nothing in comparison with the subsequent machine on our listing.

Wearsafe Private Emergency Response Tag

Ladies’s Well being journal could have named the Wearsafe Emergency Response Tag the High Gadget of CES 2017, however the individuals who have used it — or tried to make use of it — have named it Very Deceptive and Poorly Made and a Flat-Out Rip-off.

I don’t know why some clients felt they’d been misled into buying a product that requires a subscription. I’ve seen my share of misleading home security product pricing, however Wearsafe clearly advertises a month-to-month price on its web site. So let’s give the corporate a cross there.

I can’t, nevertheless, give it a cross right here. Wearsafe used to let seniors join with family members by way of its app, which had location monitoring and reside video and audio. These are each nice, presumably lifesaving options, however Wearsafe ditched in-app notifications for SMS in 2020. Stripping the service like that understandably ticked off a number of the firm’s staunchest supporters.

The most important concern for older people is that the Wearsafe has no two-way audio. If an older grownup with a Wearsafe tag has an accident, they’d higher pray their cellphone is helpful. In any other case they’re on their very own.

My verdict? Search for a top-rated medical alert device with GPS tracking and two-way audio. You by no means know whenever you’re going to want assist — within the bathe, within the yard, or wherever you’re with out your cellphone.

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The FastHelp appears to be something however quick or useful. In contrast to the Thriive, which works however will get an F in customer support, or the Wearsafe, with its downgraded app, the FastHelp doesn’t even operate correctly, in line with plenty of complaints lodged over time.

Once I say it doesn’t work, I imply the machine has a fame for not turning on and failing to hook up with 911. Some clients who bought by to emergency providers couldn’t hear something as a result of the quantity was too low. I’m undecided which is worse.

The primary purpose I’d keep away from this shoddy machine is that it doesn’t actually do something. It doesn’t have location monitoring, so 911 wouldn’t know the place you’re. If in case you have a spill and may’t discuss, you aren’t going to get any assist.

Options Your Medical Alert Machine Ought to At all times Have

Two-Method Speak

Two-way audio enables you to talk immediately with emergency providers with out a cellphone. Seniors who don’t have this function are placing their lives in danger.

Dependable Fall Detection

While you’re researching medical alert devices, search for units with correct fall detection and GPS monitoring for circumstances when it’s possible you’ll change into unresponsive.

Mobile Connection

It goes with out saying that if a medical alert machine is operating solely off a landline, it received’t work as soon as you allow your own home. Choose a medical alert device with a mobile connection if you’d like safety each inside and out of doors your home.

Satisfactory Vary

While you use your machine solely at house, you’ll need to discover a product that has sufficient of a hub-to-tag vary to cowl you wherever you’re in the home.

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Medical Alert Techniques Value Contemplating

Bay Alarm Medical

Of all of the fashions we’ve examined, Bay Alarm Medical has one of the best mobile GPS monitoring with first-rate speedy response and a singular in-car function. Take a look at our hands-on Bay Alarm Medical review for a whole tour of its options.

Medical Guardian

Medical Guardian makes dependable, well-built merchandise with fairly priced monitoring plans. For trendy seniors, the corporate has a smartwatch that doubles as a medical alert machine. And, sure, Medical Guardian has earned hundreds of optimistic critiques. Right here’s our expertise testing Medical Guardian’s products.

ADT Well being

ADT is the king of the hill in house safety, so it is sensible that it could department out into medical monitoring. The corporate’s GPS monitoring and two-way audio is prime of the road. We’ve the total report in our ADT Health buyer’s guide.

Summing Up

Your property is your fortress, but it surely will also be a scary place for impartial older adults. Even a minor accident can go away a wholesome senior stranded.

Medical alert units declare to take away this threat, placing golden-agers in immediate contact with household and first responders if issues go south. They will additionally assist older people get the emergency support they want — so long as they work correctly and have the suitable options.

Sadly, that is one space of house security the place a tool that works 9 instances out of 10 simply doesn’t reduce it. That’s why we strongly suggest staying away from any medical alerts with lackluster options, histories of malfunctioning, or poor buyer assist. For names you’ll be able to belief, try our prime picks within the part above.

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