Best Medical Alert System: LifeFone vs Medical Guardian vs Bay Alarm & More

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Does your elderly parent live at home alone? What if something happens when you’re not available? Or maybe you don’t live nearby. Medical alert systems can save you from worrying about your loved one — and maybe save their lives. These systems have been around for decades, and there are dozens on the market to choose from.

How do you pick the best one for your particular needs? Our medical alert system review will help you decide by giving you reviews of specific providers, and their pricing, features, pros, cons, and more.

Article Overview

When To Consider A Medical Alert System?

Here’s a guideline to help you determine if you or a loved one is a good candidate for a medical alert system. You should consider a system for:

  • Senior citizens who live alone or who spend a large part of their day alone
  • People with epilepsy, seizure conditions, or other potential emergency health situations
  • Anyone who is hard of hearing and may not be able to communicate well with 911 dispatch
  • People recovering from major surgery, a heart attack or stroke
  • Senior citizens or disabled people who are prone to debilitating falls

What Are The Best Medical Alert Systems?

We’ve chosen our top recommendations for our medical alert bracelets reviews based on a number of factors, including: reliability of equipment and monitoring service center, device options, fall detection availability, pricing, and other features.

Medical Guardian Review


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Medical Guardian wins our top spot for Best Medical Alert System. With no activation, equipment (except for the GPS wristwatch) or cancellation fees and a fully certified, in-house monitoring center, Medical Guardian is hard to beat for its level of service and reliability.

They have a number of system options to choose from and offer special deals frequently. And their devices have some of the farthest ranges and longest battery lives on the market. Medical Guardian gets overall excellent consumer reviews, and they’re rated A+ from the BBB.



  • No activation or cancellation fees
  • No equipment fees for all but the Freedom wristwatch
  • Among the best ranges from the base system
  • Money back guarantee
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good base battery life
  • Fall detection available
  • GPS mobile tracking devices
  • Free monthly monitoring for additional help button
  • Monitoring center is CSAA and UL certified
  • Good website resources, including live chat, blogs, FAQs and more
  • Monthly pricing can get expensive with higher-tech devices and add-ons
  • Requires initial 3-month contract (then month-to-month only required)

Pricing & Tech Specs

With Medical Guardian you only pay a per month service fee. You’re not required to purchase a long-term contract, but you can enjoy some perks if you pay quarterly, twice a year or annually.

Payment Frequency Perks

  • Monthly – No Add-Ons
  • Quarterly – Free Ground Shipping
  • Semi-Annual – Free Ground Shipping & Free Lockbox
  • Annual – 1 Month Free, Free 2nd button, Free Lockbox & Free Ground Shipping
  • View all options

Please note that the fall detection add-on is only available with the Home Guardian and Premium Guardian systems.

 Classic GuardianHome GuardianFamily GuardianMobile Guardian (GPS)Active Guardian (GPS)Freedom Guardian (GPS, WiFi, Cell)
Monthly Price$29.95$34.95$79.95$39.95$49.95$44.95
Quarterly Price$89.85$104.85$239.85$119.85$149.85$134.85
Semi-Annual Price$179.70$209.70$479.70$239.70$299.70$269.70
Annual Price$329.45$384.45$879.45$439.45$549.45$494.45
Equipment CostNoneNoneNoneNoneNone$99
CommunicationLandlineAT&T Cellular NetworkAT&T Cellular NetworkAT&T Cellular NetworkAT&T Cellular NetworkAT&T Cellular Network
Range1,300 feet600 feet1,300 feet350 feetUnlimitedUnlimited
Battery Life32-hour30-hour32-hour24-hour36-hourUnlisted
Waterproof Necklace or BraceletCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Wristband ColorBlack band with white buttonWhite or BlackWhite or BlackWhite or Blackn/aWhite or Black
Fall Detection AvailableNoYes - $10/month moreYes - $10/month moreNoYes - $10/month moreNo

Read our in-depth Medical Guardian Review

Bay Alarm Medical Review


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Bay Alarm Medical is our number two pick for Best Medical Alarm System. Bay Alarm Medical has been in business for nearly 70 years and has an excellent reputation for reliable devices and monitoring service. Their monthly pricing is among the most affordable, and they offer member discounts from AARP, AAA, and USAA.

For a one-time fee of $34.95 you can order an additional lanyard button, and your spouse gets free monthly service. You even get a 14-day trial period with a full refund if you’re not satisfied. Bay Alarm does charge $9.95 for standard shipping, but there’s no contract required and no activation or cancellation fees.



  • Competitive monthly pricing
  • Up to 1,000-foot range from base (among the best)
  • Strong base battery life at 32 hours
  • Fall detection available
  • GPS mobile device
  • Free monthly monitoring for additional help button
  • CSAA and UL certified monitoring center
  • Excellent website resources, including live chat, blog, articles, FAQs
  • No contract required
  • 14-day trial period with full refund (most don’t offer free trials)
  • Mobile device equipment fee
  • Shipping fee with some plans (but no activation fees)

Pricing & Tech Specs

You have the option of bundling either in-home device with the GPS device. View all options.

 In-Home LandlineIn-Home CellularGPS Mobile Help ButtonIn-Home Landline + GPS BundleIn-Home Cellular + GPS Bundle
Equipment CostN/AN/A$49$49$49
Price: Month to Month$29.95/month$39.95/month$29.95/month$49.95/month$59.95/month
Price: 3 Month's in Advance$27.95/month$37.95/month$27.95/month$47.95/month$57.95/month
Price: 6 Month's in Advance$25.95/month$35.95/month$25.95/month$45.95/month$55.95/month
CommunicationLandlineAT&T CellularAT&T CellularLandlineAT&T Cellular
Range1,000 feet1,000 feetUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Automatic Fall Detection$9.95/month extra$9.95/month extraNo$9.95/month extra$9.95/month extra
Battery Life5 years5 years72 hours per charge72 hours per charge72 hours per charge
Battery Backup32 hours32 hoursN/AN/AN/A

LifeFone Review


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LifeFone rounds out our top three choices for Best Medical Alarm System. LifeFone, in business since 1976, offers all the features you’d want, including a lifetime equipment guarantee, a lifetime subscriber price and a 30-day money back guarantee — all for attractive pricing compared to its competitors.

They have a good variety of devices, bundles and upgrades to choose from. What’s missing? LifeFone’s wireless ranges from its base isn’t as strong as other systems, which could make a big difference if your loved one lives in a larger home. And their monitoring center isn’t CSAA certified.



  • Competitive monthly pricing
  • No activation or equipment fees
  • Lifetime subscriber price & equipment guarantee
  • Great battery backup at 32 hours
  • Fall detection is only an additional $5/month (less than our top two picks)
  • Free monthly monitoring for additional help button
  • GPS enabled device
  • Great online website articles & resources
  • No contract required
  • Landline required unless you upgrade to the 3G mobile program
  • Delivery fee with some plans
  • Monitoring center isn’t CSAA certified (but is UL certified)

Pricing & Tech Specs

View all options.

 At-Home LandlineAt-Home CellularAt-Home Cellular with Fall DetectionAt-Home & On-the-Go GPS
At-Home & On-the-Go GPS, Voice-in-Pendant
Price: Month to Month$29.95/month$34.95/month$43.95/month$39.95/month$46.95/month
Price: 3 Month's in Advance$27.95/month$32.95/month$41.95/month$39.95/month$44.95/month
Price: 12 Month's in Advance$24.95/month$30.95/month$38.95/month$36.95/month$42.95/month
CommunicationLandlineAT&T Cellular NetworkAT&T Cellular NetworkAT&T Cellular NetworkAT&T Cellular Network
Range480 feet (1,500 feet with extension)1,300 feet600 feet600 feet from base station
350 feet from mobile unit
300 feet
Battery Life32-hour battery backup32-hour battery backup30-hour battery backup30-hour battery backup36 hours
Waterproof Necklace or BraceletCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Fall Detection Available (up to 600 ft range)Yes - $5/month moreNoYes - IncludedYes - $10/month moreYes - $5/month more

Compare Medical Alert Systems

 Medical GuardianBay Alarm MedicalLifeFoneADT Medical Alert SystemAlert 1GreatCallLife AlertLifestationMobileHelpPhilips LifelineRescue Alert
Medical GuardianBay Alarm MedicalLifeFoneADT Medical Alert SystemAlert 1GreatCallLife AlertLifestationMobileHelpPhilips LifelineRescue Alert
Standard At-Home Monitoring Base Price$29.95/Month$25.95/Month$24.95/Month$29.99/Month$29.95/Month$24.99/MonthN/A$39.90/Month$27.03/Month$29.95/Month$27.95/Month
GPS Monitoring Base Price$39.95/Month$25.95Month$36.95/Month$37.99/Month$49.95/Month$24.99/MonthN/AN/A$41.95/Month$54.95/Month$37.95/Month
Activation FeeCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Equipment FeeCheckmark
Delivery FeeWith Monthly PlansWith Some PlansCheckmarkWith Some PlansCheckmark
Range From BaseUp to 1,300 FeetUp to 1,000 FeetUp to 1,300 FeetUp to 600 Feet600 FeetIn any Verizon areaN/A500 Feet600 Feet800 Feet600 Feet
Battery Backup24-36 Hours32 Hours30-36 Hours20 Hours24 HoursLess than 24 hoursN/A32 Hours30 Hours30 Hours90 Hours
Mobile GPS AvailableCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Free Monitoring for 2nd Help ButtonCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Multiple LanguagesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Fall Detection AvailableCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
CO MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Fire & Smoke MonitoringCheckmarkCheckmark
Self-Testing UnitCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Check-In ServiceCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Outdoor LockboxFree w/ 6 & 12 Month Plans$39.95 One-Time Charge$29.95 One-Time ChargeN/A$39.95 One-Time ChargeN/AN/A$2.99/MonthFree (due to a current special)$29.95 One-Time ChargeAdded Charge (exact price unavailable)
Repairs CoveredCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkN/ACheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Website ResourcesBlog, FAQ, Live ChatBlog, FAQ, Articles, Live ChatBlog, FAQ, Caregiver PortalFAQ, Live ChatBlog, ArticlesArticlesArticlesFAQBlog, FAQBlog, Articles, Live ChatFAQ, Articles

Other Medical Alert Systems Reviews

ADT Medical Alert System | Alert 1 | GreatCall | Life Alert | LifeStation | MobileHelp | Philips Lifeline | Rescue Alert

ADT Medical Alert System Review

ADT Medical Alert System logo

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You likely recognize ADT as one of the largest home security systems in the world, but they also offer medical alert systems. Unfortunately, the medical alert branch of their business doesn’t live up to many other medical alert companies’ services.

We’re less than impressed with their devices’ range and battery life. They do offer a 20% discount for AARP members and a monthly service price guarantee for life. But compared to other systems, ADT just doesn’t get our vote.



  • Affordable monthly pricing
  • No activation or equipment fees
  • Lifetime price guarantee
  • Fall detection available
  • GPS enabled device
  • Website has live chat and a decent FAQ section
  • No contract required
  • Shipping fee with every system
  • Shorter range from base at 300 feet
  • Shorter battery backup than many other systems
  • Monitoring center isn’t CSAA or UL certified
  • Additional button is an extra $5/month for monitoring service

Pricing & Tech Specs

ADT charges an extra $5/month for an additional button for you or your spouse. You’ll also incur a $9.99 delivery fee for any of their systems.

 Medical Alert BasicMedical Alert PlusOn-the-Go
CommunicationLandlineAT&T CellularAT&T Cellular
Automatic Fall DetectionNo$10/month extra$10/month extra

Alert 1 Review

Alert 1 logo

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Alert 1 offers one of the best mobile alert systems on the market with an incredible 60-day battery life and compact size, but you’re going to pay a hefty price, including a $59.95 activation fee, which other comparable systems offer for free.

Alert 1 has been in business for nearly 30 years and has a great reputation for reliability and customer service. Their two emergency monitoring centers are CSAA certified, but they outsource the centers. If you can afford Alert 1, they deserve serious consideration.



  • No equipment fee and free delivery
  • Average range from base
  • Mobile device has excellent battery life
  • Fall detection is only $5/month
  • Free monitoring with second help button
  • GPS tracking enabled device
  • Monitoring center is CSAA and UL certified
  • Good site resources, including blog and articles
  • No contract required
  • Monthly pricing is high, unless you pay for 12 months
  • Mobile GPS device has $59.95 activation fee
  • 30-day money back guarantee doesn’t refund you if you paid for 3-month or 12-month plans

Pricing & Tech Specs

Alert 1 doesn’t require a contract, but you can save $5/month with quarterly or $10/month with annual plans.

 HomeFall DetectionMobileMobile + Fall DetectionHome + Mobile + Fall Detection
Price: Month to Month$39.95/month$45.95/month$59.95/month$59.95/month$69.95/month
Price: 12 Month's in Advance$29.95/month$35.95/month$49.95/month$49.95/month$59.95/month
Automatic Fall DetectionCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Mobile GPSCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Battery Life5+ years2+ years2 months36 hours24-hours PAX Plus
2+ years Fall Detection Pendant
5+ years In-Home Classic Wristband

GreatCall Review

GreatCall Splash logo

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GreatCall could be a great option if your loved one is on-the-go and willing to charge the device nearly every day. GreatCall Lively Mobile only offers a GPS-enabled mobile medical alert device, which has built-in fall detection technology with its highest plan — and their monthly pricing is affordable compared to many other services.

The device is about half the size of a credit card (although thicker in-depth), and it comes with a keychain clip. GreatCall offers free shipping and no long-term contracts.



  • Monthly service fees are least expensive we reviewed
  • No activation fee
  • Service is wherever Verizon is active
  • Fall detection included in top-level plan
  • Device is GPS enabled
  • No contract required
  • Device charge of $49.99
  • Battery must be charged every day
  • No additional help button available — must purchase a second device and a second service plan
  • Monitoring center isn’t CSAA or UL certified
  • Website doesn’t have as many resources as other companies

Pricing & Tech Specs

The GreatCall GPS-enabled device is a one-time charge of $49.99. You then choose from three monthly service plans.

CommunicationVerizon Cellular NetworkVerizon Cellular NetworkVerizon Cellular Network
24/7 Connection to Emergency ServicesCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark
Unlimited Access to Registered Nurses and DoctorsCheckmarkCheckmark
Fall Detection AvailableCheckmark

Life Alert Review

Life Alert logo

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Life Alert is best known for their prominent TV commercial, “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.” Their advertising may be stellar, but their medical alert systems and services come up short compared to their peers, based on online consumer reviews.

For a company that’s well-known for its ads, their website is seriously lacking information. So much so, we can’t give you a sound list of pros and cons or pricing. You’re required to contact Life Alert’s Sales Department for all the information about their medical alert systems.

LifeStation Review

LifeStation logo

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LifeStation has affordable pricing for its At-Home System with no activation, equipment, cancellation or delivery fees — and they offer a price lock guarantee (as well as no long-term contract). The base station’s battery life is good, and the range to the wearable device is slightly less than average, but if you don’t need a wider range, LifeStation is definitely worthy of consideration for the price.

They do charge fees per month for an additional user, a lock box, and a mobile emergency button, but LifeStation’s monitoring center certification is among the best — and you get two dedicated, well-trained representatives with every emergency call.



  • Affordable monthly pricing
  • No activation, equipment or delivery fees
  • Great battery backup at 32 hours
  • Monitoring center certified by CSAA and UL
  • GPS device available
  • Fall detection available for additional fee
  • No contract required
  • No information on their website about Cellular System
  • Smaller than average range from base at 500 feet
  • Additional monthly service fee for a second help button
  • Website doesn’t have blog, articles or other resources

Pricing & Tech Specs

LifeStation’s website only includes pricing and other device information for its At-Home System (and add-ons). You must call for information on their Cellular System, GPS-Enabled System and Fall Detection.

At-Home System

  • $29.95/month month-to-month; $27.95/month for 3 months; $25.95/month for 12 months
  • 500-foot range
  • 32-hour battery backup
  • Landline required
  • Waterproof wristband or necklace

MobileHelp Review

MobileHelp logo

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MobileHelp is a solid option, especially if you don’t have a landline — both of their systems work via AT&T Cellular Network, which is included in the system. They offer a good refund policy with a 30-day guarantee and a prorated refund if you paid for a long-term contract.

One thing that stands out with MobileHelp compared to other services is that they give you two help buttons at no extra charge. They provide two additional MobileVitals systems, which include monitoring for blood pressure, pulse and weight, but you must purchase the measuring equipment, and your monthly charge goes way up.



  • No activation or equipment fees
  • Average range from base
  • Good base battery life at 30 hours
  • GPS enabled device available
  • Fall detection available
  • Free monthly service monitoring for a second help button
  • Decent website resources with FAQ, blog and live chat
  • Monitoring center is CSAA and UL certified
  • Paying quarterly is cheaper than paying annually

Pricing & Tech Specs

You get free delivery with all pricing plans except their monthly plan, which includes a $15 shipping charge for either system’s equipment.

 MobileHelp ClassicMobileHelp SoloMobileHelp Duo
Price: Month to Month$29.95/month$37.95/month$41.95/month
Price: 3 Months in Advance$27.95/month$29.95/month$33.28/month
Price: 6 Months in Advance$26.62/month$28.78/month$31.12/month
Price: 12 Months in Advance + Free 13th Month$27.03/month$30.03/month$32.78/month
Automatic Fall Detection$10/month extra$10/month extra$10/month extra

Philips Lifeline Review

Philips Lifeline logo

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Philips Lifeline was the first medical alert system in the U.S., and they’ve had a good reputation for more than 40 years. Philips Lifeline offers many of the same features as other systems but at a higher price.

Although they don’t have cancellation fees, they tack on fees pretty much everywhere — activation, shipping, additional buttons — and there’s no savings for quarterly or annual payments. But if price isn’t a game changer for you, Philips Lifeline is a solid, reliable choice.



  • Good range from base at 800 feet
  • Good base battery backup at 30 hours
  • Fall detection included in price with two higher tier plans/devices
  • GPS enabled device available
  • No contract required
  • Excellent website resources with live chat, blog, articles and more
  • Overall one of the most expensive services we reviewed for monthly service fees
  • Activation fees with HomeSafe Standard and AutoAlert and device fee with GoSafe GPS
  • Shipping fees with every device
  • Only ETL certified (not CSAA or UL)
  • Hefty monthly service fee for second help button

Pricing & Tech Specs

Philips Lifeline doesn’t offer discounts if you pay for multiple months, like most other systems. They also charge a $19.95 shipping charge and an activation fee.

 HomeSafeHomeSafe with AutoAlertGoSafe (GPS)
Price: Landline$29.95/month$44.95/month$54.95/month
Price: Wireless$41.95/month$56.95/month$64.95/month
One-time Equipment FeeN/AN/AN/A
Automatic Fall ButtonCheckmarkCheckmark

Rescue Alert Review

Rescue Alert logo

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Rescue Alert is one of the more affordable medical alert systems on the market, and their devices have the longest battery backup life of all the systems we’ve reviewed. Unfortunately, Rescue Alert doesn’t offer a GPS-enabled mobile version or fall detection.

If these features aren’t important to you, Rescue Alert has some excellent pricing options — you can even purchase the equipment upfront, which cuts the monthly fees in half. Their monitoring center gets good customer reviews, and they require all their emergency monitoring customer representatives to get a minimum of 180 hours of training.



  • Affordable monthly service fees
  • No activation, equipment or delivery fees
  • Best base battery backup of all services we reviewed (60 or 90 hours, depending on device)
  • Range from base is about average
  • ETL and UL certified & EMP certified monitoring center attendants
  • Monthly fee for second help button
  • No GPS enabled device available
  • No fall detection available
  • Not CSAA certified
  • Website resources could use improvement

Pricing & Tech Specs

For the MXD3G, there is the option to pay a one-time fee of $849, which includes both new equipment and monitoring for life.

 MXD - LandlineMXD3G - CellularMobile PERS (GPS)
Price: Month to Month$32.95/month$42.95/month$44.95/month
Price: 3 Months in Advance$29.95/month$39.95/month$39.95/month
Price: 12 Months in Advance$27.95/month$37.95/month$37.95/month
CommunicationLandlineAT&T CellularAT&T Cellular

Video: Why Is Fall Detection So Important?

Injuries resulting from falls is the leading cause of death among older people, says the AARP. Check out this Philips Lifeline video that features medical experts explaining their experiences with fall victims.

How Do I Choose A Medical Alert Bracelet & Necklace?

You have so many options when shopping for medical alert systems for seniors, and your decision really comes down to what the best fit is for your loved one and your family. Your choices depend on how mobile your loved one is, his or her budget and risk of falling, among many other factors.

Use our medical alert systems review to weed through your choices, make a list of your priorities and find the best medical alert bracelet for your needs.

To help care for your loved one better, read these 10 tips for caregivers. The guest post was written by someone from Medical Guardian to help caregivers learn safety tips when caring for elderly.

Has a medical alert system helped you or your loved one?

About The Author:

While attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s graduate school for journalism and public relations, Sally began a long career researching and writing about hard-to-understand topics, such as insurance and finance.

Her additional experience in marketing, fundraising, public relations and financial planning at various foundations and nonprofit organizations over the years has given her the practical tools to inform consumers about making the smartest business and personal financial decisions.

Speaking of smart living — growing up in the (at-the-time) per-capita murder capital of the U.S. (Richmond, VA) taught her a thing or two about the need for personal and home safety. Sally stays on top of all the latest gadgets and services to protect her and her teenage daughters from potential predators and thieves. And she brings this knowledge to every article she writes.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Sophia Wells
I suggested for my mom to use medical device because I worry about her especially when she is alone at home. I have chosen BlueStar because my father supports the veteran affairs and they offer 10% discount to veterans and their family. The BlueStar team have all been very pleasant and helpful especially when I first got it and had to hook it up. Also, one day I hit it by accident when I was changing clothes and they came on promptly.
Lynn and Ben
My husband and I have been researching medical alert systems for his mom who is getting to the point where she needs one. Since she doesn’t live in a retirement community yet (and lives alone) we wanted to rest assured she’d be okay in case something were to happen. I automatically assumed that Life Alert would be one of the top picks since they’re all over TV but interesting to see there are so many other companies that offer just as great (if not better) products.