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Best Medical Alert Systems

Find a Medical Alert System partner near you.

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Written by Kathryn Parkman
Edited by Vincent Landino
Reviewed by Shelley Webb

Use our guide to find the best medical alert system for yourself or a loved one. We considered 23 companies and analyzed more than 1,300 recent verified reviews to select our picks for the top 5 medical alert companies. Compare our recommendations on equipment, features and costs.

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Our picks for top medical alert systems of 2021

Older adults are more isolated than ever, and having an emergency response center on standby makes a lot of people feel more secure. Wearable medical alerts can help track your health and wellbeing, and personal emergency response devices are getting smarter and smaller.

We’ve compared top-rated companies based on their equipment, features and costs. However, the right system for you also depends on your living situation, activity level and preferences. Keep reading for more on how to choose a system. All information and prices are accurate as of publishing.

To select our top picks, we primarily considered customer ratings and reviews. Read our methodology for more on how we scored each company.

Best-rated overallLife Alert Emergency ResponseAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Median $69.95 per month
  • Costs $198 to set up
  • No fall detection
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life alert mountable help button

As of publishing, Life Alert is the highest-rated medical alert company on our site. Its products are a good option for older people living alone, and you don’t have to worry about changing the batteries or updating it because it’s practically maintenance-free.

However, it may not be the best pick if you want extensive caregiver tools, and plans require a three-year contract.

For a more generous refund period and month-to-month monitoring agreements, consider ADT Medical Alerts.

If you’re looking for more affordable options, skip ahead in our list to Bay Alarm or Medical Alert.

Features and availability

Each system comes with a pendant or bracelet plus a battery that lasts for up to 10 years without recharging. Professional installation services are available nationwide.

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home device range: 800 feet
  • Mobile battery life: Up to 10 years
  • Fall detection: Not offered
  • GPS: Available
  • Medication reminders: Not offered
  • Term: 36 months
  • Caregiver app: Yes

What reviewers like: Fast emergency response

A high percentage of positive reviews mention phrases such as “immediate response” and “came very soon.” People also like that monitoring representatives stay on the line until help arrives.

“I fell, I tried to get up, was not able too. I pushed my Life Alert pendant, within seven minutes — help came,” a reviewer in California said.

A reviewer in Texas said, “I remember pressing the Life Alert button — but nothing else. ... I had two heart attacks that day — one at home — the other while in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. I am grateful Life Alert was so prompt in sending help.”

Pricing and plans

The system is a bit pricier than our other top picks. According to a Life Alert representative, midrange systems cost $69 per month. There is also an initial charge of $198, which includes the cost of equipment, activation and installation.

Total costs vary by system options and devices:

  • Medical Emergencies system: The flagship medical alert service comes with a waterproof pendant or wristband. The pendant has an 800-foot range, and the battery lasts up to 10 years.
  • HELP Button: This larger, mountable button, featured above, is ideal for high-risk areas, such as showers and bathtubs. The waterproof device uses two-way communication technology to connect users to the monitoring center. No landline or outlet is required.
  • HELP on-the-go + GPS: Life Alert’s mobile medical alert system is a GPS-enabled panic button that works anywhere that GSM cellular phones operate in the U.S. The device has a small push-button style and can be worn or stored in a purse or pocket.

For the most accurate pricing information, it’s best to contact the company directly. Life Alert’s website isn’t set up for online transactions — you must call the company directly to make an order.

Great professional monitoringADT Medical AlertAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Starts at $29.99 to $39.99 per month
  • Add fall detection for $10 per month*
  • No upfront equipment fees
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adt medical alert plus system

Relatively new to the medical alert market, ADT's equipment options are similar to what other top brands offer. What sets it apart is its professional monitoring experience.

You may be familiar with ADT as a home security company. Its medical alert systems are also monitored, but reps undergo senior-sensitivity training to better communicate with older adults during an emergency.

Some reviewers say that the device can be a little too sensitive sometimes, but we don’t see that as an overly bad thing. In these situations, reps are generally patient and understanding. What’s important is that it works when you need it.

Features and availability

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home range: 300 to 600 feet
  • Mobile battery life: N/A (free replacements)
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Available
  • Trial period: None
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: None

What reviewers like: Peace of mind

Reviewers like that ADT Medical Alert provides a sense of security, both for the wearer and their loved ones.

“Everything's outstanding with ADT Medical Alert. Even though my mother forgets to put her phone in her pocket, I know she always has that necklace thing on. So, that makes me feel a lot better,” a reviewer in Illinois said.

It’s also nice that the company takes the initiative to check up on their own equipment. “One time, their team called and said something wasn't working. So, they sent a new device and we sent the old one back,” a reviewer in Texas said.

I have the necklace and one time, I took it off and I tried to jerk it. Then I laid it down and I heard someone asking if I was all right or if I've fallen,” a reviewer in Michigan said. “They have that automatic feature where the device goes off before they call you and that's what I love about it. So I know that if I fall, they're going to call and check on me.”

Pricing and plans

All plans include professional monitoring services. No long-term contract is required, and the company offers a full refund for early cancellation.

There are no upfront equipment costs or activation fees (the base system remains owned by ADT), but monthly charges increase as eligible items are added, such as fall detection. All packages come with a pendant or wristband, two-way voice communication features and free battery replacements.

  • Medical Alert Basic: Starting at $29.99 per month, this package is designed for in-home use. It requires a landline and includes home temperature monitoring features. The pendant has a range up to 300 feet.
  • Medical Alert Plus: Starting at $35.99 per month, this package also comes with home temperature monitoring. Fall detection is optional with this package, and the pendant has a 600-foot range. There is no landline requirement.
  • On-The-Go: Starting at $39.99 per month, this package comes with a mobile base unit, GPS location capabilities and optional fall detection. Special online pricing may be available.

Our pick for ADT Medical Alert: Medical Alert Plus

The Medical Alert Plus system comes with free shipping, activation and battery replacements. The pendant has a range of up to 600 feet and built-in two-way voice communication. Wall-mounted buttons and other accessories are also available with this system.

Included fall detectionLifelineAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Starts at $29.95 to $58.95 per month
  • Costs $69.95 to $198.95 upfront
  • Some packages include fall detection
Learn More
lifeline gosafe two

Lifeline, formerly known as Philips Lifeline, offers devices designed to be used at home or on the go. With a personalized care plan, you can choose who responds when you call for help. On average, it takes 22 seconds for users to connect to the response center.

Some plans also include advanced fall detection. While no company’s fall detection will catch 100% of falls, one quantitative analysis from Lifeline showed that devices with accurate automatic fall detection report “more than twice as many falls as would be reported with a standard personal emergency response system that requires a button push.”

Features and availability

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home device range: Varies
  • Mobile battery life: Up to 3 days
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Available
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: Yes

What reviewers like: Good value, ease of use

Several positive reviews highlight that Lifeline’s devices are comfortable and intuitive. “There are other companies out there that say they're cheaper but their service is not as reliable as Philips,” according to a reviewer in South Carolina.

“I can press the device on my neck and Lifeline will call to ask if everything is okay and I'll tell them what's going on so they'll send someone right away or call the ambulance. It's a good thing, so I keep one on my neck. I like it,” a  reviewer in New York said.

A reviewer in Iowa said, “Lifeline gives me confidence and I feel more comfortable with it. I can just push the button and contact somebody. It's been great. Customer service is nice to me too.”

Pricing and plans

Pricing varies for each package based on the connection (landline or cellular) and additional equipment selected. On the plus side, there’s no long-term contract required and its emergency response center supports multiple languages.

  • HomeSafe Standard: This basic in-home system starts at $29.95 per month for a landline connection or $43.95 for cellular, plus a one-time $50 activation fee. It comes with two-way voice communication, a waterproof button and a pendant or wristband.
  • HomeSafe with AutoAlert: This model starts at $44.95 per month with a landline or $58.95 for cellular connections, plus a one-time $50 activation fee. It’s designed to be used at home and on the go, and it comes with everything in the standard package plus a fall-detection pendant.
  • GoSafe 2: This model costs $49.95 per month plus a one-time $99.95 device fee. It comes with a waterproof button, built-in fall detection and rechargeable battery. The system has multiple location technologies and is designed to be used away from home, which is why it requires a cellular connection.

Lifeline also charges installation fees of either $19.95 for DIY installation or $99 for professional installation on top of its activation fees.

Our pick for Lifeline: GoSafe 2

The GoSafe 2, featured above, is good for active people who like to spend time outside. It comes with five location technologies, so you get help when you’re out and about, even if you don’t know where you are.

One potential downside is that delivery can take a little longer than other Lifeline systems — up to eight weeks sometimes.

Good customer serviceMedical AlertAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Starts at $19.95 to $42.95 per month
  • No upfront costs
  • Add fall detection for $10 per month*
Get Pricing
medical alert mobile system

Medical Alert offers highly rated emergency equipment, and its Five Diamond, UL-certified monitoring center is equipped with translation services to offer help in 140 languages.

Through the company’s Medical Alert Connect mobile app, caregivers can keep an eye on the medical alert device’s status, contact list and working condition. You can monitor more than one profile and even connect directly through the app, too.

Features and availability

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home device range: Varies
  • Mobile battery life: Up to 5 days
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Available
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: Yes

What reviewers like: Reliable service, transferable systems

The team is reliable and the button is comfortable to wear, according to positive reviews.

People also really seem to like the added security and support. “It's very comforting to have around 'cause I know if anything happens, I'll just have to push the button and they will come,” a reviewer in Vermont said.

People also appreciate that the systems are transferable, including a reviewer in Texas who wrote, “My Medical Alert was my mother's. When she passed away, I had it transferred to my name. So far, so good.”

Plans and pricing

Medical Alert offers home-based and mobile systems:

  • Home System: Depending on the device’s connectivity, this model starts at either $22.95 per month (landline) or $32.95 per month (cellular). It comes with a two-way speaker and lightweight button that can be worn around the neck or wrist.
  • Mobile System: Monthly fees for the Mobile System start at $42.95. This system comes with a button pendant or bracelet, two-way speaker device, GPS location services and Connect app access.

Your cost per month is lower if you pay once or twice a year instead of monthly. Fall detection is available for an additional $10 per month, and a protection plan to cover up to $350 in damages to the system is available for an extra $1 per month.

Our pick for Medical Alert: Mobile System

The Mobile system, featured above, comes with built-in GPS for location services, and their rechargeable batteries last up to five days at a time. It runs on the AT&T cellular network.

Low starting costsBay Alarm Medical
  • Starting at $21.95 to $51.90 per month
  • No setup fees
  • Add fall detection for $10 per month*
Learn More
bay alarm medical sos smartwatch

Low starting costs: Bay Alarm Medical

Bay Alarm Medical has the most affordable plan of our top picks, plus one of our top medical alert mobile apps — and it's one of our top systems with GPS.

Services are designed to keep people safe both inside and outside of their homes. Plus, its systems are relatively simple to set up and operate. Technical support representatives make it easy to get devices up and running, and they take time to make sure new customers understand their systems.

Features and availability

  • Monitored: Yes
  • Connection: Landline or cellular
  • At-home device range: Up to 1,000 feet
  • Mobile battery life: Varies
  • GPS: Available
  • Fall detection: Available
  • Trial period: 30 days
  • Term: Month-to-month
  • Caregiver app: None

What reviewers like: Ongoing technical support, good value

“The service is well worth the money since they are all so kind and helpful,” according to a reviewer in Georgia, who added that “you can tell they are compassionate people and want to help the person that has fallen.”

“The few times it was used, the service was very prompt and given in a very kind and calm way,” said a reviewer in Pennsylvania. “And when we tested the system on occasion, it was always an easy process. The return process was easy and the customer service representatives are very nice.”

Pricing and plans

Bay Alarm Medical offers home-based and mobile systems with 24-hour professional monitoring services. Upgrades for caregiver tracking and GPS tracking are available for an additional $5 per month each.

  • In-Home Medical Alert: This home-based system can connect to help through either a landline ($21.95 per month) or a cellular network ($29.95 per month) at the time of publishing. Device options include a lanyard, wrist button and fall detection.
  • GPS Help Button: This mobile option starts at $29.95 per month plus a one-time $99 device fee. It includes location tracking, and automatic fall detection is available for an additional $10 per month. Devices are available in black or white and come with an optional warranty.
  • SOS Smartwatch: This model costs $29.95 per month plus a one-time $179 device fee at the time of publishing. It includes location tracking but doesn’t offer fall protection upgrades.

Our pick for Bay Alarm Medical: SOS Smartwatch

The SOS smartwatch, featured above, is a modern alternative to a traditional medical alert, but it still features a physical help button that dispatches local EMS to your location. It comes with built-in GPS and is pre-installed with a 4G LTE SIM card.

Compare Top Medical Alert System Reviews


Find a Medical Alert System partner near you.

    How to choose a medical alert system

    These days, almost all quality medical alerts come with 24-hour monitoring and similar entry-level equipment. With so many options and so much similarity, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

    As with any important purchase, it’s a good idea to start by reading reviews. This helps you learn about the average customer experience. If you still aren’t sure, follow these steps to find and compare different systems.

    1. Think about where you’ll need it

    If you live in a big house, consider range extenders to ensure your device works in all rooms.

    Before you buy a system, the first step is deciding whether you want the option to use the device outside your home. Most medical alert systems fall into one of two broad categories:

    • Home-based medical alert systems: Home-based systems haven’t changed much since the 1970s. Traditional systems come with a pendant that wirelessly connects to a base station. They typically have an operating range of 300 to 1,400 feet from the base station. In-home systems can run on landline, cellular or internet connections.
      • What to consider: Range, network connection (landline or cellular), installation and audio quality.
    • Mobile medical alert systems: Mobile systems are designed for more active lifestyles. They often come with built-in GPS or geofencing features so that emergency services can locate you if something bad happens while you’re out and about. Mobile medical alert devices have to be charged regularly, but some have backup batteries that can last several days. Also, these devices typically run on a cellular connection, so make sure that the service is supported where you live.
      • What to consider: Cellular network, battery life, device weight, audio quality and GPS features.

    In general, mobile systems have more impressive technology, but they also come with a higher price tag than traditional home-based systems. The extra cost is often worth it if you spend a lot of time out in the yard, frequently run errands or make trips to visit with friends, though.

    2. Decide if you want professional monitoring services

    Next, decide if you’d feel safer with a device that connects to a monitoring service:

    • Unmonitored medical alert systems: When an unmonitored system is triggered, it dials a preprogrammed contact, typically a loved one or 911. The systems are sometimes referred to as no-monthly-fee medical alert systems because they don’t require a service contract to function. However, an unmonitored device has the same response every time it’s activated, no matter the situation.
    • Monitored medical alert systems: When triggered, monitored systems connect to a monitoring center with live, trained operators. The person at the monitoring center contacts a caregiver, friend, family member or 911 based on your current needs. Many dispatch centers can provide responses in multiple languages, and some services include daily wellness check-ins and activity tracking. Most top companies are UL-certified or part of The Monitoring Association’s Five Diamond Designation program.

    Both monitored and unmonitored systems should include a panic button or an emergency call button, and many offer automatic fall detection.

    Monitored systems are great if you aren’t sure it’s time for assisted living but still want a little extra sense of security. If a monitored medical alert system detects a fall, the company might first try to call the wearer before contacting emergency personnel, depending on your plan’s monitoring services.

    3. Compare devices and features

    A standard system comes with a base unit and a help button that you can choose to wear around your neck or on your wrist. However, additional equipment and features are commonly available, like:

    • Automatic fall detection: The top systems with fall detection trigger an alarm when the device senses a sudden gravitational pull, which eliminates the need to press an emergency button to call for help after an accident.
    • GPS tracking: Medical alert devices that connect to a global positioning system (GPS) are popular among people with Alzheimer’s and other memory issues. People with dementia are prone to wandering around and getting lost, but built-in GPS makes it possible to pinpoint a person’s exact location, even if they don’t know where they are.
    • Waterproofing: Because so many accidents happen in or around the shower, it’s good to have a help button that can get wet. Most medical alert companies manufacture waterproof or water-resistant devices.
    • Wellness tools: Some monitoring services provide medication reminders and regular check-in calls as part of their plans.
    • Caregiver apps and dashboards: Consider if you want to share activity and location updates with friends, family or caregivers. Users can usually manage their accounts and update emergency contact information through the same app as well.
    • Lockbox: A lockbox securely stores a key to your home for authorized personnel in case of an emergency. This way, help can get into your home without breaking windows or damaging doorways. Lockboxes are a popular add-on from many major medical alert providers.
    A personal emergency response system (PERS) can be a smart investment for anyone who lives alone.

    Fall detection is an appealing feature, but it’s important to note that it’s not 100% accurate or reliable. Fall detection technology uses accelerometers and barometric sensors to track the movement of the device, so it might not register a fall if you go down slowly. It can also trigger frequent false alarms, according to some reviewers. However, even relatively short falls can be devastating for older adults, so speedy medical attention is the best way to prevent long-term injuries or death.

    Whatever your preferences, compare features and accessories from different medical alert companies to help find the right option for you or your loved one.

    4. Consider your budget

    Price is a significant factor in comparing medical alert companies, especially if you’re on a fixed income. Total medical alert costs vary based on how you customize the system, what kind of connection you need (landline or cellular) and whether you pay for ongoing monitoring.

    • Generally, unmonitored systems cost a few hundred dollars upfront. You own the equipment, and there's no recurring monthly fee.
    • For a monitored system, the recurring fee averages between $20 and $60 per month, but many companies offer packages with free equipment as long as you have an active monitoring subscription. New customers often get a price break if they enroll in a monitoring contract with a yearly payment plan, too.

    To keep costs easy to compare, we’ve tried to keep all the listed prices in this guide at the rate the company offers for month-to-month service (unless otherwise noted).

    Still, a medical alert device isn’t in everyone’s budget — about half of seniors rely on Social Security for the majority of their income, according to recent poverty statistics. For cheaper options, check out these products for aging in place.

    5. Read the fine print

    It’s important to read the fine print before opting into any monitoring contract — some companies charge high cancellation fees if you terminate services early. You should also look for a company that offers a price-lock guarantee to ensure the system stays affordable.

    Here are some other terms to look for:

    • Contract requirements: Most systems require a monitoring agreement. Keep an eye out for long-term contracts that are hard to cancel. Most of our top picks have month-to-month options, but a few of the top companies do require ongoing contracts.
    • Free trial period: It’s great if you can try the system out in your home for at least a month before you commit. Otherwise, you might get stuck with a system that doesn’t really work for you.
    • Service network: If you're getting a cellular system, make sure it runs on a network you know to be reliable in your area. For instance, you might live in a neighborhood where AT&T or Verizon is preferable.
    • Warranty: A good manufacturer’s warranty means that you won’t have to pay out of pocket for repairs or replacements, if needed.

    For more, learn what questions to ask when you talk to a company representative.

    Compare our picks for top medical alert system packages

    Below, we compare our picks on upfront costs, monthly fees and trial periods.

    Package/planUpfront costs*Monthly fees*Trial period
    life alert logoIn-home$198Estimated around $69None
    adt logoMedical Alert Plus$0Starting at $35.99None
    lifeline logoGoSafe 2$99.95$49.9530 days
    medical alert logoMobile System$0Starting at $42.9530 days
    bay alarm medical logoSOS Smartwatch$179Starting at $29.9530 days

    *Costs are as of time of publishing. Terms and conditions may apply.

    life alert logoIn-home$198Estimated around $69None
    adt logoMedical Alert Plus$0Starting at $35.99None
    lifeline logoGoSafe 2$99.95$49.9530 days
    medical alert logoMobile System$0Starting at $42.9530 days
    bay alarm medical logoSOS Smartwatch$179Starting at $29.9530 days

    Medical alert system FAQ

    What is a medical alert system?
    Medical alert systems are small devices that contact emergency assistance when you press a button. They are often made up of a base unit and an emergency help button, which can be worn on a lanyard or bracelet. However, some systems are contained in the wearable device.

    When you press the button, the system can connect you to a trained emergency response operator, a trusted friend or a relative.

    Medical alert systems are designed either to be used in the home or out and about. They can be monitored or unmonitored, come with or without fall alert features and connect to either home-based landline or cellular networks.

    Medical alert devices generally use small radio transmitters to contact their base stations (if applicable), which use cellular or landline networks to connect with monitoring centers or emergency contacts. When the wearer presses the help button, the personal emergency response system (PERS) reaches out for help.

    Medical alarm devices can be passive or active. With an active device, you have to press an alarm button to call for help, but passive systems monitor your movements to help detect an emergency, such as a fall.

    On average, Medical alert costs generally include the following:
    • Monthly monitoring fees that start at about $20 to $60 per month without add-ons
    • Equipment or activation fees that usually range up to $300 if they’re not waived
    • Installation fees up to $100

    A personal emergency response system (PERS) can be a smart investment for anyone who lives alone. Still, cost is only one factor when choosing between aging in place and assisted or independent living. Read about the costs of aging in place or explore topics related to elder care planning next.

    No, medical alert systems are not covered by Medicare parts A or B or Medicare supplemental insurance. Some Medicare Advantage plans could reimburse you for the cost of a wearable device but only for certain patient groups.

    ConsumerAffairs can’t direct buyers to Medicaid-eligible systems, and any brand you contact will typically refer you to your Medicaid caseworker for further guidance.

    Alternatively, long-term care insurance may also provide reimbursement for medical alert systems.

    The Internal Revenue Service doesn’t specifically itemize medical alert systems as eligible for tax deductions, but many medical expenses and aging-in-place home modifications are tax deductible. A tax professional can help you determine if you can deduct a medical alert system in your tax filings.
    What medical conditions require a medical alert bracelet?
    Medical alert bracelets, also called medical ID bracelets, are common for those with severe epilepsy, diabetes, serious drug or food allergies or dementia. A medical alert bracelet is an identification tag that includes lifesaving information about any medical conditions that require immediate attention should the wearer be in distress and unable to speak.

    These bracelets are wearable tags and not to be confused with medical alert systems or devices, which can also be worn around the wrist. It's a piece of jewelry that informs emergency responders and medical professionals of certain medical conditions.

    A medical alert is often safer than a cell phone for seniors. The help button might be more accessible during an emergency, especially in the shower or bath; if the user falls, has a sudden accident or otherwise needs medical assistance, they don’t have to worry about reaching a phone to call for help.

    Aging-in-place is the preferred senior living option for many people. Products like medical alerts, walk-in bathtubs, hearing aids, bed rails and other products can make this safer and more accessible.


    We started with a list of 23 medical alert companies and ranked them by Overall Satisfaction Rating (star rating on our site) as of September 29, 2021.

    Companies with a rating below 3.5 stars were eliminated first. To dig a little deeper, we analyzed 1,343 reviews submitted by verified customers over the last year (September 29, 2020, through September 29, 2021).

    To stay on the list, we required companies to have at least twice as many 5-star reviews as 1-star reviews during this time period. We also took into consideration each company’s overall percentage of 5-star reviews when making our final selections.

    Once we narrowed it down, we codified 5-star review data from the top companies to determine what existing customers like most about their systems. We also compared equipment options, available features and costs to help inform our recommendations for each company.


    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit FAQ page.
    1. Aging and Health Technology Watch, “The Future of Wearables and Older Adults 2021.” Accessed September 28, 2021.
    2. National Council on Aging, “Get the Facts on Fall Prevention.” Accessed September 28, 2021.
    3. Philips Lifeline, “Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) with Optimized Automatic Fall Detection Shows Greater Effectiveness than PERS Alone.” Accessed September 29, 2021.

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      Compare Top Medical Alert System Reviews

      How to talk to your loved one

      Are you trying to purchase a medical alert system for a loved one but haven’t spoken to them about it? Watch this video for tips on how to approach the topic of senior medical alert devices.