5 Best Life Alert Alternatives of 2019

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Life Alert has been a crucial company in terms of bringing medical alert systems to the mainstream. The company is well-known for its successful commercials featuring elderly women falling down stairs, and the memorable tagline “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” is firmly etched in just about everyone’s memory.

However, despite this dominance from a marketing perspective, they aren’t the only brand operating in this space. Many other companies, such as Medical Guardian and LifeStation, have seen considerable success in recent years, thanks to their often innovative alternatives and cheaper price points.

Budget
best-budget-life-alert-alternative
LifeStation Mobile with GPS
4.8/5.0
Type: Pendant
Casing: plastic
This unit is low cost and also has excellent reliability.
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Best Value
best-value-life-alert-alternative
Medical Guardian In-Home Medical Alert System
4.8/5.0
Type: In-Home Medical Alert System
Pendant: plastic
Superb monitoring service, reasonable subscription fees.
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Top Pick
top-value-life-alert-alternative
Medical Guardian Freedom Guardian
4.9/5.0
Type: Smartwatch
Casing: plastic
Extensive feature-set, fantastic monitoring service.
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The problems with Life Alert

One of the biggest issues people have with Life Alert is the fact that all of their products come with a 3-year contract. This contract is also notoriously difficult to cancel, as the company often demands proof that a loved one has passed away or now requires 24-hour care.

Life Alert is also known for being very aggressive with its sales. This is evident in the way the company withholds certain information on its website in an attempt to force visitors into making a sales call.

For example, you can’t order a Life Alert system online. Instead, you have to make a call to the sales department where you will no doubt be subjected to a lengthy sales pitch and put under pressure to buy.

Life Alert also doesn’t publicize its prices. This is not only frustrating but yet another example of how the company forces potential customers into making a sales call.

The subscription service they provide is also significantly more expensive than most others. This, coupled with the fact that you are forced into a long-term contract if you buy one of their devices, means that as a package, Life Alert products are rather poor value for money.

For most of us, shady business practices such as the ones mentioned above are easily identifiable, and the chances of us being pressured into a sale are low. However, these products are targeted primarily at the elderly who could be manipulated a lot easier. It is for these reasons and more, that we recommend steering clear of this company, especially considering just how many excellent alternatives are available.

In this guide, we will be looking at some of the best alternative systems this space has to offer and discussing their various pros and cons. Therefore, if you are looking for a medical alert system that doesn’t have the Life Alert brand name attached to it, stick around, as this guide may include the ideal device for you.

Life Alert Alternatives Comparison Table

Make and ModelTypeFeaturesConstructionPrice
LifeStation Mobile with GPSPendantGPS, WiFi, help button, optional fall detectionCasing: plastic
Necklace: fabric
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Medical Guardian In-Home Medical Alert SystemIn-Home Medical Alert SystemEmergency help button, two-way communication, 24/7 monitoring centerPendant: plastic
Wristband: plastic
Hub: plastic
Check Price
Medical Guardian Freedom GuardianSmartwatchEmergency call button, GPS, 3-day weather forecast, medication and appointment alerts, text-to-speech messaging, audible info readouts, built-in cameraCasing: plastic
Strap: plastic
Check Price
Daytech Wireless Caregiver PagerWireless PagerEmergency SOS, vibration & audio alertsCasing: plastic
Strap: silicone
Check Price
Tycho GPS SmartwatchSmartwatchActivity tracking, cellular, GPS, sleep tracking, emergency SOS, built-in camera, voice monitoring, voice chat, alarms, geo-fence alarmCasing: aluminum
Strap: leather
Check Price

1. Best Budget: LifeStation Mobile with GPS

LifeStation Mobile with GPSView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The LifeStation Mobile is one of the most highly regarded mobile medical alert systems on the market. Praised for its compact, easy-to-use design, the LifeStation Mobile has become the go-to for many seniors; despite the growing competition the device now faces.

Design

The LifeStation Mobile has a very simple design that offers no frills or gimmicks. While this makes the device pretty uninspiring to look at, medical alert systems are rarely praised for their appearance.

This approach to the design doesn’t come from a place of laziness either. The Life Station Mobile has been designed this way intentionally, as the company knows that their devices need to prioritize function over form, due to the demographic they are primarily aimed at.

Some will argue that in today’s world there is no excuse for a tech product looking ugly. However, when it comes to medical alert systems, this lack of style is often justified.

An excellent example of this is the emergency help button placement on this device. Not only is the button large, but it is also placed directly in the middle of the device. This means that even if you aren’t completely sure how to use the device, you are likely to press the button in an emergency.

The casing on the Life Station Mobile is made from plastic making it very lightweight which is important if you plan on wearing the device around your neck. This plastic casing does raise some durability concerns, however, it shouldn’t be an issue unless you happen to fall on it.

The necklace is made from fabric. It is a very functional accessory that is easily adjustable and should provide decent levels of durability. However, it is also the one area of this product that we feel could have been improved from an aesthetic perspective.

The reason for this is because most elderly people are already very familiar with necklaces and other similar items. Therefore, there is no unfamiliarity to be addressed, like there is with the device itself. This doesn’t mean the device should come with a luxury chain, but something a little less degrading would have been preferred.

As for water-resistance, Life Station has confirmed that the device is waterproof, meaning that it is perfectly fine to keep it on while showering. The odd splash also isn’t going to do any harm. The base station for the device is also water resistant, however, it is unlikely to encounter any water unless it is placed next to your sink.

Features

The Life Station Mobile is fairly limited in terms of features, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, this approach will most likely be preferred by seniors, as it keeps things simple and to the point. It does, however, include a help button, GPS, WiFi, and optional fall detection.

To make an emergency call, you simply need to press the help button on the front of the device. This will connect you to Life Stations dedicated monitoring team who will then do their best to assist you with your problem. If you aren’t fond of the idea of paying a subscription, you can also set the device up to call 911 or a family member instead.

The subscription service, however, is one of the better ones. For starters, the subscription fees are relatively cheap and come with a 30-day money back guarantee. On top of this, the company also carries out a weekly silent test as part of the package to make sure everything is working correctly.

The GPS feature on this device is used to track your location if you happen to fall ill or injure yourself whilst out and about. This is an extremely important feature, as it means the person on the other end of the call will be able to pinpoint your location, without needing you to give a description.

Battery life

The Life Station Mobile has a pretty decent battery life of up to 5 days. On paper, this means you will only need to charge the device about once or twice a week. Although this is the case, we recommend charging the device daily, as you will want to be sure the device is ready to go if you ever need to use it in an emergency.

This device is quite simply one of the best medical alert systems money can buy. It has a very well refined feature-set and the device itself is extremely easy to use. It might not be much to look at, but in terms of reliability, this is about as good as it gets.

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Tech Specs
Type: Pendant
Features: GPS, WiFi, help button, optional fall detection
Construction: Casing: plastic
Necklace: fabric
Battery life: Up to 5 days
The Pros
Easy-to-use device
Can be worn as a necklace
Has an emergency button
Comes with 24/7 monitoring free for the first month
Lightweight
Relatively durable
Decent battery life
Will only need to be charged once or twice a week
The Cons
Difficult to conceal
Requires a subscription
The device isn’t very stylish
Expected better from a device that doesn’t have a display

2. Best Value: Medical Guardian In-Home Medical Alert System

Medical Guardian In-Home Medical Alert SystemView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.8/5

The Medical Guardian In-Home Medical Alert System is more conventional than most of the other devices in this guide. It is a device that has been designed to be used inside of a home rather than on the go and this makes it the closest competitor on this list to a traditional Life Alert system.

Design

As you would expect, this device isn’t going to wow anyone in terms of appearance. For the most part, this isn’t an issue, as the device will be used in your home. However, if you are particular about the interior of your home and what you have on display, the functional styling of this device could be a problem for you.

The base station is made from plastic and comes in the standard white color you expect to see on a purely functional appliance. On top of the base station, there are a number of buttons; with the most prominent ones being the Emergency button, and the Reset button.

In between the two buttons is a fairly large LCD display which is used to give you a variety of information including the time, date, temperature, signal level, and the devices current battery level. Below this display, there is also a small touch bar which can be used to adjust the volume.

The system also comes with a wearable button that can be used to call for help at any time, provided you are within range of the base station. The button has a very simple design that features a single button with a plastic, oval casing.

The button can be worn as either a pendant or as part of a wristband. This is a nice touch by Medical Guardian, as it means you won’t necessarily need to replace a nice necklace or watch with an ugly button. You could also choose to place the button in your pocket, however, this will increase the chances of you losing it or accidentally making a call.

Features

This system has been designed with one goal in mind; to give a person the ability to call for help in an emergency. For this reason, the feature-set on this device is pretty limited. However, this isn’t a bad thing, as it makes the device very simple to use. Something which is often preferred, especially by seniors.

The emergency help functionality has also benefitted from this somewhat single-minded approach, as Medical Guardian has been able to thoroughly refine the feature to the point where it works seamlessly.

Pressing the help button will initiate a call to Medical Guardian’s 24-hour monitoring center where an agent on the other side will be able to assist you with any issue you may be having. Call times are said to last around 47 seconds on average, which is considerably faster than the average 90 seconds most other systems are able to boast.

Medical Guardian also benefits from having some of the fastest response times in the business. On average, it takes around 28 seconds to connect you to an agent, meaning you shouldn’t have to wait too long for assistance. As a comparison, most other systems are only able to offer times of around 30 seconds. The difference isn’t a lot, but it could be huge when it matters most.

There is also optional fall detection available for this system, however, as is the case with most other systems, it costs extra. Fortunately, the subscription packages for this system are very reasonably priced, making fall detection a worthwhile investment if you know you are prone to having a bad fall.

Battery life

As this device designed to work inside of your home, the base station primarily runs on mains electricity. There is, however, a backup battery inside of the base station which lasts up to 30 hours on a single charge.

The reason this battery has been included is so the system can continue to work even if it is cut off from any electricity, such as in the event of a blackout. It’s an excellent addition and it shows that Medical Guardian is really trying to cover all scenarios to ensure that you are never far from help.

This device is a lot more reminiscent of a Life Alert system, however, it also offers far more value for money. The emergency help functionality is among the best we’ve seen and the backup battery means that you can rely on this system no matter what happens.

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Tech Specs
Type: In-Home Medical Alert System
Features: Emergency help button, two-way communication, 24/7 monitoring center
Construction: Pendant: plastic
Wristband: plastic
Hub: plastic
Battery life: 30 hours (backup battery)
The Pros
Gives you access to help throughout your entire home
Great for anyone living alone
Excellent medical alert features
Has a range of 600ft
Pendants are very lightweight
Multiple options for how you wear the pendant
Plugs into the mains
Has a backup battery in case of power outages
The Cons
Restricted to home use
Requires a subscription
Looks and feels a bit cheap
Can’t be used on-the-go

3. Top Pick: Medical Guardian Freedom Guardian

Medical Guardian Freedom GuardianView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.9/5

The Medical Guardian Freedom Guardian is the first device on this list to be classed as a medical alert smartwatch, rather than a conventional medical alert system. That being said, this device still has all of the credentials needed to function as a competent medical alert device. It just does so with the bonus of a far less offensive form factor.

Design

The design of the Freedom Guardian is fantastic. By placing medical alert functionality inside of a watch, Medical Guardian has managed to create a product that not only saves lives but also looks respectable.

If you are someone who is put off by the idea of wearing a pendant or wristband, the Freedom Guardian will most likely appeal to you. It doesn’t scream illness or problem like most other medical alert devices. Instead, it simply blends in like every other smartwatch. This means it is unlikely to draw attention, and you are unlikely to be quizzed about any condition that you may have.

As far as watches go, this is by no means a luxury item but at the same time, it would be unfair to compare this device to something like the Apple Watch. A slightly more premium design would have been preferred, but compared to most medical alert systems, this device is already streets ahead in this regard.

The watch has a rather chunky design and if you have particularly slender wrists, you may find the device to be a little too bulky. There is also a noticeably large bezel around the display which cheapens the look of the device somewhat.

On the side of the device, there is a black button and a red button. The black button is the power button and is simply there to turn the device on and off. The red button, on the other hand, is the emergency help button which is used to initiate calls to Medical Guardian’s monitoring center.

The watch also has a touchscreen display which works reasonably well but is a little too sensitive. This means it can activate accidentally at times, resulting in unnecessary power consumption.

Both the casing and the strap are made from plastic which isn’t ideal from a durability perspective, but it does mean the device is very lightweight. Medical Guardian probably opted to use plastic in order to keep the cost down which is understandable, considering they want this device to be accessible to anyone who needs it.

The watch is also IP67-rated, making it splashproof, but not completely waterproof. This means that wearing the device in the rain or whilst washing the dishes is unlikely to cause any damage. However, showering or swimming with the device on should be avoided.

Features

The Freedom Guardian has a very extensive list of functionality for a medical alert device. Its main features include an emergency call button, GPS, 3-day weather forecast, medication and appointment alerts, text-to-speech messaging, and audible info readouts. On top of this, there is even a built-in camera.

The standout feature of this device is, of course, the emergency help button. To use this button, you simply need to press and hold it for at least three seconds. This will initiate a call to Medical Guardian’s monitoring center where you will be connected with an agent.

One thing worth noting is that, as this is a Medical Guardian device, it too benefits from fast connection and call times, just like the company’s In-Home system. This does mean the device requires you to purchase a subscription package, however, the trade-off is most definitely worthwhile.

The Freedom Guardian also comes with a compatible mobile app which is available on both Android and iOS. There is also a web portal that you or your family can use if you don’t have a smartphone.

The app allows you to do a number of different things such as set appointment times, send messages and view a map. These are all useful features, however, the web portals ability to show your current location to family members is what we are most impressed by.

This feature could prove to be life-saving, especially if you are ever in a situation where you are unable to communicate your location. In this scenario, anyone that you have given access to the portal would be able to pinpoint your whereabouts and get you the help you need. This is something that every mobile medical alert system should include, as it really could be the difference when it matters most.

Battery life

The Freedom Guardian has a respectable battery life of up to 2 days. This isn’t mind-blowing by any means but it’s good to know that you can wear the device for a full day at a time, without needing to worry about it running out of power.

If you decide to buy this device, we recommend charging it daily, as the battery life will fluctuate a bit depending on usage. This means a 2-day battery life can’t always be guaranteed which is an issue when we are talking about a potentially life-saving device.

If you are looking for a medical alert system that ticks as many boxes as possible, this is an excellent option to consider. Not only does it have access to one of the best monitoring centers available, but it is also completely mobile, meaning it doesn’t need to be in the range of a base station. On top of this, it is also packed with a variety of other features that most medical alert systems simply do not offer.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Type: Smartwatch
Features: Emergency call button, GPS, 3-day weather forecast, medication and appointment alerts, text-to-speech messaging, audible info readouts, built-in camera
Construction: Casing: plastic
Strap: plastic
Battery life: Up to 2 days
The Pros
Discreet
Multi-functional
Excellent range of features
Includes emergency SOS
Audible readouts are useful for those who are visually impaired
Lightweight
Relatively durable
Decent battery life for a smartwatch
The Cons
Will probably replace your current watch
No fall detection
A metal casing would have been preferred
Will need to be charged regularly

4. Daytech Wireless Caregiver Pager

Daytech Wireless Caregiver PagerView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.6/5

The Daytech Wireless Pager is a device targeted towards caregivers, rather than the general public. It has been designed to alert a caregiver each time a patient presses one of the numerous help buttons that are included. This not only makes the job of a caregiver a little easier, but it also means patients can receive urgent attention when needed.

If you do not fit the profile of a caregiver, it might be worth skipping this product. However, if you have an elderly relative who happens to live close by, a device like this could still be useful to you.

Design

The Daytech Wireless Pager comes in two parts. There is the pager itself, which is intended to be worn by the caregiver, and the help buttons which can be placed all around a patient’s home.

The pager has a relatively simple design which gives it somewhat of a clean, almost clinical, appearance. It features a square display which isn’t of the highest quality, however, it should do the job just fine. On the side of the device, there are also four buttons which are used to interact with it.

The casing on the pager is made of plastic which will create some durability concerns. However, it does make the device rather lightweight so you may consider this to be a worthwhile trade-off. We would have preferred to see an aluminum casing though, as the price point for this device is rather high.

The strap for the pager is made from silicone. This is great to see, as silicone provides excellent levels or comfort and has a nice soft feel to it. It also doesn’t soak up liquids which could be useful depending on the type of care you will be providing.

The pager is also waterproof meaning you can wash yourself or others without needing to take it off. Considering the environment the pager will be used in, waterproofing was really a must, so it is good to see that Daytech has made sure to include it.

Features

The feature-set for this device is very limited but this is to be expected, as it has only been designed to achieve a specific purpose. Aside from telling the time, the only real functionality on this device is its ability to alert the wearer that a patient needs help. It is a simple feature, but it’s one that is very useful, especially for patients who are bed-bound or living alone.

One of the best things about the pager is that it comes with a couple of different alert options; an audio alert, and a vibration alert. This is excellent if you are working a night shift, as you can simply turn on the vibration alerts to avoid waking your partner or anyone else up.

The range for this device is 500ft. This sounds impressive but the test was done in an open area which doesn’t represent the real world environment that this device will be used in. Therefore, you should expect the range to be somewhat lower than this, as the signal will have to pass through multiple walls and other obstacles before reaching you.

There are also a few different packages available depending on your needs, and you can even by buttons separately if you decide you need more at a later date. This is especially useful, as it means you don’t need to fork out for a whole new system if, for example, you decide to take on more patients.

Battery life

The battery life of the pager is around 3 days which isn’t too bad considering it has a full-screen display. If you are a caregiver, you will probably only wear this device during work hours as well, meaning you have plenty of opportunities to charge it during your spare time.

The buttons are said to last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. Unlike the pager, however, the buttons use non-rechargeable batteries, meaning they will need to be replaced each time they run out.

This device achieves its purpose exceptionally well, making it a great option for professional caregivers and anyone looking after a nearby relative. It isn’t the most premium device, but it should definitely be able to handle the environment it has been designed to be used in.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Type: Wireless Pager
Features: Emergency SOS, vibration & audio alerts
Construction: Case: plastic
Strap: silicone
Battery life: Pager: 3 days
Button: 6 – 12 months
The Pros
Easy to use
Includes emergency SOS
Can alert you in multiple ways
Lightweight
Relatively durable
Decent battery life
The Cons
Limited functionality
Doesn’t function as a regular smartwatch
A metal casing would have been preferred
The pager will need to be charged at least twice a week

5. Tycho GPS Smartwatch

Tycho GPS SmartwatchView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.7/5

The Tycho GPS Smartwatch has been marketed as a security device, rather than a medical alert system. However, this doesn’t mean it can’ function as one. In fact, thanks to a couple of innovative features not seen on any of the other products in this guide, it may end up being the better option for you, depending on your needs.

Design

The Tycho GPS Smartwatch has a rather stylish design featuring a minimalistic aesthetic and a premium looking chrome casing. On the side of the device are two buttons that sit flush against the device which also make use of the same chrome finish.

Its design, however, is let down by a lack of quality when it comes to construction. This isn’t a device that is going to fall apart in your hands, but at the same time, you shouldn’t expect the sort of quality you will get with something like the Apple Watch.

The device is also rather large for a smartwatch with the casing measuring 45mm across and 15mm deep. For most adults, this should be fine, however, you may find it uncomfortable to wear if you have particularly slender wrists. For this reason, we also wouldn’t recommend buying this watch for children, even though it has been marketed as a device for all ages.

One of the best things about this device from a design perspective is the fact that the casing is made from aluminum. This is something we have wanted to see on a number of wearable devices in this guide, as aluminum provides decent durability whilst also being lightweight. It also gives the device more of a premium look and feel when compared to its plastic counterparts.

The strap is made from leather which further enhances the luxury appearance the device is going for. Whether the device actually pulls this off or not is debatable, but if you are looking for a medical alert device with a little more class and sophistication, this could be a good option for you.

There is also a silicone strap available, however, it is significantly shorter than the leather option, as it intended to be worn by children rather than adults. If you feel like you would benefit more from a silicone strap, there are a number of third-party options available, but they will need to be brought separately.

Features

The Tycho GPS Smartwatch has a rather unique and extensive list of features including activity tracking, cellular, GPS, sleep tracking, emergency SOS, a built-in camera, voice monitoring, voice chat, alarms, and geo-fencing.

Before we continue, you should know that, as this device is cellular, it will require a SIM card to fully function. As the watch is compatible with standard 3G SIM cards, this shouldn’t be too much of a hassle, but it is still something worth noting if you decide to buy this product.

The emergency SOS feature on this device works well but it is pretty limited in its functionality. Unlike most of the other devices in this guide, the Tycho GPS Smartwatch doesn’t come with a monitoring center that can be contacted. Instead, the emergency SOS feature simply calls whoever you choose to set as an emergency contact.

While this means that you don’t need to pay any subscription fees, it also means that you have to be sure your emergency contact will answer when you need them most. Alternatively, however, you could just add 911 as your emergency contact instead.

Despite having an emergency SOS feature, the real reason this device has made it into this guide is that it offers geo-fencing. This feature works by setting up a safe zone around the watch which sends an alert to a paired smartphone if the wearer leaves the zone.

There are several reasons why you could want a feature like this. However, we believe the best use for it is if you have a relative who suffers from a condition such as sundowning. By having them wear this watch, you could set up a safe zone around their home, allowing you to quickly respond if they go wandering in the middle of the night.

Battery life

The Tycho GPS Smartwatch has a battery life of up to 4 days which is very good for a full-screen wearable at this price point. It does mean you will need to charge the device once or twice a week, but considering the number of features you get in return, it is a worthy trade-off.

This device is the perfect example of a product being the jack of all trades, but a master of none. It includes some excellent features and has a fairly premium design compared to the other devices in this guide. However, everything about this watch seems to lack a little refinement, and for that reason, it can’t be given a perfect score.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Type: Smartwatch
Features: Activity tracking, cellular, GPS, sleep tracking, emergency SOS, built-in camera, voice monitoring, voice chat, alarms, geo-fence alarm
Construction: Casing: aluminum
Strap: leather
Battery life: 2 – 4 days
The Pros
Discreet
Multi-functional
Excellent range of features
Includes emergency SOS
Doesn’t require smartphone tethering
Geo-fence system is very useful
Lightweight
Durable
The strap is high-quality
Decent battery life for a smartwatch
The Cons
Will replace your current watch
No fall detection
Requires a SIM card
Polished finish may be prone to scratches
Will need to be charged once or twice a week
0/50 ratings