We've said it many times, medical alert systems remain one of the best solutions if you're looking for peace of mind. But there are a TON of medical alert systems out there and a lot of places you can buy them, making the process pretty confusing for a lot of our readers.
So where can you buy a medical alert system and what are the relative advantages or disadvantages of each source, if any? That's a great question we sought an answer to. Here's the result of our investigation.
If you'd like, you can walk into a Best Buy or a CVS and walk out with a medical alert system. Some stores will offer everything from monitored to un-monitored and in-home to mobile and you can literally walk out of the store with the item the same day - which can be important to some.
However, what you don't get in the store is helpful service. We found the store clerks in Best Buy couldn't tell us how long the mobile battery lasted, whether the device was waterproof or how many family members could be added to the contact list. Because different situations merit different systems, we think getting the right advice BEFORE you buy, is very important.
Also, once you get home with your system, you're going to have to call, subscribe and pay for the monthly monitoring with the medical alert company directly. So you're not actually cutting them out of the process - and because the retailer is involved, the prices tend to be a little higher than buying directly from the medical alert company in our experience.
Another option is to get your medical alert system from an online retailer like Amazon. The advantage of getting your system from Amazon is that you can read independent customer reviews and they make it pretty easy to comparison shop - to a degree.
The downside, like stores, is that you're not getting any advice on the best type of medical alert system for your needs. With so many types of systems offered by each manufacturer, we believe good advice BEFORE you buy is essential to long term safety and satisfaction.
Also, after you get your system, you're going to have to subscribe for the monthly monitoring with the medical alert company directly anyways, so you're actually not cutting that step out of the process at all.
Probably the most popular way to get a medical alert system is directly through the manufacturer. Simply call them up, they'll ask you a series of questions to help assess which of their systems and add-on's are best for your situation, order over the phone and they'll ship it out to you right away.
We don't care where you end up buying your system from, whether it's in a store, online or directly through a medical alert company. However, we do suggest you speak to a medical alert company first (some phone numbers below), so that you or your loved one gets outfitted with the right medical alert system from the get go.
We also found that many medical alert companies are willing to give purchasing incentives or deals over the phone, that simply aren't available if you buy your system in the store or online.
Our feeling is, when buying a medical alert system you're not just buying a product, you're buying a service. Do your research online, but buy from the company directly. We believe there are several advantages:
- Free consultation over the phone - get the medical alert system that best fits your needs
- Best pricing - medical alert companies tend to give better deals directly over the phone, than through retailers
- One-stop shop for related items - add-on a pendent, wall-mounted button. lock-box or fall detection easily
Recommended Medical Alert Companies
Below are some of our favorite medical alert companies. You can call and get a free consultation with each one, all of them offer in-home, out of home and fall detection options, all have solid reputations and none of them lock you into long term contracts.