Independence is key for Canadian seniors. A recent National Institute of Ageing (NIA) survey found that almost 100 per cent of Canadians 65 years of age and older reported that they plan on supporting themselves to live safely and independently in their own home as long as possible.
That’s why many caregivers and older Canadians, especially those who live alone or are at risk, are looking to medical alert systems. There are a number of medical alert systems providers in Canada, each promising to deliver peace of mind, independence and security. However, the quality of equipment, reliability and service delivery differ among them. Our expert reviews will provide you with everything you need to know to find the right medical alert system for you.
Our Top Picks For Medical Alert Systems
The experts behind WirelessWizard researched dozens of companies to find the best providers of medical alert systems in Canada. Here are the best medical alert systems according to our editors.
- Editor’s Choice: TELUS LivingWell Companion
- Honourable Mention: Galaxy Medical Alert
- Honourable Mention: Senior Protection
- Industry Leader: Philips Lifeline
- Compelling Value: Life Assure
- Ease of Use: Red Dot Alerts
- Best Range: Medical Guardian
- Best Caregiver Features: Caretrak
- Best Entry-Level: Bedford Medical Alert
- Good Value: SecurMEDIC
Besides the eight questions you should always ask when buying a medical alert system, the wide variety of features, service options, and fees open to Canadian seniors and their caregivers make it challenging to figure out what’s best—after all, several companies offer competing solutions.
Editor’s Choice: TELUS LivingWell Companion
Of the many options in the market, we recommend the TELUS LivingWell Companion. This device offers the best overall value in terms of cost and functionality. TELUS is a longstanding provider of medical tech solutions and has been trusted by over 12 million Canadians. The company offers Canadian seniors access to 24/7 support, ensuring you get help whenever you need it. Produced by a reputable provider, the LivingWell Companion series are trusted devices that will help you or your loved ones feel safe knowing they provide access at the push of a button—and their subscriptions are fairly priced. Check out our in-depth review of the TELUS LivingWell companion.
Honourable Mention: Galaxy Medical Alert Systems
Galaxy Medical Alert offers an in-home traditional medical alert system, an in-home cellular option, and a mobile device that offers GPS—and the latter two can be paired with their fall detection technology. What’s more, their systems are well made and easy to use. The company isn’t reinventing the wheel with their medical alert systems. What they do provide, however, is solid equipment, great customer service and excellent monitoring.
You can rest assured that your call will be answered by Galaxy’s expertly trained and certified emergency medical technicians who will access your profile, contact the people you’ve identified, and request the help you want. Galaxy Medical Alert Systems Response Center is a CSAA Five Diamond certified monitoring center
Galaxy’s plans start at $29.95 a month and go up to $49.95 a month for the most advanced system. However, if you prefer to pay for a full year in advance, you will be able to do so at a reduced rate. For less than a dollar a day, you can get 24-hour emergency medical monitoring. You will get 2 months free if you subscribe to Galaxy’s annual plan.
Honourable Mention: Senior Protection
Senior Protection’s parent company, Alarm Guard, is a leading provider in home security, which is why they made our list. Senior Protection systems for both in-home and on-the-go use come with all of the essential features, such as waterproof help buttons and a two-way communicator that connects to their 24/7 monitoring centre. Plus, their systems come with built-in fall detection, so you don’t have to purchase it as an add-on feature. The peace of mind and assurance that comes with this health technology leader makes it a mainstay in the industry and one of our top picks.
Senior Protection is a top contender, as they offer one of the largest in-home coverage ranges in the industry. It’s essential for older adults to be able to call for help during an emergency, no matter where they are in the house. And, at more than 1,000 feet, Senior Protection’s range from its base station to wearable help buttons is two or even three times the in-home coverage of many of its competitors. Check out our in-depth review of Senior Protection.
Industry Leader: Philips Lifeline
Philips Lifeline claims to be the very first provider of medical alert systems and services in North America, and it claims to have served more than 7.5m Americans since 1983. Philips Lifeline stands out for its diverse feature set and solid device offerings. Several of its devices include features that go beyond standard emergency monitoring. For example, Philips Lifeline offers optional fall detection called AutoAlert that is designed to automatically detect falls by distinguishing between accidents and everyday activities. Some of Philips offerings also include location tracking in their monthly service charge. Check out our in-depth review of Philips Lifeline.
Compelling Value: Life Assure
Life Assure is one of Canada’s foremost providers of medical alert systems for seniors. Its stated goal is to give seniors their independence back, allowing them to keep living in their homes, and protect them in the case of an emergency. Life Assure provides all the features you need to ensure that you are protected and have easy access to help when you need it. As a bonus, they’re well priced and the fact that there’s no upfront payment for the device is particularly attractive. Check out our in-depth review of Life Assure.
Ease Of Use: Red Dot Alerts
Red Dot Alerts is a recent offshoot of the popular Ottawa elder care provider Bruyère. The company has put its many years of experience caring for elderly people into developing their medical alert system, building upon their helpline service. For ease of use, simplicity, and responsiveness, Red Dot Alerts score highly—and their plans are moderately priced and competitive. We’d like to see longer battery life and perhaps a more affordable mobile solution, but in all other respects, Red Dot Alerts’ safety measures for seniors are highly recommended. Check out our in-depth review of Red Dot Alerts.
Best Range: Medical Guardian
Medical Guardian has been around for fifteen years, and usually ranks in the top three North American medical alert system providers in terms of sales. The company provides innovative safety solutions to ~200,000 seniors and their caregivers—and is an excellent choice for those who desire premium devices and top-of-the-line features.
Medical Guardian offers a wide array of medical alert products and services. These vary from smart watches tracked by GPS to pendants monitored from a plugin base station. While they may offer slightly different features in terms of mobility and peace of mind, they do share a few common features including industry-leading connectivity and device range. Check out our in-depth review of Medical Guardian.
Best Caregiver Features: Caretrak
Like most other medical alert systems, Caretrak relies on a wearable pendant that gives you a direct connection to your care contact or its 24/7 emergency monitoring center. You wear this pendant around your neck or carry it in a pouch. A unique feature of Caretrak is that it offers two response options. The first provides you with a typical medical alert service by a certified emergency response centre, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The second option, however, connects you instead to family and can be used for less urgent concerns, too. In both cases, your GPS location will be sent to your caregiver. Caretrak is operated by a Canadian-based company that specializes in the distribution of mobile personal emergency response solutions throughout Canada. Check out our in-depth review of Caretrak.
Best Entry-Level: Bedford Medical Alert
Bedford Medical Alert is a solid choice for those who desire an entry level medical alert system at home or on the go. Bedford Medical Alert is a family owned and operated Canadian company. With its focus on seniors and wide range of products, Bedford offers you all the features you could possibly need to get the peace of mind you require. Pricing aside, it is a solid choice for those who desire an entry-level system at home or on the go. Check out our in-depth review of Bedford Medical Alert.
Good Value: SecurMEDIC
Founded in 2009, SecurMEDIC has established a national presence: over 200,000 customers throughout Canada use its 24/7 monitoring services. As stated above, customers enjoy instant access to five certified response centres. With an excellent speaker and great range, SecurMEDIC has everything you need in a medical alert system. But don’t expect to leave home with it—it lacks a mobile component. If you can live with the fact that it is designed for those who rarely leave the house, the system is certainly worth considering. Check out our in-depth review of SecurMEDIC.
How To Choose A Medical Alert System
Are you worried about falling when you’re alone? Perhaps you’re a caregiver concerned with the welfare of the person in your care. Medical alert systems—where the simple press of a call button can summon emergency help or contact a caregiver or family member—can offer reassurance.
After all, falls among seniors are a serious public health concern. According to the Canadian government, falls remain the leading cause of injury-related hospitalizations among canadian seniors—and between 20% and 30% of seniors fall each year. Falls and associated outcomes not only harm the injured but also affect family, friends, care providers and the health care system. We do know, however, that these personal and economic costs can be avoided through injury prevention and monitoring.
The wide variety of features, service options, and fees open to canadian seniors and their caregivers make it challenging to figure out what’s best—after all, several companies offer competing solutions.
We offer up the expert advice you need before you purchase a medical alert system and a breakdown of the features for which you should keep an eye out here.
|The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and they do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of the providers being reviewed. The providers and WirelessWizard assume no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this site. The information contained in this site is provided on an “as is” basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness and without any warranties of any kind whatsoever, express or implied.
Under the banner Tech For Seniors, WirelessWizard is pleased to share innovations for older adults—with a focus on deferring as much as possible the time when getting older gets in the way of living life independently. Check out all of tech-for-seniors content here.