Best Medical Alert Bracelets for Seniors

Best Medical Alert Bracelets for Seniors (2021): Top Models + Expert Buying Guide

By jwilder

Best Medical Alert Bracelets for Seniors

If you live alone, something as simple as tripping on the stairs can be much more dangerous than you thought. Living alone increases your risk of suffering lasting negative effects from a medical emergency. Even if you don’t live alone, having an accident or medical event at the wrong time can be disastrous.

Medical alert devices that can notify loved ones and contact EMS for you are potentially life-saving products. And sometimes they’re as simple as a bracelet!

Check out the best medical alert bracelets for seniors now to learn more about them and find a bracelet that fits your needs!

What is a Wearable Medical Alert Bracelet?

Seniors are at a great health risk when they live independently without any family or caregivers around. Statistics show that more than 36 million seniors fall each year; 32,000 of those falls are fatal. Falls are a leading cause of broken hips and traumatic brain injuries in seniors- having a fall like that without the ability to call for help is a dangerous, sometimes deadly, thing.

Medical alert bracelets are designed to help seniors continue to live independently without unnecessarily risking their health. A simple device, worn around the wrist, these products can contact EMS with the touch of a button.

How Does a Wearable Medical Alert Bracelet Work?

Medical alert bracelets combine a few different types of technology to deliver their essential service:

  • Cellular connections that can dial 911 and triangulate your location. Cellular networks are what allow you to communicate your emergency to EMS and your trusted emergency contacts. It is also helpful for providing an accurate location.
  • GPS connections that use satellites to provide a precise location, accurate to within less than 40 feet. When you need to give someone an accurate location, GPS is the most effective way to do that. They are also helpful for people who have loved ones suffering from Alzheimer’s- if an Alzheimer’s patient wanders off, they may not know they are in danger, and GPS can help them be found quickly.
  • Accelerometer sensors that can detect a fall and automatically trigger an emergency alert in case you are in trouble but cannot press the SOS button yourself.
  • Vitals monitoring is included in some medical alert bracelets, but not all of them. Sensors that track your heart rate, blood pressure, and blood oxygen levels can give you valuable insight into your current health. They can detect the warning signs of heart attacks, strokes, and other medical emergencies and give you time to get to a hospital to be treated faster. Studies have also shown that devices that monitor vital signs help doctors assess conditions and make treatment decisions faster- improving the speed and quality of their care.
  • Two-Way Voice that allows you to have what amounts to a full phone conversation with EMS when you cannot get to a phone in your situation.

Benefits of Wearable Medical Alert Bracelets for Seniors

  • Freedom: Some seniors have no medical need for assisted living, but are still not completely safe living on their own. A medical alert device makes it possible to remain independent for longer because the user has a way to get help when they need it rather than having round-the-clock help they seldom need.
  • Financial Savings: The cost of assisted living facilities (average of $4,300/month) and nursing homes ($8,800/month average) is staggering. Medical alert bracelets often come with a required monthly fee, but paying $40 per month for fall detection and an SOS button is, quite literally, pennies compared to the cost of assisted living and nursing homes. If you aren’t quite ready for an assisted living facility, a medical alert bracelet can be an extremely affordable “stepping-stone” as you continue to age.
  • Safety: If you live alone or like to spend time outside by yourself and without a cell phone, these bracelets can give you the protection you need. Using one lets you remain safe without relying on a caregiver or family member.
  • Reassurance: After falling once, many seniors have a bit of psychological blockage that makes them nervous about falling again. As a result, they tend to be more cautious and less active. Using a medical alert device gives you the confidence to live as you normally would, knowing that you have protection in case of another fall.

The Best Medical Alert Bracelets for Seniors

1. Best Wearable Medical Alert Bracelet (Overall): HandsFreeHealth Smart Watch for Seniors

HandsFree Health Smart Watch for Seniors - Medical Alert Systems for Seniors & Elderly - Senior Alert System Smart Watch - GPS Monitoring - 2-Way 4G SOS Communication Device - Monthly Subscription

This smartwatch is designed for seniors to monitor their health conditions and send out alerts in case of emergencies. It has a fall detection sensor, automatically notifying EMS if you fall, and it keeps track of your heart rate and blood pressure 24 hours a day. It’s ideal for people with any sort of health concern, and roughly $300 cheaper than the average Apple Watch!

The HandsFreeHealth watch will detect any spikes in heart rate or blood pressure, asking you if you’d like to contact help if it thinks you may be experiencing issues. This means you can detect medical events as they happen instead of after, potentially saving your life! If you have diabetes or a cardiovascular disease, this feature is even more valuable than fall detection.

Service for this watch costs $35/month, which is right in line with the average monthly cost of GPS/cellular connected bracelets. Even though it is technically a watch, it’s purpose-built for medical alerts and is far cheaper than brand-name smartwatches, making it an ideal choice to top our list.

Pros

  • GPS and cellular data provide precise locations
  • Fall detection, SOS button, and vital sign monitoring in one
  • Far cheaper than any similar smartwatch
  • Designed specifically for seniors

Cons

  • Battery needs to be charged once per day
  • Not designed to connect with smartphones; it is a standalone product

2. Best Stylish Medical Alert Bracelet: iTraq Nano GPS Beacon (with Silicone Bracelet)

The iTraq is a unique device that you can only find on the manufacturer’s website. It has an SOS button that the user can push if they need help, just like other bracelets. The big difference is that a loved one or caregiver can check on the user’s location at any time to make sure they are safe.

This thin and futuristic-looking bracelet is ideal specifically for Alzheimer’s patients. When a patient wanders, they may not realize where they are or that they are unsafe until it is too late. The iTraq Nano, combined with the bracelet accessory, gives caretakers and loved ones of Alzheimer’s patients a perfect way to find them and help them stay safe.

Pros

  • Perfect for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Affordable yearly plan
  • Simple and sleek design

Cons

  • No fall detection
  • No two-way voice

3. Best Medical Alert Bracelet for Home: Medical Guardian Home Alert System

Home Guardian Caregiver Call Button System by Medical Guardian™ - Medical Alert Bracelet and Medical Alert Necklace Call Button, 24/7 Monitoring, Including Complete Cellular Coverage (1 Month Free)

This bracelet sends a signal to a receiver with a 1,300-foot range and will connect you with emergency contacts and EMS whenever the button is pressed. It’s an effortlessly simple device that makes getting help at home possible no matter where you are. If you’re in the backyard, the basement, or even a few houses down the street, you are protected with this bracelet from Medical Guardian.

The only major drawback is that it is only made for in-home use; you can’t take it with you unless you bring the receiver along as well. So, while it’s perfect for homebodies, it won’t do you much good if you like to walk or exercise far from home. Anyone who spends most of their time in or near the home will be perfectly suited to this bracelet- it does everything you need it to do, and nothing more.

Pros

  • 1,300-foot range
  • 1 free month of service included
  • Simple one-button design
  • 30-hour battery backup

Cons

  • Cannot be used on the road or around town
  • Requires subscription; cannot be used with your landline

4. Best Cheap Engravable Medical ID Bracelet: JF.Jewelry Customizable Stainless Steel Medical ID Bracelet

JF.JEWELRY Custom Engraved Medical ID Alert Bracelet for Kids Silicone Band & Stainless Steel TagBlue Logo White Band Silicone Medical Alert Bracelet Adjustable

This bracelet may not be the type of product you are looking for, but it has lots of value (and it barely costs more than a fast-food combo meal). Instead of sending an alert to EMS or an emergency contact, this bracelet simply lets first responders know about your medical concerns.

If you have diabetes, heart disease, or any other condition, you can have it engraved with those conditions so that first responders know exactly what they are dealing with in the event you have a sudden medical emergency. This makes the treatment and care you receive much better: faster, more well-informed, and tailored to your needs.

Pros

  • Very inexpensive
  • Gives valuable information to first responders
  • No subscription
  • Custom engraving

Cons

  • Not an alerting device

5. Cheapest Subscription Plan Medical Alert Bracelet: Angel Watch Series R

This watch lets seniors call for help while simultaneously letting caregivers and loved ones locate them anywhere, all with a surprisingly low $10 monthly plan. It works just like other GPS medical alert bracelets, automatically dialing 911 and keeping you safe no matter where you go. The only major difference is that the cellular data fee is less than one-third of what it might cost on another device.

The Angel Watch Series R has a higher upfront cost, to be sure, but the price balances out after just a few months of service. The device itself is durable and easy to use, letting you get help when needed without causing a fuss. It tracks vital signs, detects falls, and does everything a smartwatch for seniors should do- for less.

Pros

  • $10 monthly fee- the lowest around
  • Great for Alzheimer’s patients
  • Durable
  • Simple layout

Cons

  • Only available on manufacturer’s website
  • Watch band may be tight on larger wrists

FAQs: Medical Alert Bracelets

Who Should Wear a Medical Alert Bracelet?

Any senior who lives alone can benefit from wearing a medical alert bracelet. Even if you don’t have serious medical issues, a medical alert bracelet can still be a valuable asset. They protect your health and promote your independence, making it safer and simpler to live on your own and handle medical emergencies if and when they arise.


In particular, people with balance issues, limited mobility, and cardiovascular issues can be well served by medical alert bracelets. If you have one of these issues, it means you are at an increased risk for dangerous falls and medical events, making you particularly well-suited for using a medical alert bracelet.

Where to Buy Medical Alert Bracelets?

As the largest retailer in the world, there are very few things you cannot find on Amazon (particularly, fireworks and cars). They have an excellent and simple return process and fast shipping, making it extremely easy to get what you need without worrying that you could get stuck with a poor product.


You can get some medical alert devices straight from the manufacturer’s website, but there is no real competition for Amazon in terms of marketplaces. They have the widest selection of any website by far, and shopping in-person for these items relegates you to the limited offerings at your local pharmacy.

Where Can a Senior Get a Free Medical Alert Bracelet?

If you have Medicare Part C, your provider may pay to reimburse you for the purchase of a medical alert bracelet. Medicare and Medicaid, unfortunately, do not cover these devices.


There is also a chance you might be able to get assistance paying for a bracelet from a local senior-focused charity organization. You can check for these organizations by visiting the US Administration on Aging’s online portal.

Buying Guide: What to Look for in a Wearable Medical Alert Bracelet for Seniors

Medical ID Bracelet vs Medical Alert Bracelet

If you go looking for medical alert bracelets, you’ll run across two different products. The first are the bracelets we’ve looked at in this article: GPS and cellular-powered devices that alert EMS to your location and quickly get you help.


The other type of product is something known as a Medical ID Bracelet (like the product that is #4 on our list). They are inexpensive items that can be engraved with your medical conditions so that EMS and first-aid trained persons know how to provide care if you have an emergency outside the home. They are different products that are useful in their own way.


It is important to know the difference when you are shopping so that you can get the right type of product. If you want a bracelet that can call help in a time of need, make sure that it has an SOS or “panic” button. If you only want to notify first responders of your health issues, you can save a lot of money by getting a simpler Medical ID bracelet instead.

Battery Life

It’s not the most fascinating statistic, but it is a crucial one. Most bracelets have a battery that’ll last at least 24 hours, but some can go months before they need to be charged or replaced. The longer you can go without worrying about the batteries, the better. It’s simpler and keeps you protected more often since you’re not taking off the device as much.

Subscription Price

Because these bracelets rely on cellular networks to provide their services, you will have to pay a monthly fee to use them. This fee ranges from $25-45 each month, though the type and quality of service you receive is rarely different. This means that, if you’re working with a tight budget, you don’t have anything to worry about if you opt for the device with the cheapest plan. Similarly, if you go with a device that has a more expensive plan, you aren’t necessarily getting anything better.

Cellular Networks

Almost every one of these devices uses either the AT&T or Verizon network of cell towers to perform their services. These networks have massive and reliable coverage across most parts of the US. If you live in a mountainous or especially rural area, though, you may want to check the coverage maps to ensure that your bracelet will get the signal it relies on. You can see AT&T’s map here, and Verizon’s map here.

Conclusion

They might not be the flashiest or most complex devices in the world, but medical alert bracelets do possess truly life-saving potential. If you think you could benefit from using one of these devices, the odds are high that you’re correct- virtually everyone would be well-served by having an alert bracelet. They can get you the help you need in moments where you would otherwise be completely vulnerable.

Which medical alert bracelet from our list was the most interesting to you? Do you have a question about these products and how they can meet your needs? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!


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