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:
Benefits of Wearable Medical Alert Bracelets for Seniors
The Best Medical Alert Bracelets for Seniors
1. Best Wearable Medical Alert Bracelet (Overall): HandsFreeHealth Smart Watch for Seniors
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.
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.
3. Best Medical Alert Bracelet for Home: Medical Guardian Home Alert System
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.
4. Best Cheap Engravable Medical ID Bracelet: JF.Jewelry Customizable Stainless Steel Medical ID Bracelet
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!