Help at the Push of a Button

In a recent survey, nearly 90% of seniors said they preferred to live in their own homes. Although loved ones want to respect these wishes, there are true risks involved with living independently. According to the National Council of Aging, one in three adults over the 65 will experience a fall each year. September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month, and the team at put together a guide ( to finding the most reliable medical alert systems to ensure that seniors are safely independent — and giving loved ones one less to worry about.

How They Found the Best Medical Alert System

They started out with 69 devices and to find their top picks, the team consulted over 100 elder care experts, examined service agreements, and personally tried out several contenders. Here’s what they looked for:

  • Broad coverage options so the device
  • Didn’t require a full home security system
  • Service that was easy to start — and stop
  • Quality customer service and an easy purchase process
  • Equipment variety — companies with landline, mobile, and cellular units got extra points!

The Top Picks for Canada

Although their review is for all North America, the following are the best picks in Canada:

  1. Philips Lifeline – with an impressive selection of devices, a well-designed medication dispenser, and an emergency contact iPhone app, Philips offers more innovative options than other leading brands. That, combined with 24/7 call response (in English and French) makes them an excellent choice for seniors.
  2. One Call Alert – built on the promise of business integrity, One Call Alert ensures that there are no long-term contracts or hidden fees.
  3. LifeCall – We’ve all heard LifeCall’s popularized slogan “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” With nearly 30 years of experience, LifeCall’s reputation in Canada can speak for itself. The company offers easy-to-use helpful features such as 5-year batteries and waterproof devices for increased protection.

For more information on how the team at conducted their research, click here.

Did You Know?

Few companies allow you to buy the equipment outright. When you order a medical alert device, you are renting the equipment and paying for access to the call center. Medical alert providers can charge you fees for any damaged or lost equipment so make sure to read the fine print!

Call center representatives don’t necessarily have to be medical professionals, though most are EMTs or trained nurses.

There are a lot of new medical alert companies, and while going with a new contender isn’t always a bad choice, consider a company’s history before making a commitment so you or your loved ones don’t have to deal with any mishaps that can occur early on in a company’s career.

Does Your Loved One Need a Medical Alert System?

During at-home emergencies, a reliable medical alert devices quickly connect seniors with someone who can help. Doctors recommend medical alert systems for seniors living alone or with a partner who may not be able to help physically in the event of an emergency. The best course of action to take if you think that your loved one is a candidate is to have an open discussion regarding their habits and health. If you think your senior may be opposed to a medical alert system, speak openly on the subject and let them know that it’s a safety issue — not that you feel they are inept. Furthermore, let them know it gives you peace of mind.

Keep in mind, a medical alert system isn’t a substitute for home, nursing, or hospice care. If your loved one needs a higher level of care, a device can help but not replace.

If you need help in providing care for yourself or a loved one, or to select a medical alert device, we at Qualicare Ottawa ( would love to help. You can email us at [email protected] or call our 24/7 hotline at 613.366.2899.

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