Medical Guardian Review

Medical Guardian is a provider of personal medical alert systems, alert monitoring and dispatch of emergency services with alert systems suitable for use both in and outside of the home. Medical Guardian, LLC has been in business for over a decade and is a United States-based company with headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. An entirely U.S.-based monitoring facility provides safety with no calls outsourced to other countries.

As we age, our needs change. The Institute on Aging reports that as of 2010, the number of people living to 85 and beyond was the fastest growing group of older Americans. In 2050 there are expected to be 19 million people at least 85 years old in the United States, a full five percent of the population. Nearly one-third of older Americans live alone, and some estimates say over 53 percent of these people have physical limitations that lead to a need for a way to call for help quickly in the case of an accident.

Bone fractures due to aging alone account for two million incidences a year. Even among those not living alone, the risk of becoming lost or disoriented for those facing dementia, Sundowner’s, and Alzheimer’s is troubling. A personal medical alert system can be a lifeline in these situations.

Medical Guardian equipment includes home-based emergency alert units and cellular-based units that are not dependent on a base station for service. Along with providing 24/7 monitoring, operators are trained to help in both emergency and non-emergency situations where a call to another family member or friend is more appropriate than dispatching the fire department or paramedics. For tips on what to look for in a medical alert system check out our medical alert systems buyers guide.

Pros
  • Provides 24/7 United States-based monitoring
  • Offers alert systems for both home and travel
  • Offers GPS enabled alert devices
Cons
  • Medicare does not cover service cost

Medical Guardian Products and Prices

Medical Guardian offers three units with a home base and two travel models. All are priced based on their monthly monitoring rather than being a flat fee up front for equipment plus monitoring, and there are discounts for quarterly and annual payments. Each of the home base units works by having a central base station with an emergency button plugged into the home electrical system using a UL certified bracket that prevents the system from being unplugged. Each of these systems comes with at least one wearable emergency button.

Medical Guardian Screenshot

Medical Guardian Products

While optional, Medical Guardian will also include a lockbox for the front door at no additional charge with an annual subscription of any Guardian model. The lockbox is useful for storing a house key, so EMTs or police do not have to break down a locked door to get to the person requiring attention. Other paid options are wall-mounted buttons and a pendant with fall detection.

  • The Classic Guardian base unit starts at $29.95 monthly. Fall detection monitoring is available with a specially equipped pendant for an additional $10 a month and is another layer of security, but keep in mind the fall detection service is not yet a perfected feature from any emergency response company. The customer should use the button on the pendant or wristband if they fall.

  • The Home Guardian base unit starts at $34.95 monthly. As with the Classic Guardian, fall detection monitoring is available for an additional $10 monthly and requires a pendant. Customers can choose between a neck pendant or a wristband in white or black. An optional wall-mounted button is available on this model and higher models discussed below.

  • The Family Guardian base unit system starts at $79.95 a month. Three safety sensors installed in the home allow family members to receive notifications via email or mobile app when their loved one presses the emergency button or is not going about their daily routine. A door monitor is used to send notifications when the senior leaves the home. This feature is especially helpful for loved ones with dementia or confusion.

  • The Mobile Guardian is one of the two mobile alert systems offered by Medical Guardian that are not dependent on the base station for service. Plans start at $39.95 a month. The Mobile Guardian is a small emergency device that can be worn in a belt pouch, placed in a purse, or with the customer’s choice of a neck pendant or wristband in black or white. The wearable button has a 350-foot limited range from the primary alert device. Available extras include a wall button and car charger.

  • The Active Guardian is the second mobile alert system by Medical Guardian and comes with the most features. Service plans start at $49.95. Like the Mobile Guardian, this unit is not base-dependent although it does have a charging station. A lanyard worn around the neck provides two-way communication with the Medical Guardian monitoring center with fall detection built in, although fall detection costs an additional $10 per month.

  • Freedom Guardian is well-designed watch to for those who are active and on the go. It has a touch-screen with large icons and features advanced location tracking, reminders and alerts, analog watch face, audible features, color options and more. It pairs with the Freedom Guardian mobile app which is available on Google Play and the Apple Store. Freedom Guardian starts at $44.95 per month with a one-time equipment cost of $99.

Medical Guardian Warranty and Return Policy

Medical Guardian has no contract and you can cancel service at any time. If you choose to cancel service, simply return the equipment and you will receive a prorated refund based on the day the device was returned to Medical Guardian.

Medical Guardian product features

Medical Guardian alert systems come with varying features. Features depend on which package you purchase and whether it’s a home or travel package. This chart compares Mobile Guardian’s different medical alert packages and their features.

Medical Guardian consumer reviews

Customer reviews through the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where Medical Guardian has an A+ rating, highly praise the monitoring service and response to emergencies when the unit is activated. A few negative reviews deal with product malfunctions along with complaints about billing issues. The majority of these seem to be from family members of seniors who were sent units but never used them. In some cases, the family did not notice their loved one was not using the alarm devices until over a year had passed. The company has addressed most complaints.

Medical Guardian received mostly five-star reviews from verified customers on ConsumerAffairs and responded to complaints to resolve any issues.

Medical Guardian Screenshot

Screenshot: Medical Guardian Home Page

Medical Guardian Q&A

  • What is the point of having a medical alert device that works with WiFi if the device has GPS?
    GPS-enabled medical alerts are necessary for active seniors who frequently leave their homes. GPS lets monitoring centers find you no matter where your location is. The Active Guardian model is also WiFi-enabled to make pinpointing someone’s location even more specific by using the nearest WiFi hotspots in your current area. These hotspots are plentiful in most locations around the United States.

    There are many reasons Medical Guardian’s pendants and wristbands are preferable to using a cell phone for emergency services. The wearable devices are:

    • Highly water-resistant, which is not the case with all cell phones.
    • Will not fall into the water where you may not be able to retrieve the device safely.
    • Will not slip out of your hand if you fall while your cell phone may be irretrievable after a fall.
    • No dialing, just a push of a button.
    • There are several emergency situations where you could be too disabled to make a call.

    Note that the fall detection does not work 100 percent of the time, which is the case across all manufacturers of this type of device. Press the button if you fall.

  • How do I know when to consider emergency monitoring for myself or a loved one?
    The most obvious reason to use a monitoring device for safety is if an emergency is likely to be brought on by a seizure, stroke, heart attack, or conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. Other considerations are when the individual is frequently home alone or traveling alone, recovering from surgery or having difficulty communicating due to hearing loss or other medical issues. Medical Guardian devices are also ideal for the senior who enjoys an independent life but would simply feel safer with a way to reach emergency services quickly.

  • What is the benefit of having U.S.-based monitoring?
    Having monitoring facilities in all fifty states as well as Puerto Rico and Canada reduces the chance of communication failure due to language barriers. Operators speak English, Spanish, or another language using a third-party translation system. Operators are available all day, every day, even on holidays.

  • What emergency training do the operators have?
    Medical Guardian’s operators are trained to know when to contact emergency services, a relative or other designated safety contact to avoid sending an ambulance when it’s not necessary. Not all monitoring services can make that distinction. Medical Guardian has service awards, memberships, and certifications from The Electronic Security Association, Underwriters Laboratory (UL), The Monitoring Association TMA Five Star Certification and Factory Mutual Approvals.

  • I don’t have a landline. Can I still use Medical Guardian emergency response services?
    Only one of Medical Guardian’s four models, the Classic Guardian, requires a landline. The Home Guardian, Mobile Guardian, and Active Guardian all use AT&T’s nationwide cellular network at no additional cost to the customer. You do not need to be an AT&T subscriber.

Conclusion

Choosing the right medical alert company is a critical decision. Consider what each service package offers, then balance each package’s ease of use with the cost. In this age of outsourcing call center duties, Medical Guardian’s U.S.-based monitoring helps ensure communication between the senior and the operator so that emergencies are addressed with no time wasted. To learn more about Medical Guardian, call 888-362-3950 or check out their online order form.

Medical Guardian Reviews

Recent Reviews

November 20 2019 11:40PM

Customer Service was great I switched from home unit to mobile unit had a small amount of difficulty in getting lanyard for mobile unit. No instructions on how to install. Second customer service rep walked me through.

Scott E.
New Braunfels, TX
November 19 2019 7:22PM

This service doesn’t work. Half the time (at least) they don’t call when we push the button to test. When they do, it takes a long time. We also purchased fall detection. My mother fell on three separate occasions and was never detected. One fall was serious and she was injured. Don’t use this service—it is not only a complete waste of money it is quite dangerous because it offers a false sense of protection.

Athos N.
Oakland, CA
November 19 2019 7:14PM

This system doesn’t work. We test it regularly to ensure that it is working, and more than half the time they do not respond. We also purchased fall detection. My mother has fallen three times and they’ve never detected a fall (one was quite serious) or responded. Save your money.

Loretta T.
Corte Madera, CA
November 04 2019 1:20AM

Just bought this for my mother who is 84, still active and has fairly good hearing for her age. While testing the devices (base unit, pendant, watch) today, one of the dispatchers did not understand my mother (who speaks clearly but was still acquainting herself with the equipment and was not speaking that loudly.)

The dispatcher said she could not understand my mother, then appeared to start speaking another language. My mother was nonplussed and took a minute to respond, saying "I'm sorry I can't understand you." The dispatcher then said, "I can't understand you so am disconnecting the call."

I assumed that that meant she would follow up by sending EMS to the house or, at least, call my mother's emergency contact -- me. However, when I called the Medical Guardian call center to inform them that there was no need to send EMS as we were only trying to conduct a test call, I was told that no one had called EMS.

Furthermore, no one called me (I had my cell phone right there with me and that is the emergency number on the account) to check to see if my mother needed help. There was no way for the dispatcher to know that my mother was not alone and was only trying to make a test call. None of that had been communicated.

The reason I was given for why Medical Guardian disconnected my mother's call and made no attempt to follow up with help or an inquiry with her emergency contact was that the dispatcher probably saw that we had been testing the device earlier in the day and so just assumed this was also a test call.

Thank God, the dispatcher's "hunch" that my mother didn't really need help was right, otherwise there might have been serious medical consequences for my mother. A company that can't even take the time to bother to call your emergency contact to check to see if their hunch that you don't really need help is correct, is not exactly the kind of company I am inclined to pay for medical protection. Some of these other reviews are scaring me about what I might have to go through to get my money back.

But, I will most certainly be demanding a full refund as soon as their customer service office opens tomorrow. Please don't waste your money on a company that can't be bothered to make a simple phone call to find out if you actually need help or not after you've called them and they have disconnected you because the communication wasn't clear.

MAUREEN M.
Raleigh, NC
October 15 2019 9:08PM

Horrible customer service! I updated my debit card today. It asked me to enter the amount and due date as well as the card information. My payment is due in three days, not today, so I entered the due date. My bank was charged. I got online to chat.

When I was connected to "Princess", I explained what happened. She asked if I entered a payment amount. I said yes. She then informed me that's why I was charged, I should have entered 0. Nowhere during this process did it say to enter 0. I told her that the website had asked me for the amount and due date, I said the 18th because I didn't want it taken out today as it wasn't due til then.

She responds that she doesn't see the payment has posted, just that it's pending until the 18th. I informed her it had already been deducted from my bank account. She then gives me the "it'll take 7-10 business days and whenever updating payment amount, you should always enter 0 so that you're not charged."

So, my money can be taken in 3 seconds but I can't get it refunded for something that was an error on your website for not saying to enter 0. It does me no good to know that helpful information after the charge was already made. I certainly didn't appreciate being made to feel like I should have known. If they want a 0 entered when updating a card, maybe mention it ANYWHERE during the process.

I'll be looking for a different place to handle my mom's at home medical help. If this is how poorly they handle a payment, I most certainly can't trust them with my mom.

Kelly S.
CHANDLER, AZ
October 10 2019 5:52PM

Horrible service. Do not waste your money on this. Customer service is also rude and unhelpful. Returned the equipment with tracking and they say they didn't receive it even though the tracking says they did. It's shameful and unethical to be taking advantage of the people that need medical care.

Monica A.
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
October 02 2019 4:08PM

This company is not only bad. They are dangerous. I have been paying for a medical pendant with fall protection for more than a year. My mother had several instances in which she fell and no one was notified. I called to find out the problem. The necklace was replaced. Her last fall was in the garage of her home. It was a hot Summer day. She passed out and she almost died.

I decided to replace this ineffective system with an Apple watch and an app which notifies the family if she falls. It is working perfectly. We do get false alarms but that is much better than no alarm. When I called to cancel the Guardian service, I was informed the fall service was never turned on. I had selected a device which allowed the service specifically for falls. I called because it was not working. A second pendant was sent. No one told me the service was not turned on or that it cost an additional $10. I feel the company stole money from me at a rate of $53 a month and purposely endangered the life of my mother. I urge you to find another company. This one is DANGEROUS!

William J.
Burleson, TX
October 01 2019 10:35PM

My first device malfunctioned. Took over two hours to convince the company that l knew how to use it, but that 2 of the functions no longer worked. I recieved and had the replacement device activated yesterday. Followed the directions to return the defective one within 5 days to avoid paying $350.00. Nowhere was it indicated to allow the defective one to discharge fully instead. In fact, one issue was the on off button no longer worked.

Apparently as it was being returned via prepaid mail, it got jumbled and activated somewhere in the postal system. Why wasn't the old device deactivated rather than create two accounts? My first indication of a problem was firemen banging on my door. No calls to me, but calls were made to the 3 people on my emergency list, causing great anxiety and distress.

Diane M.
Grandview, MO
August 23 2019 1:10PM

My sister got this watch for our mother. When she opened it up we realized that they had sent her a used watch. They corrected this by sending out a new watch. This watch stopped working within the year so we were sent out another watch. The worst part is their customer support line. If you call late in the day you are guaranteed to have the "answering service" cut in while you are on hold saying that they are busy and they would take my name and number and they would call you. I told them that I would prefer to wait, but this is not an option. When I asked when will they call back they just say that they will mark it as a priority which is just a tactic to make you feel better. Both times I had to waited with my mom until they closed not know if they would call me back or not and both times I had to call them back the next day. I told the answering service that I just wanted to activate the new watch but they couldn't do nothing. You have to think how do they run things when it a true emergency.

Henry J.
Clawson, MI
August 13 2019 11:03PM

They were great at the beginning talked me into even getting a warranty agreement and they sent the information promptly however after activating it setting it up testing make sure they got everything and then just now having an actual medical emergency which machine would not work no one came when my parents press the buttons only to try to call customer service not once not twice three times as well as emailing for over a week and a half and no one has called me back answering services or they will call you back but they don’t I also asked for another necklace which I failed to get at the time when I actually activated the account took thinking back that should’ve been a clue of what their customer service and commitment is They however took my money probably very happily taking my money but no service in return

Patty C.
Sandy, UT
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