Best Medical Alert System For Alzheimer’s And Dementia

Updated: Jul 17, 2022

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Caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia can be challenging. People in the early stages of dementia-causing diseases often want to hold on to their independence, and it can be difficult to balance the safety and security of your loved ones while still allowing them to live independently.

Elderly care old and young

While there’s no perfect option for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, medical alert devices with locating technology can help caregivers find loved ones who get lost.

medical alert system can provide some peace of mind in this regard.

We’ve put together this list of the best medical alert systems for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia to help you or your loved one get the help you need so you can breathe a little easier. From on-the-go systems for people still able to run errands and live an active lifestyle to at-home options with 24/7 monitoring and caregiver alerts, this review reveals our top picks.

Key Takeaways

  • GPS tracking is an essential feature for caregivers of those with dementia.
  • A bundled system that offers GPS wearables and an in-home base unit may provide maximum protection for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.
  • Caregivers of people with moderate to severe dementia who are looking for a medical alert system should consider options with caregiver tools that allow for remote tracking.

Overview

Alzheimers

Alzheimer’s is a neurological disease that causes dementia, which is a decline in cognitive ability that can impact a person’s ability to function from day to day. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the disease is the most common cause of dementia. 

Because dementia can impact a person’s thinking and memory, it can make life difficult. 

A person with dementia may:

  • Have trouble remembering things
  • Find it hard to keep track of things, like wallets or purses 
  • Struggle to remember appointments 
  • Forget to pay bills
  • Get lost and forget where they are and how to get home
  • Find it difficult to plan or prepare meals and complete other routine tasks

While there’s no perfect option for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia, medical alert devices with locating technology can help caregivers find loved ones who get lost. 

Most electronic locator devices are equipped with GPS or other tracking technology that allows you to track a person’s whereabouts. Many devices work using a cellular network, which means the device must be in the cellular network range to transmit emergency alert data. This is called network-assisted GPS, or A-GPS.

Medical Alert Systems for Seniors with Alzheimer’s or Dementia Reviews:

Bay Alarm Medical’s systems start at $19.95 per month for the in-home system. 

For people with dementia, we recommend the on-the-go system, which starts at $29.95 per month, plus the cost of the device. This system allows you to track someone if they wander off and/or get lost. Fall detection incurs an extra monthly charge. 

There are three mobile system options:

  • Mobile LTE
  • Mobile PLUS
  • Mobile 360

Mobile systems are water-resistant, provide up to 72 hours of battery life, and include optional fall detection.

These systems also come with caregiver tracking that allows users to get GPS location data in real-time. You also have the option of bundling the mobile system with an in-home unit, which is likely the best choice for caregivers to those with moderate to severe dementia.

See Our Full Bay Alarm Medical Review.

MobileHelp is a medical alert system company offering GPS-enabled systems at home and on the go. The company even has an option that offers two help buttons, making it a good choice for couples. 

Pricing varies, so you’ll have to contact the company for an exact quote, which is a bit of a downside to this provider. 

System options include:

  • MobileHelp Solo: Includes a wearable help button and a mobile GPS unit for at home and on the go. Automatic fall detection is available for an extra fee.
  • MobileHelp Micro: Includes a compact wearable help button that you can wear around the neck
  • MobileHelp Duo: Includes two-way communication for at-home and on-the-go. The system comes with a base unit for the home, a mobile GPS tracking unit, and a wearable help button. 
  • MobileDuo: Includes everything from the MobileHelp Duo package, but is designed for two people

The brand also offers a tracking app that is ideal for caregivers who want to keep a close eye on their loved ones.

See Our Full MobileHelp Review.

LifeStation’s medical alert system includes a GPS-enabled device and a Find My Loved One app. Pricing starts at $37.95 per month.

The on-the-go plan includes one of two wearables:

  • LifeStation Sidekick: A wearable GPS device that connects to the AT&T 4G LTE network
  • LifeStation Sidekick Smart: GPS device that connects to the same network and offers activity tracking and monitors heart rate 

In addition to monitoring services, LifeStation also has a partnership with Uber Health, which helps people arrange rides to and from medical establishments. 

LifeStation devices are also compatible with Alexa devices, allowing caregivers to remotely check in on their loved ones.

See Our Full LifeStation Review.

How to Choose the Best Medical Alert System for Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Here are some important things to keep in mind when selecting a system:

System Type:

Closeup Of Couple Sitting In Car Using GPS Service On Digital Tablet

Does the person requiring the system have early, mid, or late-stage dementia? The answer to this question will impact the specific type of system you buy.

GPS Monitoring

Pros

  • It doesn’t require a network to work.

Cons

  • Physical barriers, like tall buildings and bridges, can obstruct GPS signals. If your loved one with dementia is lost inside a building or in a dense city, tracking them may be difficult.

Network Assisted GPS (A-GPS)

Pros

  • Uses cell towers to triangulate a person’s location; Better at detecting indoor location than GPS

Cons

  • Outside the cellular network, the device is useless

Radiofrequency Identification (RFID)

Works by transmitting radio wave signals to provide location data.

Pros

  • May not require any batteries, which means there’s no need to worry about replacing them.

Cons

  • Requires multiple pieces of equipment, and not all local law enforcement supports this kind of tech.

Person’s Condition:

Does the person requiring the system have early, mid, or late-stage dementia? The answer to this question will impact the specific type of system you buy.

For instance, a person in the early stages of Alzheimer’s may not feel comfortable with around-the-clock tracking. They may also be okay with a device they use only when going out.

However, if someone is in the later stages of dementia and more prone to getting lost, having a device with GPS tracking is vital.

When shopping for a system, it’s essential to consider both the desires of the person with dementia and how their mental condition may impact their safety.

Features:

Some features that may or may not be necessary for people with dementia. For instance:

  • Two-way communication is less critical, since not all people will be able to communicate with operators.
  • Fall detection is a bonus because anyone can fall and injure themselves.
  • Tracking is the most crucial feature because people with dementia can become confused, wander off, and/or find themselves unable to return home.
  • Caregiver tools may or may not be necessary to remotely track the whereabouts of loved ones.

How Does a Medical Alert System Help People with Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

A medical alert system can help keep these individuals safe, especially if they’re prone to wandering or getting lost. However, it’s important to note that tracking isn’t foolproof, and it doesn’t guarantee that a person with dementia will never get lost.

It’s also important to weigh the ethical considerations of constant monitoring.

Bottom Line

If you’re worried about the safety and health of someone you know who has dementia, a medical alert system can help.

Our top choice for people with Alzheimer’s or dementia is Bay Alarm Medical, thanks to its varied product offerings and positive customer feedback. If you’re looking for a system that can accommodate couples, the MobileHelp brand is our recommendation. Are you looking for a system that provides caregivers with plenty of remote monitoring tools? If so, LifeStation is your best bet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sundowning primarily affects people with dementia during the mid to late stages of a progressive neurological disease.

*Pricing is accurate as of March 29, 2022.

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