The average life expectancy in North America is higher than it used to be, meaning people are more likely to spend more of their golden years living independently.

According to Pew Research, a significant percentage of people and couples in the United States and Canada live alone compared to other parts of the world. While independent living has perks, it can come with risks as well, especially in older adulthood when folks may live with chronic conditions.

A medical alert system can offer an extra layer of safety whether you’re a senior on your own, or a caregiver or loved one to an older family member. ADT, known for its home security services, also offers a health platform with three options for medical alert systems.

Curious about what to expect? Read on to learn more about the brand’s offerings and reputation.

You’re probably familiar with ADT as a home security brand. The brand has been around since the 1940s and is currently based out of Boca Raton, Florida. It also has extensive call center coverage throughout the U.S., with a total of 12 monitoring centers.

For its health offering, it’s similar to other medical alert companies you may have heard of such as Life Alert or Medical Guardian, and includes at-home and on-the-go options.

How it works

You can choose from three different ADT medical alert systems, including two at-home systems and one mobile option.

At-home systems include a base unit and wearable help button. The base unit has a two-way speaker and connects you with the call center in an emergency. You can press the button on the base unit or wearable to get help. If you’re too far from the base unit to communicate, or can’t communicate, call center employees will call you and dispatch emergency help to your location if they can’t reach you.

The mobile unit is a portable system with built-in GPS technology. You can bring it with you on outings or while traveling. Unlike the home unit, the mobile device can detect your GPS location. This is a helpful feature for caregivers who might be worried about their loved ones getting lost.

There’s no long-term contract when you sign up for an ADT medical alert plan, and you can opt to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually. The quarterly and annual options come with a free lockbox.

You can sign up via the website or call ADT directly to get started. You’ll receive your system by mail and can likely set it up without additional assistance.

A fall detection add-on is available at an additional monthly cost. It’s important to note that no medical alert system can guarantee 100% fall detection accuracy. False alarms can happen, and while ADT does not charge for these, your local emergency services may bill you. Additionally, in rare cases, your device may not recognize a fall.

Pros

  • no contract
  • no activation or equipment fees
  • optional fall detection is available, and there’s no charge for false alarms
  • discounts for yearly or quarterly plans and a free lockbox accessory
  • solid reputation and a wide array of monitoring centers throughout the U.S.

Cons

  • no caregiver app
  • fall detection only available with the pendant wearable
  • no voice activation feature
  • limited range for home base units

In addition to thoroughly researching the brand, we also looked at the following:

  • customer reviews, especially those from third-party review sites
  • the brand’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile
  • other brands to compare features and services

When vetting brands, we also look for:

  • good business practices
  • medical credibility
  • company reputation

You can purchase an ADT medical alert system through the company’s website or by calling ADT directly.

ADT medical alert systems fall in the mid-range of the pricing spectrum for these types of devices. Depending on your plan, you can expect to pay $30-$40 per month. If you prefer to pay yearly or quarterly, the least expensive plan option costs $312 or $83 quarterly. The most expensive plan is $432 yearly or $114 quarterly.

Does ADT offer payment plans?

You can pay for a plan either monthly, quarterly, or yearly. Quarterly and yearly plans come with discounts and a free lockbox accessory.

Is there a setup fee?

When you purchase a plan, you don’t have to pay for the equipment or setup. There’s also no contract, so you can cancel at any time.

Does ADT accept insurance?

ADT offers government and insurance funding options. To find out if you qualify, call ADT directly.

Can you change or cancel your subscription?

Yes. You can do so at any time.

Here’s an overview of ADT’s medical alert system product line.

Medical Alert Basic System

  • Price: $29.99 per month
  • Type of alert system: at-home
  • Warranty: premium protection plan included
  • Pros: works even in areas without cellular coverage, home temperature monitoring
  • Cons: limited range of up to 300 feet

This basic system from ADT is designed for people who spend most of their time at home and have a landline. It includes a base unit and a waterproof pendant or wristband help button.

In addition to connecting you to a call center agent in an emergency, the base unit also monitors your home’s temperature.

It has a range of up to 300 ft, which is less than some competitors. And there’s no option to add fall detection to this package.

Medical Alert Plus System

  • Price: $35.99 per month
  • Type of alert system: at-home
  • Warranty: premium protection plan included
  • Pros: greater range than the basic unit, no landline needed, optional fall detection
  • Cons: fall detection costs extra, range is still fairly limited

The Plus System is another home-based unit that works within ADT’s cellular network. It’s similar in function to the basic unit but offers additional coverage area and doesn’t require a landline connection.

Like the basic system, it also offers temperature monitoring. But even the extended range is less than some competitors offer, such as LifeFone.

An important advantage of this unit over the basic system is the ability to add fall detection. However, this feature costs an extra $10 per month.

On-the-go System

  • Price: $39.99 per month
  • Type of alert system: mobile
  • Warranty: premium protection plan included
  • Pros: optional fall detection available, useful for traveling, GPS location detection
  • Cons: fall detection costs extra, and no caregiver app or tools

The on-the-go ADT system is ideal if you’re frequently out and about, running errands, or traveling. The portable unit is GPS-enabled and can detect your location in an emergency.

A two-way speaker lets you talk with call center agents anytime you press the button. You can also add fall detection for an additional $10 per month.

ADT medical alert systems function the same way as other brand devices. Click the button and get in touch with a call center agent who can send help your way.

If you accidentally press the button, you can tell them it was a false alarm. If they can’t hear you or reach you by phone, they’ll send emergency help.

Unfortunately, ADT systems don’t come with caregiver tools. But you can provide instructions to contact certain family members in an emergency.

If you’re a caregiver looking for an option to monitor your loved one’s whereabouts, ADT might not fit the bill.

ADT has an A+ BBB rating and has been accredited since 2013. However, the average rating on the BBB website is 1.05 out of 5 stars, with a total of 6,663 complaints in the past 3 years.

Keep in mind that most of the ratings and reviews are about ADT’s home security systems, not the medical alert systems.

On Trustpilot, the brand has an overall rating of 1.2 stars, with over 80% of the reviews being 1-star. However, it’s not always clear whether customers refer to home security plans or medical alert system plans in their reviews.

Negative comments tend to refer to:

  • poor customer service
  • difficulties canceling
  • billing issues
  • defective equipment

Consumer Affairs, which specifically includes ratings for ADT’s medical alert systems, shows an overall rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from a total of 72 reviews. People say they received knowledgeable customer service. However, one customer noted long response times.

When you receive an ADT medical alert system, the device is covered under the brand’s free Premium Protection Plan for as long as you stay signed up.

This means ADT will cover replacements or repairs in cases of:

  • damage due to power surges
  • normal wear and tear
  • defective equipment
  • dead batteries
  • accidentally spills or drops (for a low fee)
  • damage due to humidity, dust, or heat (for a low fee)

There’s no coverage for lost or stolen devices. But ADT can help you locate GPS-enabled devices.

Here’s an overview of some key ADT medical alert system features.

Home temperature monitoring

This feature is available with at-home systems and can detect fluctuations in temperature that may be concerning for your health and well-being. ADT doesn’t detail how this feature works on its website. However, abnormal temperature readings likely trigger a wellness call.

Optional fall detection

For an additional $10 per month, you can add fall detection to your plan. Your wearable device can automatically detect falls and communicate with ADT’s monitoring center even if you’re unable to speak or get near your base unit.

GPS location detection

ADT’s mobile on-the-go system includes GPS location detection, so emergency services can find you even if you’re away from home.

This feature is also useful in the event you accidentally misplace your wearable.

A medical alert system isn’t just an option for older adults living alone. You might also benefit if you’re:

A medical alert system isn’t a substitute for round-the-clock medical care. Someone who needs careful medical supervision shouldn’t rely on a medical alert device for help.

ADT isn’t ideal for caregivers who might want a caregiver app or additional communication tools.

If you’re looking for lots of bells and whistles, ADT might not be the right fit for you.

While fall detection can be a helpful feature, it’s not always 100% accurate.

Additionally, your device may not work correctly if you’re out of cell service range or too far from your base unit.

Keep in mind

ADT medical alert systems are not a substitute for emergency services. In the event of a physical or mental health emergency call 911.

ADT offers similar systems and services compared to other medical alert companies. Pricing is more affordable than some brands, and you don’t have to pay any up-front equipment or installation fees.

However, you do need to pay an extra $10 per month if you want fall detection, which is common among medical alert companies. Some brands, Aloe Care Health, for example, offer fall detection as a free perk with certain systems and packages.

ADT’s home unit range is similar to many competitors but it doesn’t beat out LifeFone, whose home base unit has a range of up to 1,300 ft.

One important bonus of the ADT systems, is that they include a protection plan that covers repairs and replacements, even in cases where you dropped or damaged the unit. You’ll still have to pay a small fee if the damage is your fault, but the cost of replacement for defects is free.

ADTLifeFoneAlert1Aloe Care HealthGetSafe
Costup to $40 per monthup to $42 per monthup to $49 per monthup to $50 per month (plus equipment fees)$28 per month (plus equipment fees)
Appnoyesnoyesno
GPSyes, with the mobile systemyes, with the mobile systemyes, with on-the-go devicesyes, with mobile systemsno
Battery lifeup to 30 hours of backup battery life for the base unit30-hour backup battery, and up to 5 days for mobile unit
24-hour backup battery for the base unit4-6 hour backup battery life for base, up to 5 days for mobile unitup to 5 years for the wall buttons, depending on usage
Contract required?nonononono
Home unit range300 to 600 ftup to 1,300 ftup to 652.6 ftup to 200 ftup to 800 ft
Fall detection additional $10 per month additional $5 per monthadditional $10 per monthfree with some plansyes, with optional wearables
Warrantyeach system comes with a Lifetime Premium Protection Planlifetimenone30-day money-back guarantee1 year

Visit the ADT Health website to find out more about each system and sign up for a plan.

You can even shop for add-ons directly on the website. If you prefer to speak to a representative, call ADT directly.

Does ADT take insurance?

ADT offers government and insurance funding, but you need to call the company to determine if you qualify.

Can I accidentally set it off?

Yes. It’s possible to initiate a call accidentally. A call center agent will try to reach you via the base unit or by calling you to check if you’re OK before sending emergency help.

Is ADT private and secure?

ADT is a trusted name in the security business. Call center agents are trained not to give out your information to anyone except you and anyone authorized on your file.

How do I turn ADT medical alerts off?

The point of a medical alert system is to always be one step away from calling for help, so you shouldn’t turn off your base unit device.

Is ADT better than Life Alert? How?

ADT is less expensive and requires no contracts compared to Life Alert. Life Alert also doesn’t offer fall detection, a feature available as an add-on with ADT systems.

Whether you’re a caregiver or a senior wanting to live independently, a medical alert system like ADT may help you breathe a sigh of relief.

While reviews for the company are largely negative, customer impressions of the brand’s medical alert systems are much more positive. However, it’s important to note that people seem to have trouble with ADT’s customer service and note relatively slow response times.