Medical alert systems allow elderly family members to retain their independence while offering peace of mind in knowing they are safe. Top Ten Reviews recently researched many medical alert systems to find the best one. Each system was judged on several factors, including the ease of installation, the monitoring features and the companies offering these systems.

"It's emotionally difficult and expensive to move elderly parents into a nursing home," said Lecia Monsen, Managing Editor of Top Ten Reviews. "Medical alert systems offer many features that give you peace-of-mind and allow your parents to stay in their home longer."

The Top 3:

1. Bay Alarm Medical: This medical alert system offers a small, waterproof pendant with a range of up to 1,000 feet. The service is available in 170 languages. With a press of a button on the pendant, the Bay Medical Alert System notifies emergency medical technicians. The system works with a power plug and a phone line, so anyone can install it easily.

2. LifeFone: Worldwide protection is available with this service, as long as the pendant is within 1,000 feet of the base. LifeFone sets up emergency contact plans, and a personalized profile allows LifeFone to give emergency responders critical information, including medical history, medications, allergies, physicians, family members, neighbors and preferred hospital.

3. LifeStation: This medical alert system offers several years of experience. LifeStation offers free delivery and installation. The most unique element of LifeStation is its two-person care specialist system. When the system is activated, one specialist stays with your family member during the entire situation and a second specialist contacts emergency services.

[Complete Medical Alert System Reviews]

What Makes a Top-Notch Medical Alert System?

The best medical alert systems will offer easy and nonintrusive installation, a variety of features, 24-hour monitoring, technical support and a strong company to stand behind the system. Top-ranking medical alert systems were judged on these five main criteria.

Installation: Not everyone understands how to install security systems, so the top rated medical alert systems offered hassle-free installation. In addition to easy and free installation and delivery, pay attention to the terms of the service contracts, including information on activation and cancellation fees. The best systems include fee-free, short-term services.

Monitoring Features: The best medical monitoring systems featured a help button, often on a mobile pendant, and an alert console with two-way communication. Since the consoles plug into a power jack, they should have back-up battery support for power outages. In an emergency, the best companies will contact listed family members or friends.

Additional Features: While the pendant and console are standard, some families want more features. Some services come with a lock box to store a key for emergency responders. Other services offer a GPS device allowing for long-distance tracking if the customer is away from home. Some systems come with bathroom and hallway buttons. One great extra feature is a fall detector. Look for a service with additional features that fill your family's particular needs.

Company Information: The best medical monitoring systems feature in-house monitoring centers operating 24 hours a day. The very best companies have years of experience and are UL certified for safety measures.

Customer Service: Friendly 24-hour support sets medical monitoring systems above cell phone-based or do-it-yourself emergency plans. The top medical monitoring systems offer multiple languages, technical support, toll-free numbers and online support.

Thanks to medical alert systems, elderly family members can continue to live in comfort and dignity under their own roofs without worry.

More Top Stories