UPDATED February 10, 2022 This piece has been updated to reflect the emergence of new technology

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Christian Mathews Security Writer

Senior citizens and elderly people need and deserve our full care and attention. But for many reasons, it may not always be possible to have them under supervision. Older adults who can still move around and perform regular activities on their own either don’t need or don’t want a caretaker to be around them all time. But if they suffer from a severe condition, they might still need urgent help and assistance at certain times. In such cases, a medical alert bracelet for elderly is the best option.

An alert bracelet for elderly is a wearable accessory that elderly people can wear on their arms. There are two types of alert bracelets. One is a simple medical bracelet with the name of the wearer and their medical condition engraved on it.

The other type is an electronic device that has a button connected to an alarm system. The pressing of a button will send a distress signal to whoever is monitoring the system on the other end, informing them that the person requires help. Now let’s understand the difference between these two types of bracelets in more detail.

2Difference Between Engraved and Digital Alert Bracelets

Engraved Medical Bracelets

These bracelets have three primary details engraved on them:

  • Name of the wearer
  • Their medical condition
  • Helpline or Contact Number for the hospital where they were treated/diagnosed

Depending on the type and severity of the condition, these bracelets may also include additional information such as medical history and other patient records. The purpose of this bracelet is that in case of any incident, the first responder or medical professional who attends the senior citizen can get an immediate idea about their health condition and call for help with the information from the bracelet.

Its drawback is that it becomes pretty much useless when the person wearing it is alone or unconscious (for example, due to a stroke).

Digital Alert Bracelets

A digital alert bracelet features a button that can send an alarm to the monitoring system it is connected to. It may even have additional features such as GPS. They come in various configurations as most gadgets do, they may be as simple as a bracelet with a button or quite advanced like an alarm bracelet merged with a smartwatch.

Digital alert bracelets are much better than engraved ones because they have an alarm system. In case of emergency, the elderly can still send a distress signal with just the press of a button. So, they don’t need to wait for someone to find them and make a call. It enables them to call for help on their own.

3Types of Alert Bracelets

Digital alert bracelet for elderly come in three main configurations:

In-Home Systems

 An in-home system includes a wearable bracelet with a button and a central system installed somewhere in the home. When pressed, the bracelet sounds an alarm so family members can immediately be notified of an incident. Some in-home systems even have the option to send a signal to an emergency center such as a designated or a call center in case the elderly is alone at home.

On-the-go Mobile Systems

Mobile alert bracelets work anywhere as long as you wear them and not just in a designated area like one’s home. These bracelets usually have GPS tracking as well, so that when the button is pressed, not only do you receive an alarm, but you can also locate where the wearer is.

In-Car Systems

Just like in-home systems, some medical bracelets are designed to stay connected with the car. It’s useful for elderly people who are still capable of driving and do so regularly. Such systems keep track of the location and route of the car, and in case of a crash or any incident, you can call for help with the press of a button. Some in-car systems even have crash-detectors where they send a signal automatically when a crash is detected.

4Key Features to Look for in an Alert Bracelet for Elderly

If you are planning to buy a medical alert bracelet for a loved one, here are some important features you should consider before buying.

Connection Type

Alert bracelets may use either a landline or cellular connection. Landline connection is for in-home systems, which works best for senior citizens who don’t or can’t leave the house. But for those capable of venturing out on their own, you will need a mobile alert bracelet with a cellular connection.

Battery Life

Always enquire about the battery life of the product before you buy one. Longer battery life means that the elderly can rely on it for a more extended period of time. Short battery life will only have you constantly worrying about the battery running out.

Water Resistance

There are many alert bracelets these days that are water-resistant. It’s a convenient feature as one of the most common places for mishaps to happen is the bathroom, and with a water-resistant bracelet, the elderly don’t need to take it off anytime.

Fall Detection

Fall detection alert systems are incredibly useful because they send an automatic signal whenever the wearer falls down. With such a system, even if the person suddenly loses consciousness due to a fall, the bracelet itself will detect the fall and send an alarm signal.


The range is not an issue for a mobile alert bracelet with a GPS. But for an in-home system, you need to check the range of the system to ensure that the device will cover the entire premises of your residence. That way the device can send an alarm signal no matter which area of the house the wearer is in.

Monitored vs. Unmonitored systems

A monitored system is one that is under continuous surveillance by a third party. The monitoring services will also cost you some extra charges. An unmonitored system doesn’t have third-party monitoring the device at all times and is only alerted when a distress signal is received.

Monitored systems are essential for those elderly who require constant attention due to their condition. If the condition is not severe and the elderly can take care of themselves in most cases, then an unmonitored system will suffice.


This article provides all the important information about medical alert bracelet for elderly to give you a better idea of how they work and what you should be looking for when buying one. Whether it is falls in the elderly or medical conditions, keeping your loved ones safe is of great importance to us.