A beginners guide to call buttons for seniors

Nurse call button
(Image credit: Future)

If you have an elderly relative who lives in their home it’s a good idea to make use of one of the many alarms for the elderly to ensure they can access help in a medical emergency. Call buttons for seniors are devices that can be hung on the wall, worn around the neck or kept on the wrist a watch.

An emergency call button for seniors that's monitored by a call centre means your loved one can easily call for help using the medical alert, if they have an accident or a fall.

Some people might be put off wearing a call button for the elderly, but they are designed to be lightweight and comfortable.

Call buttons are perfect for both the elderly and the physically challenged because  all you need to do is feel for the device and then you can summon help with the push of button. You don’t have to rely on your telephone or cell phone. 

There are several difference types of call buttons. In-home buttons are usually part of the base station that will be in one of your rooms indoors. Pendant buttons are designed to be worn round your neck for easy access. Some button devices are like tiny telephones you can keep in your bag or your pocket.

Here we’ve chosen four popular call button emergency devices with their pros and cons.

Mobile Help

Elderly alarms can be a first step in supporting your relative to remain independent and safe at home.


Most affordable

Medical help system with watch, pendant, and mobile GPS device.

Mobile Help Pros

✔ Affordable monthly plans

✔ Fall detection available with emergency call feature if help button isn’t pressed

✔ FDA registered

Mobile Help Cons

✖ Monitoring centre isn’t Five Diamond Certified

✖ No automatic system testing 

Find the best medical alert system with call button prices

1. Simply tell us your needs

2. Receive free medical alert system quotes

3. Compare prices and save money


Best for choice of languages

LifeStation has a pendant or button alarm with GPS and WiFi.

LifeStation Pros

✔ Choice of around 240 languages

✔ Fall detection available

✔ No need for phone line

✔ Home device has a range of 500 ft (think two football fields, and then some)

✔ Waterproof pendant

LifeStation Cons

✖ Little in the way of add-ons. You'll need a separate pill reminder

Senior couple work out their finances for aging in place succesfully

(Image credit: moodboard via Getty Images)

Medical Care Alert

Best for those that like to travel

Medical care alert has a mobile button or a speaker.

Medical Care Alert Pros

✔ No activation or setup fees

✔ Two-way voice pendant

✔ Fall detection available

Medical Care Alert Cons

✖ Above average pricing

Rescue Touch From Florida Alert

Best for those who want to keep in touch with a partner

Rescue Touch from Florida Alert Pros

✔ Fall detection available

✔ Chit chat feature to talk to another person at home wearing a pendant

✔ Allows family monitoring

Rescue Touch from Florida Alert Cons

✖ No in-home system

✖ Device must be purchased outright

Call button features to consider

When you’re looking for an emergency call button for seniors there are certain features you might want to consider.


The bathroom is the place where there is a higher fall risk. That’s why it’s important that seniors wear their pendants while they are showering or bathing. A waterproof button will ensure that seniors keep their pendants on when they are using the bathroom.

GPS Tracking

If you have an independent senior relative GPS tracking will give you peace of mind. If your relative gets lost, has an accident away from home or becomes confused, you’ll be able to trace their location by using the GPS tracking feature.

Read next 💡

Senior citizen uses medical call button


Looking for medical alert devices to assist you with aging in place? Choose from our pick of the best medical alert systems with GPS tracking, or the best overall medical alert systems and services for every budget.

For confidence you or your loved one will still have support whilst you're out of the house or mobile at home, see our round-up of the top medical alert smartwatches you can buy today.

Two-Way Communication

A medical alert device with two-way communication means the wearer can call for help and explain what’s happened, hands-free.

Fall Detection

Fall detection will make an immediate 911 call, depending on the device you use. It allows the user to get help quickly in the event of a hard fall. 

Statistics show that each year around 3 million adults end up in the emergency unit because of a fall. Falls in the elderly increase with age because of poor eyesight or being unsteady on their feet. Most call buttons will have a fall detector option available for an extra monthly fee. 

Final thoughts

Each one of the alarms for the elderly buttons featured is currently less than $40.00 per month. 

Some companies also offer annual or bi-annual payments as a cost saving. Now that you know more about medical alert buttons, have a look at our reviews of the best medical alert systems available to ensure you're safe even on the go. 

Julia Cameron

Freelance Healthcare Copywriter at Bluebean Copywriting