RescueTouch is the Dignifyed pick for the best medical alert system for senior couples because of its unique Chit Chat feature. All the packages available include the SOS mobile medical alert system but have varying levels of contact and features. For example, the base package, which costs just $19.99 a month, only calls 911. The second-tier package just calls caretakers, friends and caregivers. However, the feature that we loved, which is called the Chit Chat Pack, effectively turns two SOS devices into walkie-talkies. While caretakers and family members can use this feature, it was specifically designed for senior couples.
The Technology: Lively Mobile
RescueTouch uses a mobile medical alert system that's waterproof, GPS-enabled and available in a range of colors. It uses either AT&T or T-Mobile networks, depending on your local coverage. For the purpose of our review, we subscribed to the Maximum Caller package, which includes fall detection, GPS location, family text alerts and access to a monitoring center for $44 a month.
Ease of Use
You don't need to install or set up the RescueTouch mobile device — just plug the charging cradle in, and call the monitoring center to make sure it works. However, we did run into a minor problem: We didn't realize that the device needs to be pushed down into the cradle until you feel a slight vibration. Otherwise, it won't charge. So for the first several days, it didn't seem to work at all. We failed to realize that the battery was dead, and that we hadn't been charging it properly.
A blue light on the device lets you know that the network signal is strong, which is a nice addition.
It's worth noting that we never had a false alert with the RescueTouch unit, which was a welcome surprise. The only other medical alert system that never caused a false alert was GreatCall.
As a mobile device, the speakerphone doesn't compare to traditional medical alert systems, which are necessarily designed to ring through a household. That said, we didn't love the speaker on the RescueTouch mobile device when compared to other mobile devices, either; it wasn't nearly as clear or as loud. On the other hand, since it's a mobile device, you can hold it as close to your ear as you want.
In our fall-detection tests, the RescueTouch mobile medical alert system worked during 70 percent of the simulated falls. We liked this percentage for the simple reason that the system doesn't seem to be too sensitive. With other fall-detection pendants, false alerts were common. As with any fall-detection alert system, it doesn't detect 100 percent of the falls, but at least it's not going to call the monitoring center when you roll over at night.
The Emergency Response Call Center
RescueTouch partners with AvantGuard, a Five Diamond monitoring center based in Ogden, Utah, not far from our Purch Labs, with a second call center in Rexburg, Idaho. This monitoring center handles alarm, fire, security and medical alert calls. As with every monitoring center we reviewed, the operators adhere to strict and thorough training.
Call Response Time
Despite having the call center in the same city as our test calls, the call response times weren't great. The average response time with the RescueTouch device was 80.45 seconds, which is about 11 seconds below average.
Call Center Evaluation
We evaluated the operators' performance as just average. While they were professional and spoke clearly and at a calm pace, there were a few calls where the operator sounded scripted and bored. It wasn't a major issue, though; there simply wasn't anything that made their responses stand out as being better than those of operators at other monitoring centers.
The Medical Alert Company
Our favorite part of RescueTouch is the company. The SOS mobile device works well enough but isn't outstanding, and the monitoring center does the job. The company stands out, however, because of the variety and uniqueness of the packages it offers.
Chit Chat Feature: For Senior Couples
Most medical alert systems work on the assumption that the device is for an elderly person who lives alone. But there are many senior couples who still live together. If you're a couple, you can certainly order additional medical alert pendants from other companies, but RescueTouch's Chit Chat feature takes it a step further, allowing seniors to communicate simply and effectively. Just imagine it: Your father can flirt with your mother while she's in the garden, and he's in the garage. If one person needs assistance, he or she can alert the other.
Caretaker, Family and Friends
Unless it's an actual emergency, you may prefer to call a friend or family member for assistance rather than an emergency-monitoring center. RescueTouch has a package that lets you do this. Let's suppose you've fallen. You're not hurt, but you don't have the strength to get up. Wouldn't you rather contact your neighbor or family member directly to come help you get up, than have an ambulance EMT respond? You can still contact 911 directly with these packages by holding down the button, but if you simply push the button, you can call someone you know rather than a monitoring center, which many seniors might prefer.
Veteran Suicide Prevention & Buddy Check Packages
RescueTouch is the only medical alert system that we reviewed that offers anything like this — a crisis alert system for veterans to help with mental health challenges common after active service. These packages, which start at just $20 a month, use the same SOS device as the medical alert systems, but connect the veteran with a trusted friend, family, battle buddy or health care provider. It goes wherever the veteran goes, and allows the vet to get support in difficult moments. This is a wonderful option worthy of calling attention to, because there are far too few support tools available for veterans.
The most affordable package that RescueTouch offers is the 911 Caller, which is just $19 a month. This puts it in rare company with GreatCall's base package as the most affordable medical alert system on the market. Initially, we worried that having a device that only called 911 would be too worrisome for seniors, because false alerts happen, and nobody wants to tell a 911 operator that he or she accidentally hit the button. However, we were reassured that after purchasing a device like this, your loved one would test the device monthly, developing a familiarity with the local 911 operators. In other words, the operators would become aware that your loved one is using a medical alert device and would treat them essentially the same as a typical monitoring center.
The company's other packages are mostly comparable to medical alert packages offered by other companies. If you want the Five Diamond monitoring center with fall-detection and GPS features, it costs $44, which is average for a premium package.
The Final Verdict
RescueTouch isn't like most medical alert companies. The variety of packages it offers is refreshing. We particularly loved the Chit Chat feature, as this is the only medical alert system on the market that's really designed for senior couples. The device is effective and easy to use, and we like that it comes in several colors.