Lively Medical Alert System Review

A Smartphone and Medical Alert Device, All-in-One

24/7 Emergency Monitoring
3 Phone Choices
Overall Rating:
3.5 of 5
See Pricing
14 Additional Options
$19.99/mo. Starting Price
Questions? Speak with a Lively Specialist:

Ninety-two percent of Americans over 65 own a cell phone, most of which are smartphones. Yes, smartphones are useful, but some seniors would also benefit from the extra safety provided by a medical alert system. For those who want the best of both worlds, Lively provides a solution with its senior-focused phones that can double as medical alert devices, providing protection and connection.

Lively offers many devices, phones, and add-on features, which I see as both a drawback and a perk. With all the options, the company's products can be customized to fit your needs, but the selection process can be a bit overwhelming. No need to worry, though. In this review, I’ll break down all of Lively’s products and packages, as well as my experience purchasing and testing the Lively Smart.

What We Like About Lively

  • No long-term contracts
  • U.S.- based monitoring centers
  • Senior-friendly phones
  • GPS monitoring
  • Affordable mobile medical alert systems
  • Customizable healthy and safety packages available

Things to Keep in Mind About Lively

  • No landline systems
  • The various add-on options can be confusing

Fun Fact: In the spring of 2021, GreatCall changed its name to Lively. Though the name is new, the company still provides services and devices designed specifically with older adults in mind.

Overview of Lively

For this year's review, I tested out the Lively Smart. Overall, I found it to be the right balance between sophistication and simplicity – excellent for seniors who may be new to technology or who want a simple smartphone. And, at $149.99, it's a great value (big-name smartphones can be triple the cost!). Below, I share my hands-on experience with Lively.

The Buying Experience

I found Lively's website was user-friendly and informative. Before making any online purchase, I highly suggest calling their customer support line to clear up any questions you have. Lively's customer support agents can also give you recommendations to help you find the device that fits your needs.

Money-saving Tip: Lively offers a discount to AARP members. Make sure to mention your membership to the customer representative you speak with to apply your discount.

Plus, I'll let you in on a little secret: You can unlock some savings by speaking with a representative. When I called, I talked to a representative named Shirley, who informed me of a promotion expiring at the end of the month. I was able to get a discount on the Lively Smart thanks to that simple phone call. High-five, Shirley!

Setting up My System

Activating the Lively Smart was simple. I took the wall charger and USB cord and plugged in the phone straight out of the box. Then, with it still plugged in, I turned on the phone and followed the instructions on the screen.
When it asks you to choose a home screen, be sure to select “Recommended Easy-to-Use Lively Smart.” After about 10 minutes, the Lively Smart was ready to go. I was able to plug in my daughter's contact information and shoot her a quick text right away. Talk about easy!

Contracts and Warranty

Unlike other companies that offer discounts when you pay quarterly or annually, Lively only offers a monthly payment option. That's fine by me, since they have no long-term contracts and free cancellations.

Did You Know: If you aren't satisfied with your Lively product, you have 30 days to return it for a full refund.

Additionally, Lively provides a one-year limited warranty for all devices. For one year, Lively covers the device, rechargeable batteries, and other accessories. In terms of the medical alert industry, this warranty seems short (many providers offer lifetime warranties), but one-year warranties are pretty standard in the cell phone world. Keep in mind that the warranty protects these items within normal use, not damage caused by accidents or abnormal use!

Lively Products at a Glance

Device Lively Smart Lively Flip Lively Mobile Plus Lively Wearable2
Category Phone Phone Alert device Alert device
Device fee $149.99 $99.99 $49.99 $49.99
Internet access Yes No Yes No
24/7 monitoring Yes Yes Yes Yes
Urgent Response button Yes Yes No No
Fall detection available No No Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes Yes No
Navigation Yes No No No
Voice typing Yes Yes No No
Camera Yes Yes No No
Waterproof No No Yes No

Lively System and Product Details

Lively Smart

Cost

With the Lively Smart, you'll pay a one-time equipment fee, along with monthly fees for your chosen talk, text, and data package. If you want to add medical alert capabilities, you'll also need to subscribe to one of Lively's three health and safety packages (more on those later). Below is a breakdown of costs.

  • Equipment fee: $149.99
  • Activation fee: $35
  • Talk, text & data: $17.48 – $54.99 per month
  • Health & Safety Package (optional): $19.99 – $34.99 per month
Lively Smart

Lively Smart

Equipment

If you're looking for a device with the right mix of fun tech and practical features, the Lively Smart checks all the boxes. The smartphone's home menu has the features you need at your fingertips – phone, text, camera, internet, email, etc. – without all the extra fluff that iPhones and Androids have. While scrolling through the menu, it was easy to find exactly what I needed without a lot of searching and tapping. Plus, the Urgent Response button is always easy to find if you need to connect with an emergency operator.

Buyer's Tip: Look for seasonal deals and discounts from Lively. At the time of this writing, Lively was offering a discount of over $35 on the Lively Smart!

The Lively Smart easily connects to hearing aids, ideal for seniors with hearing loss. I like the phone's 32 GB storage, perfect for storing precious photos of friends and family! I found that the battery lasted all day during my testing, and the screen works well for older eyes – it's big and bright, and the oh-so-important Urgent Response button is always front and center.

The Lively Smart has my vote, but I know plenty of older adults who would prefer something more straightforward. If this is the case for you, the Lively Flip may be a better option.

Service and Monitoring

Lively phones use Verizon’s network, which has an excellent reputation for reliable cell service. It's important to remember if you want to activate Lively Smart's medical alert features, you'll need to purchase a Health & Safety Package, which activates the Urgent Response button and other safety features.

Since the smartphone has GPS technology, the emergency operator can send help no matter where you are when you press the Urgent Response button. I tested the emergency button while taking a walk around the block, and I was connected to an operator in under a minute. If you're looking for fall detection, you won't find it with a Lively cell phone. Check out Lively's Mobile Plus or Wearable2 for that feature.

Lively Flip

Cost

Just like the Lively Smart, you'll pay a device fee and monthly fee for your chosen plans. The Lively Flip doesn't offer access to the internet or data, so you'll only pay for talk and text (if you want texts).

  • Equipment fee: $99.99
  • Activation fee: $35
  • Talk & text: $14.99 – $19.99 per month
  • Health & Safety Package (optional): $19.99 – $34.99 per month
Lively Flip

Lively Flip

Equipment

The Lively Flip is the perfect phone for practical users. If you want medical alert features and the convenience of a cell phone without all the extra techy stuff that comes with a smartphone, it's a good option.

This popular flip phone features an easy-to-use dial pad with all the buttons you need ready and available, including a speakerphone button and an Urgent Response button. The Lively Flip may be simple, but it has a few tricks, like a reading magnifier with a flashlight (perfect for menus in dimly-lit restaurants) and Amazon Alexa technology to text, call, or navigate your phone with your voice! The long-lasting battery is ideal for older adults who don't want to charge a device every day.

Service and Monitoring

As mentioned above, Lively partners with Verizon for service, so you'll want to make sure you live in their coverage area. Similar to the Lively Smart, a simple press of the Urgent Response button connects you with an operator who will already be familiar with your emergency information and send the help you need. To activate this feature, you’ll need to subscribe to one of Lively's Health & Safety Packages.

Lively Mobile Plus

Cost

If you're looking for an inexpensive system, Lively Mobile Plus is a sensible option. Since it's a medical alert device and not a phone, you won't pay for talk, text, or data.

  • Equipment fee: $49.99
  • Activation fee: $35
  • Health & Safety Package (required): $24.99 – $39.99 per month
Lively Mobile Plus

Lively Mobile Plus

Equipment

Lively Mobile Plus is a stand-alone medical alert device that gets back to the basics. Ideal for older adults who enjoy an active, independent lifestyle but may be at risk of falling, this device has everything the wearer needs to go about their day safely and confidently.

Pro Tip: For a closer look at Lively's costs and how to get the best deal, visit our Lively deals and pricing page.

What I like about the Lively Mobile Plus is how comprehensive it is. It has everything you want in a wearable, mobile medical alert system; it's waterproof and offers built-in GPS, optional fall detection (with the $39.99 per month Ultimate Health & Safety Package), 24/7 emergency monitoring, and two-way speaking capabilities. Just throw the device on like a necklace and take it with you everywhere you go. One drawback is that the device isn't stylish, and it's a bit clunky. However, that's pretty standard for medical alert systems; it keeps you protected, which is what matters most.

Service and Monitoring

Whenever you need help, all you have to do is press the button on the Lively Mobile Plus, and you'll be connected to an emergency operator. According to Lively, you can use this for situations that aren't technically emergencies, like a flat tire or getting locked out of the house.

Thanks to the device's cellular connection and GPS technology, help can be sent wherever you are. I'm impressed with how Lively strives to help customers feel more at ease in any day-to-day situation, not just the big emergencies. After all, it's the little things that count!

Lively Wearable 2 — $49.99

Cost

Compared to other popular smartwatch systems, Lively Wearable2 is very affordable. For comparison, Bay Alarm Medical charges a $179 device fee for its smartwatch system. However, you get what you pay for. Lively Wearable2 has basic features, while Bay Alarm's SOS Smartwatch is more advanced. The choice will come down to your budget and the features that are important to you.

  • Equipment fee: $49.99
  • Activation fee: $35
  • Health & Safety Package (required): $24.99 – $39.99 per month
Lively Wearable 2

Lively Wearable 2

Equipment

For those who want a wearable device to pair with a smartphone, the Lively Wearable2 is the way to go. This device can be worn around the wrist or as a lanyard if that's more your style. It connects you to an emergency operator with the touch of a button. The wearable is also water-resistant and tracks steps, a definite perk for health-obsessed seniors!

Lively Wearable2 has an impressive battery life of four months. That's much longer than similar wearable devices I’ve tested, like Medical Guardian’s Freedom 2.0, which has a three-day battery life.

Service and Monitoring

If you're looking to activate the Wearable2's full suite of safety features, including fall detection, you'll want to opt for the Ultimate Health & Safety Package, which costs $39.99 per month.

One drawback to this device is that it is not a true “watch,” meaning it doesn't display the time. If you're looking for something that works as both a traditional watch and a medical alert system, check out our Bay Alarm Medical review for a closer look at the SOS Smartwatch.

Add-on Features and Accessories

Lively's diverse range of health and safety packages offers medical alert and health features that other companies don't. Below is a breakdown of each package and what features are included.

Product Basic Package Preferred Package Ultimate Package
Lively Smart $19.99 per month
– Urgent response
$24.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
$34.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
– Personal Operator
Lively Flip $19.99 per month
– Urgent response
$24.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
$34.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
– Personal Operator
Lively Mobile Plus $24.99 per month
– Urgent response
$29.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
$39.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
– Fall Detection
Lively Wearable2 $24.99 per month
– Urgent response
$29.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
$39.99 per month
– Urgent response
– Urgent Care
– Lively Link
– Fall Detection

Want to learn more about the features listed above? Let's take a look.

Lively Urgent Response

This feature connects you 24/7 to agents certified by The National Academy of Emergency Dispatch (IAED),1 aka the same company that certifies 911 operators. These agents will already be familiar with your personal health information, so the right help can be sent as fast as possible.

Urgent Care

In partnership with FONEMED,2 this app lets you communicate with registered nurses and board-certified doctors, making it easy to get prescription refills and critical medical advice. This will save you the time and energy of trekking to the doctor's office or frantically searching the internet for answers.

Lively Link

This app keeps caregivers and children informed at all times. For instance, if you call for help using your Lively device, Lively Link will send an instant update to all related subscribers, providing them with pertinent details. It's nice to see another service that strengthens family communication.

Did You Know: Lively is one of our top picks for medical alert providers. To find out why visit our list of this year's best medical alert systems.

Personal Operator

Available as part of the Ultimate Package only, this concierge-like service helps with non-emergency situations, like contacting a caregiver. You can also contact Lively Rides, a Lyft transportation service with discounted rates for older adults. Despite a 99 cent charge for each request, it's great for those who no longer drive.

Fall Detection

In the event of a fall, this service detects the fall and immediately calls an Urgent Response Agent to send help. With 3 million older adults treated in the ER for a fall every year,3 I think this feature is essential.

Lively Video Review

While this review is full of prices, products, and other particulars from Lively, for a hands-on look at Lively's medical alert systems, view our Lively video review. Here, you'll see all of the Lively devices discussed in this review and hear some additional information about how they work and stack up to competitors.

The Bottom Line on Lively

Overall, l found Lively products to be user-friendly, easy to set up, and relatively affordable. However, prices can add up when you combine the health and safety packages and talk, text, and data plans, so you'll want to pay close attention to monthly fees.

Deciding on the right Lively device and health and safety package can be confusing, but a quick call to customer support goes a long way in clearing up any questions. I applaud the company for its innovative efforts to fuse the protection of a medical alert system with the convenience and portability of a cell phone. I recommend Lively for older adults looking for senior-friendly gadgets and reliable mobile medical alert protection.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lively

  • How much do Lively medical alert systems cost?

    Equipment and service fees for Lively will vary based on the product and add-on package you sign up for. Upfront equipment fees range from $49.99 to $149.99, while health and safety packages cost anywhere from $19.99 to $39.99 per month.

  • Can you keep the same number when you switch to a Lively phone?

    Yes, you may be able to keep your same phone number when you switch to a Lively phone. You’ll need to contact customer service before deactivating your old phone to ensure that your number can be transferred to your Lively phone.

  • Does Lively require a contract?

    Unlike most cell phone companies, Lively does not require a long-term contract. This means you can end your service at any time without cancellation fees.

  • Does the Lively Smart have GPS?

    Yes. Seniors who are still getting behind the wheel can access the Google Maps app on their Lively Smart for turn-by-turn directions. The GPS feature on all four of Lively’s devices also allows urgent response operators to pinpoint your location in an emergency.

Citations
  1. International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). (2020). How It Works Best.

  2. Fonemed. (2020). Fonemed Technology.

  3. CDC. (2021). Falls Are Serious and Costly