As an industry leader since 1987, Life Alert is one of the most recognizable medical alert providers in America.1 In this day and age, and especially in an industry so full of new brands and services, a familiar name with long-term experience goes a long way. Life Alert doesn’t currently offer automatic fall detection, unlike other popular companies, including GreatCall and LifeFone, and their rates are on the pricier side at about $20 to $30 more per month compared to industry standards. However, Life Alert offers impressive monitoring services and an add-on help button that comes with some of the fastest response times in the industry. If you’re looking for the peace of mind that comes with a company backed by decades of experience protecting seniors, Life Alert is a great option. The company currently offers three straightforward, reliable devices in their product lineup that can be bundled together for the best deal. We’ll get into all the details of Life Alert’s products, with everything from pricing to money-saving tips below.
Although Life Alert is one of the more expensive alert systems we’ve seen, their services stand out in many ways. With Life Alert, help can be dispatched to the user in as little as 15 to 20 seconds, thus providing the life-saving emergency services they need before it’s too late. Life Alert estimates that it saves a life every 11 minutes, totaling to over 530,000 lives since 2008. Their product lineup includes systems that provide at-home and on-the-go protection, as well as coverage in high-risk areas like the bathroom or on the stairs. With Life Alert’s systems up and running, seniors will be as prepared as possible for an unexpected emergency, even when you’re not around to look after them.
Did You Know: Life Alert is so confident in its service that if a customer should pass away due to not receiving emergency aid in time, Life Alert will offer a full refund for their service.
Life Alert currently offers one main system, the Master Unit, and two add-on devices, the Mobile + GPS unit and the Help Button. Unlike most medical alert providers that offer standalone systems, Life Alert typically requires customers to bundle their products together. Every customer is required to purchase the Master Unit, and it must be bundled with either one of the add-on devices ($69.90 per month) or both ($89.95 per month). In select cases, the Master Unit can be purchased on its own, but you’ll need to get special approval from a Life Alert representative to get this plan.
|Product||Function||Price||Features||Who It's Best For|
|Master Unit||In-home system||
||For every Life Alert customer|
|Mobile + GPS||Add-on: On-the-go monitoring device||
||For customers who are often out and about|
|Help Button||Add-on: Emergency alert device||
||For homebodies who may be more at risk of falling in the bathroom, bedroom, or other parts of the home|
The Master Unit is Life Alert’s standard, in-home system that comes with a base unit and a pendant. It costs $49.95 per month on its own, but as we’ve mentioned most customers are required to bundle it with one or both of Life Alert’s add-on devices. Bundles start at around $20 more per month, so you’ll get more value when you bundle instead of purchasing the Master Unit on its own. The base unit has an easily-accessible emergency button, a two-way speaker in the unit, and a 72-hour back-up battery. The pendant, which can be worn around the neck or wrist, is waterproof, so it can be taken into the shower or bath. It also features a 10-year battery. No charging required! The pendant features a good signal range of 800 feet from the base unit (for comparison LifeFone's range is 600 feet and ResponseNow’s is 500 feet), but it does not have a fall detection option.
Since Life Alert’s Master Unit operates independently from a landline or a cellular network, a Life Alert technician is required to come over and install the unit and any other devices. A technician will typically arrive with the contract and equipment to install your system. There is a $197 fee for delivery and installation, which is one of the most expensive installation fees we’ve seen. However, having a professional set up your system and walk you through how to use it does provide added peace of mind.
As previously mentioned, Life Alert only offers two main plans: the Master Unit bundled with one of the add-on devices ($69.90 per month), or the Master Unit bundled with both of them ($89.95 per month). So you’ll need to decide: do you want an on-the-go unit, wall button, or both with your in-home unit?
Life Alert’s Mobile + GPS device is a good option for those who want to take Life Alert’s monitoring on the go. It costs just $20 per month to add the Mobile + GPS device to your Master Unit, which is around $10 to $20 cheaper than mobile options from competitors such as Medical Guardian and Medical Alert. It will work wherever a GSM cell phone is available. Unlike its competitors that rely on a single big-name carrier like AT&T or Verizon, Life Alert utilizes service from multiple carriers, so it offers great coverage almost everywhere.
FYI: Life Alert offers a package that comes with just the Master Unit for $49.95 per month under exclusive circumstances. In these cases, the sales specialist will need a manager to approve the sale.
The device’s battery lasts for 10 years, and doesn’t require a charge. On-the-go GPS units from other companies like MobileHelp and Philips Lifeline only have battery lives of around one to three days, so Life Alert’s battery life is a game changer. The Mobile + GPS device can be worn or carried anywhere that’s convenient for the user, whether that’s as a necklace, in a pocket, or on a belt clip. During an emergency, the user will just press the help button on the unit and use the built-in speaker to communicate with a live operator. Thanks to the GPS technology, Life Alert will be able to pinpoint their exact location and send help straight away.
The Help Button is one of our favorite Life Alert add-on devices. It’s a waterproof, red button that’s about the size of a donut, and it features a two-way speaker. Other competitors offer emergency button add-on devices, but not too many have two-way speaker capabilities. The adhesive allows it to be placed anywhere it’s needed, and the battery lasts up to 10 years. Thanks to the waterproof design, it’s great for places where falls are more likely to happen—especially in the shower. Bundling the Help Button with your Master Unit and the Mobile + GPS device will give you the most well-rounded Life Alert package with full protection no matter where you are.
Emergency Protocol: Once the help button is pressed, the alert is sent to Life Alert’s monitoring center. From there, a trained responder will speak with the user and dispatch the proper emergency services.
Here are some questions to help you determine whether or not Life Alert is right for you:
With over 30 years of experience and arguably the most recognizable name in the industry, Life Alert offers peace of mind to millions of seniors and their families. While their monthly rates and installation fees are on the pricier end, and they require you to sign a three-year contract, if you’re looking for simple, reliable protection Life Alert is a solid option. The ten-year battery life for their devices is very impressive and we love the two-way speaker on the Help Button. You’ll be able to count on these devices for years to come, so if Life Alert fits your budget, we’d recommend considering this industry mainstay.
Life Alert’s in-home pendant, mobile pendant, and Help Buttons are waterproof, making them safe for showers and tubs.
According to one of Life Alert’s customer service representatives, the system can only be returned within the first couple of business days before getting locked into the three-year contract—and this is only possible if the system is shipped to the customer. Some locations will send out a technician who will bring the contract and the system with them. In other words, if the system is delivered by a technician, there is no window to return the system.
Unlike its competitors, Life Alert has its own dispatch center,2 so its response time is very fast at around 15 to 20 seconds.
Yes, Life Alert’s warranty covers replacements for defective equipment and batteries. A sales specialist also informed us that the company does offer multiple protection plans that can be added to your plan for a monthly rate.