Whether or not you’re old enough to remember the commercial catchphrase “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Life Alert is certainly a familiar name in the medical alert system. It is one of the largest providers of personal medical alert services, providing both medical alert systems, wearable devices, and monitoring services across the country. According to Life Alert, the popular brand helps a senior avoid a catastrophe every 11 seconds!
Life Alert has monitoring services, as is the case with most alert services. The user needs to press a button on their wearable device. This sends out a signal to the base unit and then to the monitoring center. A dispatcher then contacts the user directly via the medical alert system to determine what level of emergency it is and which type of assistance would suit the situation.
The dispatcher then sends the necessary assistance. This could be a relative, neighbor, or one of the emergency services, e.g., an ambulance or the fire department. The nice part about the whole thing is that the Life Alert monitoring agent will stay on the line until help has arrived.
One important distinguishing feature about the Life Alert monitoring services is that it is self-owned, unlike almost every other medical alert service out there. The majority of its competitors contract out the monitoring portion of their services to a third party service. Life Alert does not; it takes care of all monitoring services itself. The reason this means Life Alert is in charge of monitoring its employees, creates the policies, and oversees the work. Therefore it is better equipped to maintain quality monitoring services across the board.
Additionally, or perhaps as a result of (we’re not sure), Life Alert monitoring centers have earned the TMA Five Diamond certification. This is a big deal within the medical alert services because it stands for superior quality and customer care.
Finally, Life Alert has a lot of clout in the industry because of its sheer numbers. According to the stats, Life Alert helps seniors stay in their own homes five years longer (on average) than those using other brands and devices. For people who want to avoid a nursing home, that’s a big deal. Life Alert also claims to actively assist in emergency situations every 11 seconds. A bold claim if true.
Life Alert medical alert systems are highly-regarded in the industry as being top quality. All the wearable devices are fully waterproof, which means it can be worn in the shower where many falls occur annually. Additionally, they claim the battery never needs charging. What this means in essence is that it will keep a charge for ten years without recharging. That’s a pretty good lifespan for these devices.
In addition to the wristband and necklace pendant, Life Alert also has a help button that can be installed anywhere around the house where you are particularly worried about an incident occurring. These are commonly installed in showers, bathtubs, bathrooms, and bedrooms for easier access to help. In terms of the base unit, it has the familiar two-way audio. So you can speak directly to the monitoring center and hear them as well via the base unit. This system has a backup battery, so even if the power goes out, your medical alert system will still work.
The Help on the Go system has GPS installed. So Life Alert can locate you no matter where you are in the country. These devices also have the long-lasting battery, so no need to charge them.
Life Alert has a choice of cellular or landline medical alert systems. This is convenient for people who don’t have a landline (or aren’t connected to a cellular network for some reason). You’ll pay for professional installation with Life Alert. Some people don’t like the added expense, but others are happy to have a professional install, setup, and check the system is in working order.
|At-home `Plan||On the Go+ GPS|
|Price||Call for direct quote||Call for direct quote|
|Landline/internet required||Not required, optional||No|
Probably the worst part of working with Life Alert is that it doesn’t give you enough information on the website. The site kind of looks like it hasn’t been updated since the launch of the product itself (yikes). But worse than that, there is no pricing information whatsoever on the site. You’ll have to call a rep to get a price quote. This can lead to a mismatch between sales quotes and the actual price you pay when you speak directly to the seller.
Another thing we don’t love is the price tag itself. Life Alert isn’t cheap. It’s roughly $50-$90 a month for the monitoring service, and Life Alert ties you to a 3-year contract. And to make matters worse, the company charges an installation fee. This is only a one-time fee of $100-$200 depending on which plan you’ve chosen. But considering the fact that most medical alert services have done away with setup fees, Life Alert is kind of lagging behind the times.
On the plus side, you get a free month when you sign up for an annual plan and two months free if you refer a friend. Life Alert also has a considerate policy of paying you back the entire sum you’ve paid in the event that the user passes away during your contract (assuming they’re at home alone).
Life Alert customer support is available via their toll-free phone number. Additionally, Life Alert members have access to assistance in dealing with several day-to-day situations, including:
Life Alert has an excellent reputation in the medical alert services industry, and it’s easy to understand why. The system is a solid, reliable emergency support system. Additionally, the Five Diamond monitoring certification lends further credence to the medical alert service. Not everyone will appreciate the price tag or the old-fashioned call for pricing structure. But Life Alert may just be a question of you get what you pay for.
Life Alert is a well-known name in medical alert systems. Founded in 1987, Life Alert has since built a sterling reputation for itself based on transparent customer policies, fast response times, and reliable services and equipment. The company owns its own monitoring system, which has earned the coveted TMA Five Diamond certification with the International Central Station Alarm Association. Life Alert is also UL certified, has an A+ rating and full accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, and earned a 5-Star rating with Consumer Affairs. Since 2008, Life Alert has helped avert disaster for more than 500,000 seniors and other users with disabilities.