Life Alert Medical Alert Review

Best for Protection in the Bathroom

Life Alert was founded in 1987 with the goal of helping seniors live independently at home without worrying about safety. It is one of the most well-known medical alert companies in the nation, and now processes over 2 million emergency calls per year. According to the company’s website, Life Alert saves at least one person from a “potentially catastrophic” outcome every 11 minutes.

In addition to an in-home and mobile system, Life Alert offers a device specifically for in-bathroom use. The in-bathroom device is a wall-mounted button that is completely waterproof, so it may be placed in areas where bathroom falls are most common, such as the shower.

Who Life Alert Is Best For

Those Without a Landline

Life Alert’s in-home system is available with both a landline or a cellular connection. Unlike other companies in the industry, Life Alert does not charge an extra monthly fee for its in-home system with a cellular connection; both versions of the in-home system are available at the same price. Seniors who wish to use Life Alert but do not have a working landline in their home can take comfort in knowing that they will not have to pay an extra fee each month just to be able to connect their device with the monitoring center.

Seniors Looking for Comprehensive In-Home and On-the-Go Coverage

Life Alert’s mobile device, On the Go, comes as a package with both In the Home and In the Bathroom devices. This makes things simple for seniors looking for comprehensive coverage, who may otherwise have to sign up for several different service plans to receive in-home and mobile devices and a wall-mounted button. With Life Alert, all three devices come under one service plan and one monthly fee, making it easy for seniors to budget for their medical alert system.

Seniors Prone to Falls in the Bathroom

Life Alert’s In the Bathroom device is specifically designed to give seniors extra protection in the bathroom. The device goes beyond other water-resistant devices and is 100% waterproof, so it can even be placed in the bathtub- one of the most high-risk fall areas. If you or your loved one is prone to falling in the bathroom or worry about an accident occurring in the room, having an extra device specifically for in-bathroom use can provide peace of mind.

Plans and Starting Costs

All Life Alert systems are paid for on a month-to-month basis; there are no quarterly or annual payment plans or discounts. The plans range in price from $49 for the basic in-home device, referred to by Life Alert as the “first level of protection,” to $89 for the comprehensive bundle of devices.

Life Alert customers must sign a three-year service agreement. If a customer wishes to end their service with Life Alert before the contract has ended, they may be responsible for paying for the rest of the term. If a user must end their service for a “qualifying reason” such as moving to a nursing home, they may be able to end the contract without paying any fees.

Starting Costs

Life Alert plans come with varying one-time fees which all customers must pay. The starting costs are as follows:

  • $95 for the In the Home device
  • $96 for In the Home and In the Bathroom together
  • $89 for On the Go, In the Home, and In the Bathroom

The one-time fee is comprehensive; it includes shipping, activation, and equipment fees. There are no additional startup costs.

Device Prices and Features

In the Home

Device Features and Pricing

In the Home is a standard in-home device. Users have the choice of using a landline or cellular connection; there is no extra fee for cellular. The base station has a 72-hour backup battery and range of 800 feet, and the personal help button is shower-safe. Fall detection is not available with In the Home, or any Life Alert device. In the Home costs $49 a month.

In the Bathroom

Device Features and Pricing

In the Bathroom is a wall-mounted button that is completely waterproof, so it can be placed in the tub or shower. It functions as an additional personal help button; users may press the wall-mounted button rather than their wearable button to connect with the monitoring center. Users may also choose to place the wall-mounted button anywhere else in the home where they would like some extra protection (it does not necessarily have to be placed in the bathroom). In the Bathroom costs $69, which includes a wall-mounted button and an In the Home system.

On the Go

Device Features and Pricing

Life Alert’s mobile offering, On the Go, is a lightweight device equipped with a cellular connection and GPS. Monitoring center operators can use the GPS information to easily locate callers during an emergency. On the Go is waterproof and showerproof, and has a battery life of up to 10 years. For a monthly fee of $89, users receive On the Go, In the Home, and In the Bathroom systems.

In the HomeIn the BathroomOn the Go
Monthly Cost$49$69$89
One-time Fees$95$96$198
Type of DeviceIn-homeIn-homeMobile
ConnectionLandline/CellularLandline/CellularCellular
Battery Life72-hour backup72-hour backupUp to 10 years
Water ResistantYesYesYes
Shower-proofYesYesYes
Range800 feet800 feetN/A
Fall DetectionNot availableNot availableNot available

Optional Features

Life Alert customers can download the company’s mobile app for extra coverage. Using the mobile app, if the user has an emergency and is not wearing their device, or simply finds using the phone is easier, they can contact the monitoring center via the app. They may also use the app in situations when they feel unsafe and would like a virtual escort, and an operator will stay on the line with them until they feel safe or are out of the uncomfortable situation.

For those without a smartphone, Life Alert also offers the option of manually dialing the monitoring center from a standard telephone.

Monitoring

Life Alert owns and operates its own monitoring center. The center is located in the United States, is UL-listed, and TMA Five Diamond Certified. According to the company’s website, the Life Alert monitoring center has helped save over 400,000 lives from catastrophe since 2008. Operators are trained to stay on the line with callers until their emergency is resolved and/or help arrives, so seniors are never left stranded without emergency assistance. Operators also provide paramedics with the caller’s health information, including crucial information such as medication allergies, and notify the user’s family members during an emergency so they are never left in the dark regarding their loved one’s health.