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Life Alert Medical Alerts Review (2022)

A trusted brand of home medical alert devices that are monitored 24/7 by trained staff

Juliette Siegfried, MPH

In a Nutshell

Life Alert is the nation’s #1 personal emergency response company that has a proven track record of saving lives and improving customers’ wellbeing. As the industry leader in personal protection, Life Alert is the first medical alert provider to incorporate 4G LTE technology into their cutting-edge devices and services.

pros

  • 24/7 two-way voice communication with trained operators
  • Five Diamond-certified, A+ rated monitoring services
  • Mobile batteries last up to 10 years, never need charging

cons

  • Higher prices and activation fees than competitors
  • Three-year contract required with no trial period
  • Online shopping experience is problematic

Life Alert Life Alert Visit Site

How Much Does Life Alert Cost?

Life Alert differs from most other vendors we’ve reviewed in that it does not sell the system components separately.

You are required to order the Master Unit ($49.95 per month), but you can also order it bundled with a wall-mounted Help Button for bathroom use for $69.90 per month, or with the Help Button and a mobile Help on the Go + GPS device for $89.95 per month. You also have to pay large ($96-$198) installation, programming, processing, and shipping fees.

One thing to be aware of is that Life Alert often quotes installation/activation fees that are higher than advertised. It’s important to know what they are so you can point that out to the sales representative. 

Life Alert Plans - Packages & Pricing

Product

Monthly Price

Designed For

Connection Type

Equipment Fees

In-Home System (Master Unit + pendant) 

$49.95/month+ $96 one-time activation fee

Home

Landline or Cellular

None

In-Home System (Master Unit + pendant and Help Button)

$69.90/month* + $96 one-time activation fee

Home

Landline or  Cellular

None

On-the-go  System (Master Unit + pendant, Help Button, and Help on the Go + GPS device) 

$89.95/month+ $196 one-time activation fee 

Home, On-the-go

Cellular

None

*Life Alert offers a discount for those who can pay for a year’s service in advance. 

Life Alert Features - Products & Equipment

Like most other medical alert companies, Life Alert provides devices for in-home and on-the-go use. The Help on the Go + GPS device is a lightweight mobile unit that works to summon help from anywhere with cellular coverage.

Master Unit

The Life Alert Master Unit is a tabletop base station for the system. It has its own help button and two-way voice communication that connects you with Life Alert operators. A smaller Cancel button enables you to cancel if it’s a false alarm or if the situation has been resolved.

The Master Unit supports both landline and cellular connections and provides up to 72 hours of battery backup. 

The base unit, which is mandatory even if you opt for the mobile Help on the Go bundle, comes with a remote help button that you can wear as either a pendant or on a wrist strap. You can summon help from within 800 feet of the Master Unit.

The remote help button is waterproof, so you can wear it in the shower. The pendant’s batteries last for up to 10 years and don’t need recharging. Note, however, that these wearable devices do not support automatic fall detection. 

Life Alert Medical Alerts Features - Products & Equipment

Master Unit + Help Button

This plan offers the Master Unit bundled with one of Life Alert’s most popular options, a wall-mounted Help Button.

Most users place this button in the bathroom because it is waterproof and can be installed in the shower or near the tub. But you can also place it in other areas of the house where falls or emergencies are likely to happen, such as near stairs or in the kitchen.

Like the standard pendants, it supports two-way communication and its battery lasts for 10 years. 

Life Alert Medical Alerts Features - Products & Equipment

Master Unit + Help on the Go + GPS device

For customers who are active outside the house, Life Alert offers the Help on the Go + GPS device. This plan bundles the Master Unit and Help Button with a wearable device that works anywhere, enabling two-way communication with Life Alert operators from anywhere covered by cellular service.

Because it is small, you can wear it as a pendant, on the wrist, or carry it in a handbag or pocket.

More importantly, the Help on the Go device is GPS-enabled so that it can pinpoint your exact location. This enables emergency services to get to you quickly. Unlike some competitors’ mobile solutions, it only connects you with Life Alert operators and doesn’t offer direct voice communication with caregivers or EMS. 

Life Alert Medical Alerts Features - Products & Equipment

Life Alert Optional Features & Accessories

Life Alert systems are pretty self-contained, so there are almost no add-ons or accessories available for them. 

Add-ons

Cost

Features & Functionality

Extra wall-mounted Help Button

$20.00 per month per button

Add to additional bathrooms or areas away from the Master Unit.

Life Alert Installation & Setup

You can use the Master Unit with either a landline or wireless phone service. DIY installation is possible, but Life Alert does offer professional installation. This option could be less stressful for you or your caregivers and is included as part of the activation fee. 

To set up a Life Alert base station on a landline, plug it into a power outlet and a phone jack. Press the HELP button, tell the operator you’re making a test call, and test the two-way talk capabilities. After determining that the Master Unit is working, you can test the wearable or wall-mounted help buttons the same way.

Setting up the Help on the Go + GPS device is even simpler. There are no complicated activation or registration procedures because Life Alert handles them. You just press the button on the pendant device, and you’re connected to the monitoring center. 

Similarly, setting up the Help Button is easy, because all you have to do is remove the covering over its adhesive strip and place it in a convenient place in or near your shower (or wherever you feel is the best place to put it). Then just press the HELP button to test it. 

Life Alert Monitoring Services

Life Alert owns and operates its own network of Five Diamond certified monitoring centers located throughout the US. They are staffed 24/7 by operators who have spent up to a year being trained about medical conditions, personal safety, and Life Alert equipment.

The company says that it has three times more dispatchers than the traditional security company and that their job is to manage a crisis from beginning to end while always staying in touch with the customer. 

Life Alert also enables you to provide the monitoring centers with your medical history, which you can enter in the mobile app. The dispatchers can then respond appropriately when you call.

If you opt for the Help on the Go + GPS bundle, that wearable device also provides the dispatchers (and thus emergency services) with your precise location, wherever you are. 

Is There a Life Alert App?

If you have a cell phone, you can download a free Life Alert app from either the Apple Store or Google Play, depending on your phone’s operating system.

If you are in an emergency, you can contact the monitoring center from your phone, even if you aren’t near your Master Unit or have forgotten your remote button. The Life Alert app uses the same one-button interface as the other devices, with a big red help button. 

Life Alert Medical Alerts - Mobile App

Life Alert Contracts - Warranty & Insurance

Life Alert requires a three-year contract. The contract comes with no trial period, but it can be cancelled and refunded if you or your loved one goes into nursing home or other 24-hour care facility, or passes on. All of the Life Alert equipment comes with a warranty, the cost of which is included in the activation fees. 

Life Alert Customer Service - Help & Support

While Life Alert’s call monitoring centers are well-reviewed for their promptness and professionalism, reviews are often less positive for their customer service. If you're still shopping around, you may find it difficult to navigate the website or locate an 800 number that connects you with someone who doesn't work in the sales department. And the support phone number for existing customers can’t even be found on the website. (It’s 1-800-338-9090.) 

How Life Alert Compares to Other Medical Alerts


Life Alert

Medical Guardian

Philips Lifeline

Medical Alert

Cost of Upfront Equipment

$0

$0-$99

$19.95 (self-installation fee)
$99 (optional technician installation)

$0

Monthly Monitoring Fees

$49.95-$89.95


$29.95-$79.95

$29.95-$58.95

$19.95-$42.95

Activation Fees

$96-196

None

$50

None

Optional Monthly Add-ons

Help Button and Help on the Go + GPS bundles are available

Yes

Yes

Yes (+5/month device protection plan)

Water-Resistant Devices

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fall Detection

No

Yes  (+$10/month)

Yes (included in price of HomeSafe with AutoAlert and On the Go system)

Yes  (+$10/month)

GPS Location Monitoring

Yes (On-the-go system)

Yes (On-the-go devices)

Yes (On the Go system)

Yes

Mobile App

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Connection

Landline, Cellular

Landline, Cellular, WiFi

Landline, Cellular

Landline, Cellular

Optional Accessories

Extra medical alert buttons

Fall detection pendant, 
voice-activated wall button,
PIN-protected lockbox, 
extra medical alert buttons, 
Limitless Icons jewelry-style medical alert pendants,
equipment protection

Key lockbox, 
medication dispenser, 
voice extension communicator

Fall detection pendants, 
lockbox (with annual subscription)

Life Alert vs. Medical Guardian

Although Life Alert offers trustworthy equipment and monitoring, it doesn’t have as many features as Medical Guardian, our #1 rated system.

Medical Guardian offers more high-tech solutions, such as a smartwatch and two-way communication with non-emergency caregivers. It also offers fall detection and useful add-ons and accessories.  

Life Alert vs. Philips Lifeline

Lifeline’s simple, no-contract, month-to-month pricing scheme and a wider range of important features such as fall detection make it a better choice than Life Alert for most seniors.

In particular, Lifeline’s optional medication dispenser can help you manage your medicine intake, and its Key Lockbox option can provide emergency services with easy access to your house if you cannot come to the door. 

Life Alert vs. Medical Alert

Medical Alert offers similar features to Life Alert, at lower month-to-month prices. Both systems offer reduced rates for longer subscriptions, but if you know you want a mobile system, both companies require you to buy the home (base station) version as well. 

The Bottom Line

Life Alert is one of the oldest providers of medical alert systems. Both its equipment and its monitoring services are well-reviewed. As a system, it’s trustworthy. 

However, many of the other systems we have reviewed offer better quality for lower prices. Also, Life Alert has a history of lack of transparency and aggressive sales tactics. 

Overall, we recommend looking into some of the other medical alert systems before deciding on Life Alert. They may offer you a better value without the long and difficult-to-cancel contracts. 

Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Life Alert?
-
+
Life Alert is a family-owned business. It is publicly traded but remains a privately-held company.
How long has Life Alert been in business?
-
+
Life Alert has been providing medical alert systems for 35 years.
Is Life Alert legit?
-
+
The company was endorsed for many years by former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and claims on its website that it is the only company proven to have saved one life every 11 minutes since 2008.
A biomedical writer, editor, and translator with over 30 years of experience. After working as a health communications specialist for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, and its contractors, Juliette established ServingMed.com, a medical communications business for hospitals, universities, research foundations, and individual health care professionals. Juliette currently manages a small team of writers, editors and translators and serves an expanding medical clientele.

The author of this article has been paid by Natural Intelligence to write this article. Neither the author nor Natural Intelligence provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or your local emergency number immediately.

Life Alert customer reviews

Based on 41 reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Top Reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

1 months ago

It is very necessary when no one is around to help you or your loved ones out, I like that Life Alert is there.

1 months ago

If you fall down and cannot get up there is a remote that signals to send help to your location. They can quickly get to you the help you need.

1 months ago

I have had this service free for about three years now. I got it through my local aging program because I am disabled and have mobility issues, often falling and being unable to get up. I have a unit I can wear on my wrist, another I can wear around my neck, and a desk top unit. I have used each on numerous occasions, I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have it. Love it!

2 months ago

Dependable and easy to use. To my knowledge they have a quick response and a reasonably good price.

2 months ago

I purchased this product for my elderly parents. It makes them, and myself, feel safer. Easy to use and well worth the money

3 months ago

I had a number of falls in a short time. I got Life Alert but could not afford it for very long. But for anyone who is concerned about their safety, I would recommend this company. They were very nice and helpful to me, especially in setting it up.

3 months ago

I think Life Alert is really good. They do what they say they will do to help you stay worry free in your own home. You just have to trust them and make sure you pay them every month.

4 months ago

Good response time when dispatch is notified. They have excellent customer service and they provide a great service for the elderly and disabled.

a year ago

Because I find Life Alert to be everything that it is advertised to be and, using it when I am at home alone, gives me great peace of mind.

a year ago

Life Alert does all it says and more and leaves you with trust in the company to do what it promises.

a year ago

Simple to use and can be a lifesaver in an emergency; not expensive, super quality and no privacy violations.

a year ago

Life Alert is practical and necessary when you have someone you live with who has medical issues that can change suddenly. I've driven my sweetheart to the emergency room on short notice and it saved her life. Life Alert is great for us.

a year ago

It's has prevented many accidents my elderly relatives almost had. Staff is fast paced at sending help.

a year ago

It's a little expensive when your on a fixed budget, and getting it for your elderly mother.

a year ago

My mother was suffering from congestive heart failure, and had to call for help from repeated falls. Life Alert's people responded quickly & got her back in her wheelchair without undue delay. They were always there when she needed them. The customer service rep seemed genuinely saddened when I told them of her passing.

a year ago

Life alert provides a potentially life saving service that is simple to use and a good value.

a year ago

I gave Life Alert this rating because of excellent customer service, moderate price plan, and response time. I had to use this over the weekend and help arrived quickly.

a year ago

Life Alert is a great service provided to seniors and the disabled to provide assist when needed. It is often the lifesaver needed.

a year ago

It's very helpful in serious situations and provides a service that is very unique from other brands.

a year ago

Amazing brand, they truly care about people allowing older folks to have a little security.

41 reviews