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LifeFone Medical Alerts Review (2022)

At-Home & On-the-Go Medical Alert Services

Juliette Siegfried, MPH

In a Nutshell

LifeFone medical alert systems run the gamut from inexpensive at-home alert buttons connected via landline to on-the-go pendants with cellular tracking and mobile apps for caregivers. These systems are competitively priced, have good features and range, and are backed by a respected company that’s been in business for over half a century.

pros

  • No up-front fees
  • Long-range at-home devices
  • Sleek on-the-go devices

cons

  • Mobile app requires the most expensive plan
  • No smartwatch option

LifeFone LifeFone Visit Site

How Much Does LifeFone Cost?

LifeFone medical alert plans include two at-home plans and three on-the-go plans ranging between $29.95/month and $41.95/month. You can pay monthly, quarterly, or annually, with a discount of 25% for paying each year in advance. Other than pricing, LifeFone plans differ mostly on the hardware they offer.

Fall detection is available on all plans for an additional cost of $5-$10/month, depending on the plan.

LifeFone Plans – Packages & Pricing

Product

Monthly Price

Design For

Connection Type

Equipment Fees

At-Home Landline

$24.95

At Home

Landline

None

At-Home Cellular

$30.95

At Home

Cellular

None

At-Home & On-The-Go

$36.95

At Home/On-The-Go

Cellular/Wi-Fi

None

At-Home & On-The-Go VIP Active

$39.95

At Home/On-The-Go

Cellular/Wi-Fi

None

At-Home & On-The-Go VIPX

$41.95

At Home/On-The-Go

Cellular/Wi-Fi

None

LifeFone Features – Products & Equipment

LifeFone’s five different hardware options offer a good range of choices depending on your needs. The biggest choice to make is whether you want a solution that only works in one location (At-Home) or one that works anywhere you are in the country (On-The-Go), though most plans have slightly different device specifications as well.

At-Home Landline 

LifeFone Medical Alerts Features – Products & Equipment

The At-Home Landline is LifeFone’s most affordable option at $24.95/month. It connects to your home landline and includes a wearable pendant and an alert watch. It has a range of up to 1,300 feet from the base station, and an alarm can be sent if the room temperature goes above or below your chosen thresholds. Wearables have a battery life of 32 hours, and fall detection can be added on by purchasing a separate pendant.

The At-Home Landline requires a traditional landline to function. It’s best for seniors who don’t leave the home often, as the alert system only works on a limited range.

At-Home Cellular

LifeFone Medical Alerts Features – Products & Equipment

The At-Home Cellular system is virtually identical to its landline sister version, but it doesn’t require the use of a landline. It does cost an additional $5/month, though.

Like the At-Home Landline, you can add fall detection by purchasing a separate pendant. A signal-strength indicator on the front of the device makes it easier to find the optimal position for the base station within your home.

At-Home & On-The-Go

LifeFone Medical Alerts Features – Products & Equipment

The At-Home & On-The-Go system is similar to the At-Home Cellular, with a base station and a pendant, but adds a wrist-mounted mobile device with a 30-hour battery life and a 600-foot range. An optional fall detection necklace costs $10/month and works up to 1,400 feet from the base unit and 600 feet from the mobile unit.

This package is a stepping stone to a complete on-the-go system. However, there are more devices involved, most of which you need to remember to keep charged. Overall, we recommend that if you need a mobile system outside the home, skip this option and choose the VIP Active or VIPX. 

At-Home & On-The-Go VIP Active

LifeFone Medical Alerts Features – Products & Equipment

The VIP Active (Voice in Pendant) option is a significant upgrade in convenience over the standard At-Home & On-The-Go system. It’s a lightweight pendant that can be worn around the neck or on a belt clip. It works nationwide, and the battery lasts for up to 30 days.

The pendant has a microphone and speaker, so you can have two-way communication with the LifeFone Care Team Operators. It’s waterproof, has a temperature sensor, and can identify your location based on cellular and Wi-Fi technology, making emergency responses all the swifter. However, the VIP Active is the only LifeFone medical alert product to which optional fall detection cannot be added on.

At-Home & On-The-Go VIPX

LifeFone Medical Alerts Features – Products & Equipment

Finally, the VIPX is a further upgrade to the VIP Active. It comes in a choice of three colors (gold, white, and black) and can include fall detection for an additional $5/month. 

The other big addition for the VIPX is support for the LifeFone XIPX Caregiver Mobile App. If you’re a caregiver, this mobile app allows you to see the current location of the person wearing the pendant, check their first motion of the day, and even track your loved one’s daily steps.

The VIPX device does have a shorter battery life than the other higher-end devices, at 16 days, and it doesn’t have a temperature sensor.

LifeFone Optional Features & Accessories

On top of the standard features outlined above, you can choose from a few optional accessories to make your use of LifeFone even easier. These accessories are sold as a one-time purchase and can only be returned within the first 30 days.

Add-ons

Cost

Features & Functionality

Vanity Pendant

$71.95

  • Additional monitoring pendant. 

  • Doesn’t support fall detection.

Hanging Master Lock Box

$39.95

  • Facilitates emergency access to the home. 

  • Hanging.

Wall Mount Master Lock Box

$39.95

  • Facilitates emergency access to the home.

  • Wall-mounted.

LifeFone Hanging Lock Box

$29.95

  • Facilitates emergency access to the home. 

  • Hangs around the doorknob.

Mobile Device Charging Cradle

$39.95

  • Extra charging cradle for on-the-go devices.

Leather Carrying Case

$14.95

  • Protective leather case for mobile devices.

Wall-mounted Help Button

$39.95

  • Velcro-mounted help button for activating the LifeFone emergency response system.

LifeFone Installation & Setup

At-Home Landline

  1. Plug in the base unit to the power socket.

  2. Connect the base unit to your telephone wall jack via the jack labeled LINE.

  3. (Optional) Connect your existing landline telephone to the base unit via the jack labeled PHONE.

  4. Turn on the base unit. The front panel light should turn green.

  5. Test your system by pressing the pendant button.

  6. When the operator speaks to you through the base unit, state, “This is a test.”

At-Home Cellular

  1. Plug in the base unit to the power socket.

  2. Turn on the base unit. The front panel light should turn green.

  3. Test your system by pressing the pendant button.

  4. When the operator speaks to you through the base unit, state, “This is a test.”

On-The-Go Units

  1. Plug the power cord of the mobile device charger into a standard wall outlet.

  2. Place the mobile device into the cradle. While it’s charging, the light on the front of the cradle will illuminate.

  3. The mobile device will turn on automatically and connect to the cellular network within 60 seconds.

  4. It will take approximately 3 hours for the device to be fully charged. It is recommended to charge the mobile device each night.

  5. With the mobile device in its cradle, test your system by pressing the help button.

  6. When the operator speaks to you through the base unit, state, “This is a test.”

LifeFone Monitoring Services

You can summon help from LifeFone by pressing the personal help button on your wristband, pendant, or wall-mounted button. On-The-Go devices are connected via nationwide 4G LTE cellular and include GPS, so the company will know exactly where you are for immediate assistance. 

It’s also a good idea to preemptively update your emergency care profile through the LifeFone account portal. This gives LifeFone information such as your address, caregiver, health information, emergency contacts, and physician.

Your emergency care instructions are relayed to the LifeFone Care Agent, who will contact EMS or a loved one you’ve designated, depending on your situation and preferences. They will keep monitoring you until your medical emergency is over. 

Should you choose the optional fall detection service, this help will be automatically dispatched to you in the case of a fall.

LifeFone Medical Alerts Monitoring Services

Another interesting optional extra is the LifeFone Daily Check-in Call. For an additional $19/month, a customer care agent will call you each day at a prescribed time to check in on you, give you a medication reminder, or give you a daily reminder.

Is There a LifeFone App?

LifeFone offers a mobile app for use with the VIPX voice-in-pendant alert. The app is available for Android and iOS mobile devices and costs an additional $8/month on top of the monthly monitoring price. 

With the app, if you’re a caregiver, you can see your loved one’s first motion of the day, track the location of the device, check battery levels, and even set daily step goal targets.

LifeFone Medical Alerts Mobile App

LifeFone Contracts – Warranty & Insurance

LifeFone equipment has a 30-day money-back guarantee that begins three days after your equipment is shipped. You may cancel your service at any time for a prorated refund, but any purchased accessories are not returnable for a refund.

All LifeFone systems have a lifetime warranty for manufacturer defects, and for an additional $5 per month, you can get insurance for equipment replacement for damage beyond manufacturer defects, theft, or loss.

LifeFone Customer Service - Help & Support

LifeFone’s website offers useful product information, a blog aimed at seniors, and a basic FAQ. There’s no extensive knowledge base here, but you can peruse PDF versions of the user manuals. These are relatively short but offer straightforward information on the functions of all the buttons and what the various lights on the alert systems signify.

LifeFone offers 24/7 support via phone and email. We received replies to our test emails within three hours, and the calls we made to the support line were answered immediately by courteous, knowledgeable agents.

How LifeFone Compares to Other Medical Alerts


LifeFone

Medical Guardian

Life Alert

LifeStation

Cost of Upfront Equipment

None

None

None

None

Monthly Monitoring Fees

$29.95-$41.95

$29.95-$39.95

From $49.95

$21.95-$47.95

Activation Fees

None

None

$95-$198

$20

Optional Monthly Add-ons

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Water-Resistant Devices

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Fall Detection

Yes ($5-$10 per month)

Yes ($10 per month)

No

Yes

GPS Location Monitoring

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Mobile App

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Connection

Landline, Cellular

Landline, Cellular, WiFi

Landline, Cellular

Landline, Cellular

Optional Accessories

Lockbox, carrying case, pendant

Alert 911, buttons, fall detection pendant

Buttons

Belt, button, lockbox, panic button

LifeFone vs Medical Guardian

LifeFone and Medical Guardian offer similar products, but Medical Guardian’s equipment pricing is higher. Medical Guardian arguably has a better suite of caregiver monitoring tools than LifeFone, though LifeFone isn’t too far behind. LifeFone’s On-The-Go products have longer battery lives than Medical Guardian’s products, however.

LifeFone vs Life Alert

LifeFone and Life Alert offer comparable products and are both respected companies in the industry. We recommend LifeFone for larger homes, as LifeFone’s At-Home products have a wider range. The cellular service from LifeFone supports both AT&T and Verizon, whereas Life Alert only supports AT&T.

LifeFone vs LifeStation

LifeStation and LifeFone both excel as medical alert systems. LifeStation has a smartwatch option but doesn’t offer the wall-mounted help buttons and lockboxes that LifeFone does. If you just want the most basic system, LifeStation is the more economical solution, but LifeFone offers more flexibility in its hardware choices.

The Bottom Line

LifeFone should be on your list of potential medical alert providers no matter if you need a simple at-home device or an on-the-go device with caregiver remote monitoring. LifeFone’s hardware works well and is easy to use, and while it’s not the cheapest option on the market, the few extra dollars per month are worth it for the quality of the product and peace of mind this offers you.

Frequently Asked Questions
Who Owns LifeFone?
-
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LifeFone is a private company with headquarters in White Plains, New York. The current company president is Ronald Maggio.
How Long Has LifeFone Been in Business?
-
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LifeFone has been in business since 1976.
Is LifeFone Legit?
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LifeFone is one of the longest-running medical alert companies in the US, with over 110 employees and annual revenue of over $21 million. The company is rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.
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.

LifeFone customer reviews

Based on 30 reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

Top Reviews

Ease of use

Brand satisfaction

Value for money

Service quality

2 months ago

I advise that businesses use this because of the innovative features offered.

2 months ago

It works great and I would tell anyone to use it. They come right away when you need them. Great price as well. I would consider this a must for anyone older. It's small, portable, and easy to use. It helps you to be safe in your home and the cost is affordable.

2 months ago

Very good service, but it's expensive. The price is a lot but it is worth the money once you invest.

2 months ago

It did what it is supposed to do with the ease of the app walking you through it all.

3 months ago

LifeFone is reliable and accurate, its monthly fee is reasonable, and its ease of use is very good.

3 months ago

The best, high-quality services to use. They are easy, accurate, with comfortable manners. I've had no problems so far.

4 months ago

They provide great customer service and high-quality products. They always answer my questions promptly. I love this company.

2 years ago

Because it's a well organized company that has lots of eyes, I would tell many people about the brand its very good for protection

2 years ago

It was easy to use, convenient and the staff was helpful when we did use it. They were also helpful and answered our questions when we first considered it.

2 years ago

Customer service helped me set up everything for my parents and they have had no issues and I can honestly feel they're safe

2 months ago

They are very convenient and definitely not difficult. LifeFone is easy to use and great.

2 months ago

I like the security this service provides. It's a very good price for the service they render.

3 months ago

The quick response that I get is awesome. Customer service is great and very friendly.

3 months ago

LifeFone really helps as it is a great alert for medical problems and can let me know if there are problems with my loved ones.

4 months ago

I really don't have anything negative to say. The cost is good and their customer service is very helpful. LifeFone is the best service ever.

4 months ago

We purchased LifeFone for my mother-in-law as we were concerned with her living alone. Having LifeFone has made us more comfortable with her living alone and it was easy for her to understand how to use it. She's not great with phones or electronics but this was something that wasn't hard for her to use. There have been times she accidentally set it off and they contacted her right away to insure her safety.

2 years ago

I just love it because what LifeFone can do for me what for my life it has changed it completely

2 years ago

Because it doesn't matter what device we use here, it depends on the time it takes First Responders to get here. LifeFone is a great device so let them know

2 years ago

We ended up getting LifeFone for my dad. He's 83 and is always up and about, catching the bus always walking to stay healthy he says and he's just always on the go. To my knowledge my father disliked the device because he was convinced that he didn't need it but my mom got it anyways. We, on the other hand, really got piece of mind just knowing he had it cause if anything were to happen we know he would be okay. The device was able to get in contact with someone and depending on the emergency they would either send out, call for help and if the situation wasn't too bad they would just call one of us. My mom, 2 sisters and I all were on his contact for if at any time he would be in trouble. They did contact us once and my sister went up being closest to him so she went to check on him. It was only this one incident because now my dad can't really go anywhere or do anything. He ended up having surgery on his leg due to his diabetes, and my dad is smaller than me so I don't know why he still has diabetes but after his surgery he is now house bound. I think my mom still has the device but she just ended up retiring to stay home with him 24/7. I'm not sure if she going to continue using the device but our experience with it has been okay.

2 years ago

The company was okay to deal with, but we had trouble with the customer service rep when our device was not working. My family feels better having this so that if something happens to my uncle, he can get help and we can be alerted.

30 reviews