Pro Tip: If you plan to buy a medical alert, check out my guide to medical alert systems for seniors.
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Established in 1974, Lifeline is credited for becoming the first company in North America to offer personal alert services. Today, it continues to be the number one medical alert provider with a large subscriber base.
Lifeline sells both in-home and on-the-go medical alert systems, making it a great option for older adults of any activity level. Currently, the company offers HomeSafe Standard, HomeSafe with AutoAlert, and On the Go.
|In-home system||$29.95 per month|
|Mobile system||$49.95 per month|
|Most affordable system||$29.95 per month|
|Fall detection||$15 per month|
|Extra users||Not available|
|Protection plan||Not available|
Lifeline offers three unique medical alert systems: two home-based and one mobile unit. The systems vary widely in price, starting as low as $29.95 per month to $49.95 per month. Unlike many other personal emergency systems, Lifeline requires an up-front device fee of $99.95 to cover the purchase of each system’s equipment.
Pro Tip: If you plan to buy a medical alert, check out my guide to medical alert systems for seniors.
The HomeSafe Standard is Lifeline’s most affordable option. It’s best for older adults who spend most of their time at home or in their yard, and it includes one in-home base communicator and the option to choose either a help button pendant or wristband.
The landline version of the system starts at $29.95 a month, and the cellular version is $43.95 a month. Both systems also require a one-time $50 device fee. The base communicator acts as a speakerphone, and when you press the help button it immediately calls the Lifeline response center.
The help button works anywhere within 800 feet of the in-home communicator, and it comes with a long-lasting battery that Lifeline will automatically replace when needed. You’ll receive a low-battery alert 30 days before your battery runs out and a subsequent call from a Lifeline representative to provide a new one, so you won’t have to worry about having batteries in stock at all times. The help button is also waterproof, so it can be worn in the bath or shower, where falls are very common.
This system is ideal for older adults who desire an extra level of protection at home, especially those with a history of falls. HomeSafe With AutoAlert offers all the features of the standard system, but it also includes automatic fall detection. The added feature makes the AutoAlert system a bit more expensive, but I think it’s worth it.
Falls are the leading cause of death in adults age 65 and older, and no matter how much you prepare with a medical alert system you may not be able to push your help button after a fall. The AutoAlert technology is designed to detect falls and quickly alert the response center, regardless of whether the button has been pushed.
A HomeSafe With AutoAlert subscription costs $44.95 per month with a landline connection and $58.95 per month with a cellular connection. A one-time device fee of $50 is also required.
To learn more about this system, check out my hands-on Lifeline review.
On the Go is the newest addition to Lifeline. It’s a great single-piece system for active older adults who are often out and about, since it provides support anywhere AT&T service is available. The all-in-one water-resistant system costs $49.95 a month, plus a one-time up-front equipment fee of $99.95.
With On the Go’s two-way voice capability, AutoAlert fall detection, and five locating technologies, you can feel confident that help will find you wherever you are. Rather than using only cellular, Wi-Fi, and GPS locating technologies, the system incorporates five location technologies: assisted global positioning systems (A-GPS), Wi-Fi, intelligent location history, two-way voice, and an audio beacon that emits a loud sound to help first responders find you. With a rechargeable battery that lasts up to 2-3 on a single charge, you won’t have to worry about constantly charging your device. Additionally, On the Go has AutoAlert fall detection capabilities even if you can’t push a button.
FYI: The On the Go is one of my favorite GPS medical alert systems.
|System||HomeSafe Standard||HomeSafe With AutoAlert||On the Go|
|Monthly price||$29.95 to $43.95||$44.95 to $58.95||$49.95|
|For use||In home||In home||In home and away|
|Connection type||Landline or cellular||Landline or cellular||Cellular, GPS|
This device is perfect for when you need to add an additional Lifeline Communicator to your home. It’s a good idea to purchase the Voice Extension if you need to be able to hear and quickly contact the Response Center from multiple areas of your home. Price: $10 per month
The Key Lockbox provides an extra layer of protection. For instance, if you have an emergency and first responders need to access your home, they can easily use the spare key lockbox to get to you. This way, you don’t have to deal with costly expenses attached to a forced entry.
Price: $29.95 one-time device fee
The simplest ways to purchase a Lifeline system are through either the company’s website or over the phone, since the full systems aren’t available in brick-and-mortar stores. If you have questions about the systems but you have trouble hearing or do not want to call, Lifeline customer service is also available via live chat during regular business hours.
One thing to keep in mind is that Lifeline requires you to purchase your equipment up front. Your Medical Guardian cost, for example, would be only the monthly charge to lease your system, whereas Lifeline requires an initial equipment charge in addition to the monthly fee.
In terms of installation, you have the option to either self-install or choose an in-home installation. If you decide to self-install your Lifeline device, you’ll need to pay for shipping and handling costs when you select the self-installation option during online checkout. From there, you’ll receive a setup guide along with the system so you can set up and activate your Lifeline system.
If you decide to have a Lifeline technician install the device at your home, you’ll receive a call once your order has been placed. From there, you can schedule an in-home installation, which will take roughly two hours to fully install your system.
Warranties are specified on the warranty card supplied with your product. Medical alert systems typically offer a one-year limited warranty. For Lifeline, that means if a hardware defect happens in the first year, the company will repair or replace the parts at no charge, exchange it for a new product functionally equivalent to yours, or refund the purchase price. Equipment repaired under warranty is protected for the remainder of your original purchase’s warranty period.
Your system is eligible for return within 30 days of delivery. You must notify Lifeline of your intent to cancel via phone, and you will receive a Return Material Authorization number that must be displayed on your package when you return it. The company will arrange for pickup. You must return your equipment in its original condition.
Tip: With the Lifeline app, your family and friends can create a care circle, which is a network of people actively involved in an older adult’s care.
Apps are an easy way for your loved ones to stay on top of your care without having to be present at all times. Not all medical alert systems have such user-friendly apps, so the Lifeline Cares app is a big bonus.
The Lifeline Cares app is a digital platform that helps caregivers and family members better communicate and coordinate care. Older adults often have many health-care providers and family members involved in their circle of care, so it’s priceless to have a place where everyone can share notes, engage with one another, and manage availability. The Lifeline Cares app informs caregivers whether their loved one’s alert device is working and provides valuable reminders, scheduling tools, step-count monitoring, fall notifications, chat capability among caregivers, and more.
Lifeline agents have an impressive monitoring pedigree. The company’s trained care specialists provide 24/7 monitoring, and they have access to more than 140 languages via an interpreter service. Each medical alert device has direct access to a call center through its help button or AutoAlert fall-detection triggers. It takes only about 12 seconds for a trained care specialist to pick up once an emergency button is pushed.
Each trained care specialist on the 200-person team undergoes 80 hours of detailed instruction in gerontology and stress management, and completes monitored training classes to make sure they can provide the best support in all situations. All response centers have plans to stay operational during power outages or natural disasters; if one response center has an unforeseen technical problem, calls are transferred to another center. Once a call is complete and you have received the help you need, care specialists go through follow-up coaching sessions and training to ensure excellent service.
FYI: On top of monthly payments, there is a one-time activation fee for both HomeSafe and On the Go systems
There is definitely some pressure associated with being a leader in the industry, but Lifeline lives up to that standard with reliable service, easy-to-use systems, and an intuitive app. Combined with its personalized service, smart medication dispenser, and award-winning monitoring, it’s hard to beat.
The only downside I see with Lifeline is the cost, which is well above average. Still, sometimes you get what you pay for, and I think Lifeline is well worth it.
Lifeline systems cost as low as $29.95 per month for their HomeSafe Standard system. Add-ons like fall detection will cost additional monthly fees.
Unless you choose to pay on an annual basis, Lifeline systems can be canceled at any time, and you can stop making payments. All you have to do is call Lifeline, inform them you wish to cancel, and send back your equipment.
Your system can be relocated easily, and Lifeline provides monitoring nationwide. Let Lifeline know about your move a few weeks ahead of time so it can update your profile and transfer your service.
Lifeline encourages customers to press the help button once a month during nonemergency situations to ensure the system is working properly.
The pendants and wristbands are either water-resistant or waterproof, so they are safe to wear in the bath or shower.
The HomeSafe communicator acts as a speaker and microphone to make sure you and the monitoring center’s care specialist can hear each other regardless of your location. If you aren’t able to hear each other, the specialist will immediately follow up based on the instructions in your personal profile. If it’s unclear how to proceed, the care specialist will usually call for an emergency response since they don’t want to take any risks with your health and well-being.