While many people think of their home as a safe place, the fact is that tens of thousands of Americans suffer from serious, life-threatening injuries and medical events each year while in their own homes. A medical alert system can make all the difference when it comes to getting help quickly following accidental falls, choking, fires or poisoning, since these wearable help buttons eliminate the need to dial a phone in an emergency.
All medical alert systems work by connecting a help button with an automatic phone dialer that’s programmed to call the medical alert call monitoring center. These help buttons are generally lightweight and water-resistant, making them easy to wear and use. Features vary between systems and companies, as do medical alert system costs.
This guide highlights the medical alert systems offered by LifeFone. There’s information on LifeFone’s medical alert devices, pricing and options, as well as an overview of the pros and cons of LifeFone’s systems and services.
Based in White Plains, NY, LifeFone has been in business since 1976, making the company one of the most experienced in the industry. LifeFone’s systems are targeted towards seniors and people living with disabilities, and the product range includes in-home and mobile personal emergency response systems. LifeFone’s call monitoring services are based in New York state, and the company maintains two backup centers to ensure no call goes unanswered.
LifeFone offers four medical alert systems, and each system can be customized with add-on devices, features and services. One of the features that makes LifeFone notable is the temperature sensor, which comes standard on all at-home LifeFone systems. If excessively high or low temperatures are detected, an emergency operator will contact the subscriber and dispatch first responders if necessary.
|At-Home Landline||At-Home Cellular||At-Home and On-The-Go GPS||At-Home and On-The-Go GPS, Voice In Pendant|
|Connection||Landline||AT&T Wireless||AT&T Wireless||AT&T Wireless|
|Range between base unit and help button||Up to 1300 feet||Up to 1300 feet||Up to 600 feet from mobile base unit||N/A|
|Help button style||Pendant or wrist-mounted||Pendant or wrist-mounted||Pendant or wrist-mounted||All-in-one pendant|
|Battery life||Up to 5 years – non-rechargeable||Up to 5 years – non-rechargeable||30 hours||30 hours|
|Customized emergency contact list||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Water-resistant help button||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Speakerphone||On base unit||On base unit||On in-home base unit and mobile base unit||Integrated into pendant|
|Automatic fall detection||Available||Available||Available||Available|
LifeFone’s monthly monitoring fees start at $24.95 and go up to $42.95 for annual prepaid plans. The fees include use of LifeFone’s medical alert devices, 24/7 call monitoring and unlimited activation of the help button. Costs also cover the LifeFone Caregiver Portal that gives authorized users access to account information, system settings and the customizable emergency contact list.
Subscribers can add the fall detection feature for $5 per month and LifeFone’s daily check-in service for $19 per month. LifeFone also offers an optional automatic medication reminder service for $6 a month, and GPS location tracking is an additional $9 per month on compatible systems. Caregivers can make up to 30 location tracking requests each month, and there’s a $5 fee for requests that exceed the monthly limit.
As with all medical alert systems, there are pros and cons with LifeFone products and services.
What’s the advantage of LifeFone’s temperature sensor feature?
LifeFone’s temperature sensor feature adds an extra layer of protection against exposure to extremely cold or hot temperatures. This feature can sense if the user is outdoors in frigid temperatures, gets into a bath with excessively hot water, or is near a fire.
Do LifeFone operators always dispatch emergency services?
No. LifeFone operators are trained to assess each subscriber’s situation, and dispatch the appropriate level of assistance. This may mean that the operator will contact a trusted neighbor, caregiver or family member if the subscriber indicates they don’t want the police, fire department or ambulance.
In situations where a LifeFone help button is activated, or the fall detection feature triggers a call for help, and the subscriber isn’t able to speak, LifeFone operators will activate their emergency response procedures.
What is the LifeFone daily check-in service?
For an additional $19 per month, subscribers can sign up for the daily check-in service. This service provides an outbound call from a LifeFone agent placed at the time specified by the subscriber. If the subscriber doesn’t respond to the call, the agent will trigger emergency response procedures.