PROS / You can answer the phone using your pendant button and the console.
CONS / This medical monitoring service does not include live chat.
VERDICT / Offering hard-to-beat terms and quality equipment, LifeFone is one of the best monitoring services out there.
LifeFone has provided monitoring services for nearly four decades. The company's emergency pendants and consoles provide one of the longest ranges among the medical monitoring services we reviewed. Add that to LifeFone's thorough care plans and you get an excellent service that earns our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for medical alert systems.
LifeFone’s At-Home Landline medical alert system costs about $30 a month, which is average. You can lower the monthly cost by paying by the year or quarter. The yearly cost is about $300, while the quarterly cost is around $84. Both options make LifeFone one of the most affordable options in our review. The premium package, the At Home & On-The-Go, costs about $47 a month, which is cheaper than most medical alert systems that include a GPS feature, fall detection and a standard home system.
This medical alert company offers you a thorough medical monitoring service. Among the features we looked for is a solid emergency contact plan in place upon activation of the service. Receptive and courteous response center operators are also necessary for services in this industry. LifeFone's emergency care plan offers all this and more, including a personalized profile with medical history, medications, allergies, physicians, family members, neighbors and preferred hospitals.
Range & Battery Life
Many medical monitoring services offer products to use in conjunction with the console and pendant. When you initially sign up with the company, the representatives assess your needs and make sure you get the right range. LifeFone's basic console has a range of up to 480 feet that varies depending on the layout of your house. However, if you have a larger house, LifeFone also has a basic model with a 1,000-foot range that you can choose instead at no additional cost. The base console has a 32-hour battery life to cover most common blackouts.
The 1,000-foot ranged unit also includes a built-in temperature reader. The temperature feature is useful in keeping track of unnatural warm or cold temperatures in the home.
A monitoring feature of LifeFone that you don't find with other medical alert systems is its worldwide protection service. Every LifeFone client receives a LifeFone Emergency Response Card to keep in a wallet or purse at all times. This card gives health care providers instant access to your emergency information via the company's 24-Hour Emergency Response Center. This provides invaluable extra protection while you're traveling, since emergency personnel will have access to everything they need to know to give you or your loved one the best possible care.
To ensure that you're protected in the bathroom, where most falls occur, the pendant is fully waterproof. Moreover, the console recognizes the pendant from both inside and outside the home. The medical alert pendant also answers calls – an attractive feature if you or your loved one has trouble answering the phone in a timely manner.
One of LifeFone's offered devices is a two-way communication console that includes a large, easy-to-find emergency button. In addition, the medical alert system comes with a necklace or wristband for the pendant, so you or your loved one can contact the emergency response center from anywhere in your home. LifeFone includes a great 24/7 medical monitoring service with its basic plan. The service also offers its monitoring services in 200 languages.
LifeFone is one of the few companies to offer a thorough check-in service option. If you don't test your unit every month, the company will automatically check in with you to make sure it's still working. You can also set up daily check-in services for an additional monthly fee that either has the company calling you or your loved one every day automatically or only when you or your loved one doesn't check in daily.
Contracts & Fees
Whether you sign up for an annual, quarterly or monthly contract, there is free activation. No long-term contract is required, and if you need to stop your service, LifeFone doesn't charge a cancellation fee. LifeFone also gives each new client a free Emergency Response Card. The company's services are available in the U.S. and Canada, and its response center is located in White Plains, N.Y.
LifeFone is one of few services in the industry that refunds unused time to customers who cancel its service. Therefore, if you buy LifeFone for a loved one who passes away, you can recoup the money you paid for the remaining service that you won't use.
For further protection, LifeFone sells several add-on features for one-time fees. For example, you have the option to buy a large, Velcro-mounted help button that you can place in hallways, by a nightstand or in other areas of your home to provide extra security in case the pendant isn't accessible. To let emergency responders into your home if you can't unlock the door, you can get a hanging lockbox or a wall-mounted lockbox for an extra cost. You simply store a spare house key in the box and place it outside your main door. LifeFone will share the lockbox password with emergency personnel if they need to gain entry to your home.
The long-range help button add-on allows the emergency call center to hear you even if you're not by the console, extending the reach up to 1,500 feet. LifeFone offers a premium package that includes additional monitoring services, such as for fire and carbon monoxide. This plan is a higher monthly cost than the basic plan.
LifeFone also has available different equipment packages based on your household needs and available resources. If you don't have a landline, you can use for the traditional base station, then you can choose the option of a base station that runs on the 3G wireless network through AT&T, which can vary in effectiveness based on where you live. The company also offers fall-detection hardware, which can be a great help for individuals with a high risk of falling. There is also a mobile option that uses GPS to track you or your loved one in case you need to call for help while outside of the home.
Help & Support
LifeFone provides top-notch help and support. A 24/7 toll-free customer care number is available so that you can ask a representative questions regarding bills, equipment and profile assistance. You can also find an email address on the company's website for help and support. There's no live chat option.
Setting up the system once you get it is easy. All you have to do to set up the system is plug the base console into a power outlet and phone jack, and then it's ready to test and use. You don't have to pay extra installation and setup fees. If you need help, the console comes with a walkthrough, and you can find a detailed process on the company's website.
LifeFone's medical alert system is a convenient option for seniors who want the freedom to stay in their homes coupled with the knowledge that help is a button push away. Besides offering one of the largest ranges for its base console, LifeFone is one of the few companies to offer refunds on unused time. With its esteemed worldwide protection and reliable pendants, LifeFone is just about as good as they come.