Life Alert Review

Well-known provider since 1987. Simple and straightforward medical alert option. On-site call center. Higher than average plan rates with an upfront activation fee.


Life Alert was founded in 1987 and is considered by many to be a leader in the medical alert system industry. They’re certainly one of the most well-known providers of personal emergency response systems, thanks to their “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” TV commercials, which were so popular in the 1990s and can still be seen on television today.

Although Life Alert is a household name and they provide medical monitoring to many seniors in the United States, we wanted to know if they were still one of the best options for those looking for the right medical alert device. Our review will show you the biggest Life Alert pros and cons to help you make up your own mind.

Monitoring Features

Life Alert offers a variety of monitoring services and equipment to older adults that want to stay in their homes. The following are some of our favorite ways that Life Alert provides emergency monitoring to those living with medical conditions or ailments.
Multiple Monitoring Options: Life Alert is one of the few medical alert providers that offer monitoring services for both medical and home intrusion emergencies. This makes Life Alert a crucial link to the outside world for senior citizens that live alone and have concerns about being able to get to the phone in the event of a crisis.

On-Site Call Centers: Like many other medical alert systems, Life Alert provides 24/7 emergency monitoring to those that need it most. But unlike most companies, Life Alert owns their monitoring centers. This means when you press the help button, you aren’t speaking with a third-party call center operator.

Maintenance-Free Devices: Life Alert’s website states that none of their medical alert equipment requires maintenance of any kind. They also offer an in-home medical alert system with a pendant that has a battery that lasts up to 7 years and a base unit with a 72-hour battery back-up feature.

Mobile and GPS Equipment: For active seniors, being able to have the peace of mind of medical monitoring wherever they go is an important part of maintaining the independent lifestyle they love. Life Alert offers a medical alert device that is fully mobile and can be used anywhere in the United States, thanks to cellular and GPS technology.

Medical Alert Plans

Life Alert offers a variety of medical alert pricing plans to allow older adults to safely remain in their own homes. To help you decide if it’s the right monitoring service for you, we’ve listed the latest available information on Life Alert costs.

Life Alert At-Home: If you spend most of your time at home, this is probably the best choice for you. This plan includes a base unit with a range of up to 800 feet and your choice of a waterproof medical alert wristband, neck pendant, or a large mountable help button. You can choose to pay $69 per month or an annual fee of $770 for this option and there is a one-time activation charge of $96 to get started.

Life Alert Mobile: If you like to get out and spend time with family and friends, you should choose Life Alert Mobile. It includes a neck pendant that serves as both a help button and base unit, thanks to containing a built-in microphone and speaker to speak with an operator from anywhere over a cellular network. The monthly fee is $89 or you can pre-pay $898 for the year, which doesn’t include the upfront setup fee of $198.

Please Note: All Life Alert prices listed above are based on the most recent information we could find online. This company does not list pricing info on their website and requests that those interested in Life Alert call 1-800-360-0329 for pricing details.

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The Good

As with all of our editor reviews, we put Life Alert medical monitoring through its paces, so you don’t have to waste your time or money. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite Life Alert personal emergency response service benefits…

Professional Installation Available

For the most part, Life Alert installation is a simple process, whether you choose their At-Home or Mobile medical alert system. But some people would prefer to have professional technicians set up their medical monitoring services for them. Life Alert is one of the few medical alert providers that offer professional installation for an additional convenience fee.

No Landline Phone Required

Life Alert knows that most people don’t have a landline phone in their home anymore and they offer their users a cellular medical alert system option, so you don’t have to worry about having a home phone line installed just to use their At-Home service.

Helpful Mobile Application

Many seniors now have cellphones to stay and touch with their family and friends. And if you have a smartphone, you can actually turn it into a medical alert device with the Life Alert App, which is a nice touch that many other providers in the industry don’t offer to their customers.

Direct-Dispatch for Emergencies

Life Alert claims that they’re the only medical alert company that can directly dispatch paramedics to your home in the event of an emergency, instead of connecting you with a 911 operator. They state in their commercials that medical assistance is sent straight from their company-owned call center to where you are when the emergency occurs. This is definitely a nice feature, but please be aware that we have been unable to verify this claim on our end.

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The Bad

When it comes to our own elderly loved ones, we always recommend a medical alert system that doesn’t require activation fees or a long-term contract. Life Alert does both by collecting setup fees as high as $198 and requiring a 3-year commitment from their users.

We also didn’t care for the fact that Life Alert isn’t transparent about their pricing, as you have to call and speak with a salesperson to find out how much the service costs. And speaking of medical alert rates, Life Alert’s are definitely on the high end.

Possibly most disturbing of all, Life Alert doesn’t offer automatic fall detection and we found that some medical conditions can actually disqualify seniors from even signing up for Life Alert. And there’s no option for a Life Alert free trial to allow you to test out their service for yourself.

The Bottom Line

Although we’re impressed by how long Life Alert has been in the medical alert industry, how they have their company-owned call centers, and the simple and straightforward monitoring devices they provide, we don’t feel as if they’re the best option for most seniors.

If you’re living on a tight budget, have a higher risk of falling, or simply don’t like committing yourself to service contracts, Life Alert probably isn’t the right choice for you. So, what’s our recommendation?

There are options for a top-rated medical alert company that offers affordable, reliable, and contract-free service. You might want to take a closer look at Medical Guardian and their best-in-class medical alert system, customer support, and fantastic fall detection feature.

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