Product Review: GrandCARE Systems

GrandCare Systems - Connecting Seniors to Family and CareI get really excited about new technologies, systems, and emerging companies.  Especially if they’re built with the goal of making peoples lives more livable.   GrandCARE Systems is one of those companies that’s easy to get behind!  GrandCARE Systems is a communication tool, care management asset and activity-sensor-hub all wrapped up in an easy-to-use touchscreen device.

Connectivity Tools For Seniors

The grandCARE System offers connectivity for seniors.  It keeps them connected to family members, caregivers, and healthcare providers alike.  Family members are able to share photos, videos, and messages through the care portal (which can be accessed through any device with an internet connection).  Caregivers can set up activity reminders and medication prompts.  Medication reminders take on a whole new look with photos of pills and dosing information.

Healthcare providers are able to set up sensors around the home that can detect motion, establish sleep patterns and even send an alert if the refrigerator door has not been opened in the morning.  The system also supports telehealth devices such as blood pressure monitors, scales, pulse oximeters, glucometers, and thermometers.   All of this can be done while monitoring and engaging even the most technology-averse seniors.GrandCare Systems offers connectivity to seniors

GrandCARE allows every person involved with the senior to contribute in their own way.  It allows people to feel more integrated into their loved ones lives. — Daphne Karpan, Home Care RN

Thegrandcare systems communication tool grandCARE touch screen interface is very easy for the front end-user, presumably an older adult that may not be familiar with computers or modern tech.  It’s also easy for family, caregivers and providers who are connected on the back-end.  Monitoring seniors at home can make a great deal of sense.  GrandCARE just makes it easier!  Personally, I can also see this system being a welcome addition to any long distance family member situation.  Family members can easily send photos, videos and personal notes to share.

We reviewed a competitor of grandCARE in the past called Video Care.  Even though Video Care isn’t around anymore, their users have been incorporated into the grandCARE system.

 VideoCare used different hardware than grandCARE but we invested in testing our software to the point we can simply send VideoCare customers a USB drive that installs GrandCare on their current VideoCare touch PC.   It has made a number of people happy and we are proud to almost seamlessly migrate clients and their caregivers from VideoCare to grandCARE with almost no interruption in service. — Jerry Furness, COO of grandCARE

GrandCare Systems MonitorGrandCARE Systems (grandCARE) recently released MediKall, which is a HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant video chat for providers to talk to clients and patients about medical conditions.  HIPPA compliance means your medical and personal information is protected/safe. GrandCARE can be used with a wired or wi-fi internet connection, so it’s a very flexible solution.

Buying a grandCARE System

Cost is $699 for the system and requires a $49 monthly subscription.  There are no additional charges for use of health devices, sensors, or alerts.  Some users are able to access this system through their home care, home health, hospice, or senior care living facility at a reduced cost.  Ask your provider if they have grandCARE connected into their network.  If you’re interested in the grandCARE System for a family member or a friend, by being a member of The Senior List community, you can receive 10% off of the purchase price.  Tell them you read about it here!

2015 Recommended Medical Alert Systems

medical alert systemsTwo years ago we published a very popular post that included a list of traditional (in-home) medical alert systems.  In addition to the list, we provided reviews of those medical alert systems so readers could compare and contrast.  Since that time, the medical alert arena has changed.  Companies have come and gone, and thankfully we have new medical alert options like mobile devices, and even smartphone apps to consider.

Given the modernization changes to medical alert systems offered today, we thought we’d refresh our list.  Let’s also give a special nod to those providers (and devices) that we’re currently recommending.  Based on feedback from our community members, we may opt to add providers to the recommended list OR delete someone from the list.  If you want to understand what criteria we look for in a quality device you’ll want to read this Medical Alert System Overview.

*Special Note:  If The Senior List® is recommending a specific provider, we will note it with a “Senior List Checkmark of Approval”.
Senior List Approved Medical Alert Systems

Checkmark = Senior List Approved

2015 List of Medical Alert Systems

Senior List Approved Medical Alert SystemsAlert 1: The Alert1 medical alert system has come along way since we first reviewed the Alert1 back in 2011.  Alert 1 has a number of new medical alert systems to choose from. They have a traditional basic pendant-style device, they have a pendant with fall detection, and they have small mobile (cellular based) emergency response button called the “Kelsi”.  Alert 1 has a US based emergency response center, and prices start at $25.95 per month. No termination fee, but you will forfeit pre-paid services if you cancel.

Senior List Approved Medical Alert SystemsBay Alarm Medical:  Bay Alarm Medical is offering traditional in-home medical alert systems (with or without a home telephone line), and a mobile GPS device for those that don’t wish to be tethered to a mobile base station.  Bay Alarm has a lot of positive reviews and customer testimonials out there, and we understand them to offer great support.  See our own review of Bay Alarm Medical here.  Bay Alarm Medical offers good value with a monthly plan starting at $21.95. No long-term contracts.

Connect America:  Connect America claims to be the fastest growing medical alert company out there.  They are a no frills provider that offers traditional in-home medical alert monitoring.  Prices start at $29.95 per month and there are no long-term contracts (following your first 3 months of service).

Senior List Approved Medical Alert SystemsCostco MediPendant:  The Costco MediPendant is a great consideration for a speakerphone type medical alert system.  Click here to read The Senior List review of the MediPendant.  This device boasts a great battery life, and the Costco deal actually provides an extra battery within the packaging.  All in all we like this device but you should understand that it’s bulky, and uncomfortable for most to wear around the neck.  Costco provides 6 month free service initially, and month-to-month rates start at $26.95 (IF you pay of-front for an annual plan you can get your rate down to $19.95).  No long-term contracts.

Freedom Alert:  The Freedom Alert is a 2-way voice emergency pendant (think tiny speakerphone) that allows the user to call up to 4 pre-programmed telephone numbers (plus (911).  Once you purchase the equipment ($259.95) there are no monthly expenses to maintain.  It is literally a tiny speakerphone that fits in the palm of your hand or on a lanyard.

Senior List Approved Medical Alert SystemsGreatCall Splash:  The GreatCall Splash medical alert system is a handy little device that we just love.  This is the same company that sells the (very senior friendly) Jitterbug 5 cell phone.  We’ve personally used the GreatCall 5Star which is the prior model to the Splash.  This mobile (GPS) medical alert system operates on a cellular network (always) so you can take it wherever you wish. The GreatCall Splash is waterproof, and monthly plans start at just $14.99 per month ($19.95/mo. if you want access to medical personnel like nurses and/or doctors). No long-term contracts.

Life Alert:  Yup you know Life Alert from their iconic “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials.  They’ve been serving the public for 3 decades, and offer traditional in-home medical alert services. Prices start at $29.95.  Beware of long-term contracts.

LifeFone:  LifeFone has a complete suite of medical alert systems from traditional land-line based systems to cellular options.  LifeFone also offers a pendant with fall detection.  Prices start at $24.95 per month, and there is no long-term contracts.

Life Guardian:  The Life Guardian family of medical alert systems is now called Safe Guardian (catchy).  Safe Guardian sells a 911 emergency device, a traditional medical alert system, a mobile medical alert system, and a speakerphone device.  Plans start at $19 per month (if paid annually) for land-line system (analogue not VOIP) and there are no long-term contracts.

Senior List Approved Medical Alert SystemsLifeStation: LifeStation offers traditional medical alert system options as well as a new mobile (cellular) emergency button which calls 911 in case of an emergency. Pricing starts at $25.95 per month and there are no long-term contracts (just provide 30 days notice to cancel).  Set-up is simple and call center staff are certified. Read our LifeStation Reviews.

Medical Guardian: The Medical Guardian is a nice option to consider when shopping for medical alert systems.  Medical Guardian offers in-home medical alert systems, a cellular option, and a fall detection option.  Prices start at $29.95 per month and there is no equipment to purchase. No long-term contracts.

MobileHelp:  MobileHelp offers both a traditional in-home medical alert system as well as a mobile (cellular) option.  MobileHelp also has a pendant with fall detection which is compatible with their base station.  Prices start at $25.78 per month with an annual plan ($34.95 month-to-month). They claim they will refund pre-paid funds upon cancellation.  We always recommend you get this in writing if you go with a long-term price plan.Here is our original review of MobileHelp.

Senior List Approved Medical Alert SystemsPhilips Lifeline:  Philips Lifeline offers a family of medical alert system options including traditional medical alert systems over your home telephone line, a GPS mobile option (called GoSafe) and a smartphone app called “Response App”.  Philips is a little more expensive than some of the other providers (starting at $29.95) but they’re well regarded, and have a history of service. Call centers are located in the USA. Read our Philips Lifeline review here. No long-term contracts.

Senior List Approved Medical Alert SystemsQMedic: QMedic claims to be the “world’s smartest medical alert service”. This smart little unit can alert when a user is not wearing the device, when they fail to get out of bed, and when they are inactive for extended periods of time.  The Senior List® reviewed the QMedic and gave it a test drive in our home lab.  It worked exceptionally well, and the staff was professional and accommodating (a great sign for a new company). $30 per month and no long-term contracts.

ResponseLINK:  ResponseLINK offer products with the same form factors and functions as Alert1.  Prices start at $25.95.

Verizon SureResponse:  The Verizon SureResponse had the potential to be a great addition to the medical alert system market but it’s launch fell flat. The trouble started with a clunky form factor, support that was non-existent, and performance issues as reported by customers.  Simply put, it appears Big Red wasn’t ready for this device (or the market).  The Senior List even reached out to Verizon Wireless to see if we could help their team (but… we were ignored).  See our SureResponse review here.  Our readers didn’t have many good things to say about this device, but we’re hoping that Verizon focuses on this space at some point.  They could be a player here.  Rates follow their cellular phone model which means there’s equipment to buy, and a long-term agreement to adhere to. (sigh)

VRI: The VRI medical alert system is a nice, easy to use option when considering medical alert systems. We originally reviewed VRI  back in 2011.  It’s easy to set up and is a generally considered a no-frills machine.  There are 2 options for using VRI in your home.  There is a purchase option in which the client purchases the equipment ($175) and then pays $19.95 per month for monitoring, and there is the rental option which starts at $29.95 per month.

The Senior List is here for you.  These decisions aren’t easy, so we’re here to help you find the best deal from the best providers.  Some of the providers mentioned above have an affiliate relationship with The Senior List, and we’re proud of those relationships. We only work with providers that pass our own stringent criteria, and these are the same providers that we refer our friends and family to.

Step-By-Step: Medical Alert Buyers Guide

Give us your feedback on any of the medical alert systems you have experience with, particularly if they are on this list. We would love to hear the positive experiences as well as the challenges you’ve had.  Often times our expectation of quality service precludes us from expressing appreciation for good service, so let’s make sure we hear about positive experiences too.  Here’s your chance to sound off!  We look forward to your feedback.

Medical Alert Systems: Everything You Need To Know

qmedic medical alert system braceletWe’re asked all the time to make recommendations on medical alert systems, and to provide best practices on what to look out for when shopping for one of these little devices. The best advice is not to rush into this purchase decision without doing a little due diligence. There are some nafarious providers out there, hoping you’ll sign a long-term contract that you can’t get out of… We’ve even heard from consumers that have been stuck in a bad contract for (dare we say) 3 years!

So you can probably tell that one of the things we hate are long-term agreements with no out-clauses. There are other things to watch out for as well, so let’s get into the heart of the matter! First things first… Don’t start looking at medical alert systems without knowing the Top 10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Medical Alert System.

Top Questions to Ask When Buying a Medical Alert System

  1. Does this medical alert system work with VOIP phones?
  2. What is the range of the pendant from the base unit?
  3. Who installs and tests the device in my home?
  4. Do I need a land-line in my home to use this alert system?
  5. Tell me about your call centers. Where are they located? What are response times? Are they trained?
  6. Does the medical alert system come with other services like medication reminders?
  7. What if something goes wrong with my equipment?
  8. Is automatic fall detection included?
  9. Do I own this device, or am I leasing the equipment?
  10. What is my total yearly cost?
  11. (Bonus Question) What do I do when I no longer need the service? (Get this in writing.)

Medical Alert Buyers Guide5 Features of Modern Medical Alert Systems

  1. The pendant should be small, discrete and waterproof.
  2. The contract should be easy to opt out of.
  3. Pendant should be comfortable and lightweight.
  4. The fall detection technology should work well.
  5. Should have connectivity options to call your family, a call center, or 911.

Medical Alert System SCAM

Did you know there is a medical alert scam that is being perpetrated on the American public right now?  These frauds are targeting seniors with an offer of a personal medical alert system at no cost to you. The call goes on to say “Since you’ve already been referred by a medical professional, your package is ready to be shipped”. State and federal authorities are aware of the scam which has been going on for over a year now.  What you can do:  Make your friends and family aware of the scam, and make sure they never give personal information to anyone that calls them out of the blue (ever)!

Cellular Medical Alert System

Common Mistakes to Avoid

5 Common Mistakes: Medical Alert Systems

Medical Alert System Buyers Guide

If you want more help or more information, poke around The Senior List a little bit.  You can use our search bar on the front page to help guide your search for medical alert system information.  We’ve conducted many reviews of specific devices, and browsing these reviews is a great way to educate yourself on the medical alert space.  If you would like specific recommendations on medical alert systems, we have a Medical Alert System Buyers Guide that can walk you through some of our favorite medical alert system choices.  These are alert systems that we recommend to friends and family, and they meet many of the criteria that we look for in a medical alert system provider.

medical alert system buyers guide

Philips Lifeline Review

Philips Lifeline Review

The Philips Lifeline family of medical alert systems now offers 4 options under their Philips Lifeline umbrella.   They offer the traditional home based medical alert system without fall detection, the Lifeline alert system with fall detection, a mobile (cellular) option, and a smartphone app.  We like options, and Philips Lifeline has built a nice business model based on consistent service over a long period of time.  This is one of the reasons we tend to recommend Philips Lifeline when folks ask us for medical alert system recommendations.

Product Info: Philips Lifeline

  • Name:  Philips LifeLine
  • Website Info: www.lifelinesys.comPhilips Lifeline Reviews
  • Auto Fall Detection? :  Optional
  • Cellular Option: Yes
  • Equipment Cost:  $0 for traditional medical alert system, $149 if you want mobile (cellular) option
  • Monthly Cost Starts At: $29.95 for in-home (no fall detection), $49.95 (with fall detection), $54.95 (cellular option/AT&T), $13.95 for Medical Alert Smartphone App.
  • All Lifeline Alert Systems Feature:  A waterproof (wireless) Pendant or Bracelet, In-Home Base Unit, 24/7 US Based Response Center.

Philips Lifeline Review

We originally published our first Philips Lifeline Review back in 2011.  The Philips Lifeline family of medical alert systems is now the number 1 provider of medical alert systems in the US with over 7 million served.  Founded in 1972, Philips Lifeline continues to provide top notch (US based) service to those that choose to patronize the Lifeline family of products.  Philips Lifeline is a premium brand which means you’ll pay a little more than the industry average for their services.  In exchange, you’ll receive US based response centers staffed with trained operators, ready to assist in case of emergency.  Here at The Senior List we can attest to our own high degree of customer satisfaction, as a family member has worn a Lifeline device for almost a decade.

Lifeline offers a number of options depending on the needs of the user today.  The base model is called their HomeSafe Standard option.  This is what we would refer to as a traditional in-home medical alert system.  It offers push button technology from a pendant, and is perfect for most users who want a traditional medical alert system.

If you’re worried about falls, Philips Lifeline offers a fall detection option called “HomeSafe Auto Alert”.  Philips boasts a “high detection rate of true falls”, but you should know that fall detection technology isn’t without it’s detractors/critics.  Those critics cite false fall alarms, as well as non-detected-falls.  Fall detection is a nice safety blanket to have, but you have to understand fall detection technology isn’t perfect (on any device).  You also pay quite a premium for fall detection.  It will run you $240 more per year than a traditional medical alert system.  IF on-board fall detection thwarts a critical medical emergency however… It’s worth it every time (and twice on Sundays).

For the user on the go, Philips offers a mobile (cellular) medical alert option.  This system utilizes a pendant that’s connected to AT&T’s wireless network.  You’ll need to purchase the cellular based pendant (a one time expense of $149) and pay a premium monthly payment to Philips that starts at $54.95.  We like the cellular based medical alert systems, and the monthly fees will ratchet down once there are more options in the marketplace.

The Bottom Line: Philips Lifeline

We like Philips Lifeline and we recommend them.  They are a premium player in the medical alert system space, and they’ve grown into the largest provider of medical alert systems in the US.  We’ve had family members use Lifeline for extended periods of time, and can attest to the fact that the Lifeline call center staff is both understanding and patient.  At times, confused adults can get into a pattern of repeated button pushing (we certainly ran into this).  Each time our family member depressed their pendant alert button, they were treated with respect and understanding (or we would have switched providers).  This is the kind of thing that goes a long way for families in crisis.  We’ll continue to recommend Philips Lifeline as one of only a few Medical Alert System providers that The Senior List will endorse.

If you’ve used the Philips Lifeline Medical Alert Systems or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below!

Just5 Cell Phone Reviews

If you’ve been searching for Just5 cell phone reviews, you’ve come to the right place.  We originally reviewed the Just5 cell phone For seniors back in 2011, and it looks like it’s changed a bit for the better.  We liked this cell phone for a lot of reasons, namely because it was simple, had big buttons and seemed to work quite well.  We were sent a model to play with, and subsequently gave it away to a lucky TSL community member during an on-site promotion.

Product Info: Just5 Cell Phone

  • Name:  Just5 (model CP09)
  • Offered By: Just5.com
  • Price:  $33 (EUR)
  • Carrier:  AT&T & T-Mobile
  • Monthly Rates:   AT&T or T-Mobile standard rates
  • Colors:  Orange, Red & White
  • Contracts or Cancellation Fees: None for phone.  Fees possible depending on carrier
  • Features:  Emergency call button, built-in flashlight, integrated fm radio, large buttons, loud speakerphone, easy to use.

Product Review: Just5 Cell Phone

The Just5 cell phone for seniors is a simple, easy to use phone with few frills.  It has huge buttons that are easy to read, has a built in flashlight (making it
useful when reading restaurants menus), has a small form factor, and works on common carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile.  We never saw the utility of having an fm radio on board, but maybe they have customers that like this feature. As we noted in our earlier review of the Just5, this phone could make good sense for a young person as well.


If a cell phone (with an SOS button) is all you’re looking for, the Just5 would make good sense. When the SOS or medical alert button is depressed, it sends a text message to 5 preset numbers that the user inputs at set-up.  It then begins dialing the user’s emergency contacts until someone answers.  The phone is automatically placed in speakerphone mode after the SOS button is depressed.

The Just5 phone probably doesn’t make much sense for the user who wants to take, and share pictures.  You’d have a hard time taking pictures given there is no camera!  There isn’t enough real estate on the viewing area to see anything but a simple text, so it’s a moot point anyway.  What this phone does well is that it makes and receives phone calls, and operates as a remote medical alert system.

The Bottom Line:

This phone is for someone that wants a basic phone with a medical alert option.  For those purposes, this phone is a great option.  Everywhere we looked recently was out of stock on the Just5 model CP09, so you’ll have to look around to purchase it. Normally you can purchase this phone directly from Just5.com or any number of retail outlets like Best Buy, etc.  If you can’t find a Just5 phone, we have a similar suggestion for you.  A close cousin of the Just5 is the Snapfon ezTWO3G Senior Cell Phone, SIMPLE and Easy to Use, SOS Button, Hearing Aid Compatible, UNLOCKED GSM.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only consider affiliate relationships on products that we would absolutely recommend to friends and family.

Samsung Jitterbug 5 Review

Jitterbug 5 ReviewsThe Samsung Jitterbug line has been around a long time, and we know this phone well.  The Senior List originally reviewed the Samsung Jitterbug J model back in 2010!  We’re happy to report that this phone has evolved and today it’s better than ever.  The Jitterbug line has been one of the most popular senior friendly phones on the market.  There was a famous slogan penned by an ad agency back in 1968, we think fits pretty well with our Samsung Jitterbug 5 Review… Jitterbug 5 – You’ve come a long way baby!

Product Info: Jitterbug 5

  • Name:  Jitterbug 5 Phone for Seniors
  • Offered by:  GreatCall
  • Price:  $99 MSRP
  • Monthly Rates: Start at $24.99 (includes 5Star Service)
  • Colors:  Red, White or Blue
  • Carrier:  Verizon
  • Contracts or Cancellation Fees: None
  • Features:  Simple clam shell design, big, easy-to-see buttons, powerful speakerphone, 5Star service button, long lasting battery, Big Red (Verizon Network)

Product Review: GreatCall’s Jitterbug 5

Samsung Jitterbug 5 ReviewThe Samsung Jitterbug 5 from GreatCall is one of the most recognizable senior friendly phones today.   Nicole Lee at Cnet said of the Samsung Jitterbug 5’s early cousins “The Samsung Jitterbug J is incredibly easy to use.  It has a bright display, large font size, a roomy keypad with big buttons, and even a dial tone to make it similar to a landline telephone“.  We love the large buttons, and the fact that it’s easy to recognize the emergency button (in red) which alerts GreatCall operators to an inquiry or an emergency.

Staff here at The Senior List have personally tested out “5Star” services at GreatCall’s call center.  These services include dispatching emergency services, connecting the user to a registered nurse, and even conferencing in an emergency contact like a son or daughter.  The operators are trained, and they’re some of the most professional we’ve dealt with.  Another thing that we love is their contract… You know why? There isn’t one!  If you’ve followed our medical alert system reviews, you probably know we don’t like the idea of folks entering into long-term service contracts that they are locked into.  If you’re ever in doubt, make sure you get this assurance in writing.  With GreatCall’s Jitterbug you don’t have to.

How Does 5Star Service Work?

Jitterbug 5 Review - 5 Star Service

The Bottom Line:

If you’re looking for a senior friendly cell phone the Samsung Jitterbug 5 from GreatCall is a can’t miss.  This isn’t just a cell phone though, it’s a cross between a phone and a medical alert system.  For this reason, The Senior List highly recommends this product.  The Jitterbug 5 remains our top choice in mobile phones for seniors because of it’s versatility, it’s value for money, and for top shelf service from GreatCall staff.

If you’ve used the Jitterbug 5 or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below!

This post may contain affiliate links. We only consider affiliate relationships on products that we would absolutely recommend to friends and family.

QMedic Review: A smart medical alert system

qmedic medical alert system braceletThe QMedic Medical Alert System

QMedic offers a traditional PERS bracelet or pendant with a button to push when help is needed.  In addition to these features, QMedic also has some very smart sensing technology that we love.  The QMedic medical alert system will send text alerts to  loved ones/caregivers if the user is not wearing the device, fails to get out of bed or is inactive for an extended period of time.  Monthly Wellness Reports are also available to monitor activity, sleep, and  safety in the home.

What We Like: Waterproof, Smart sensing technology, inactivity alerts.  Free shipping, 30-day money back guarantee. Affordable, no hidden fees, no contract. 800-1,000 ft range. Will notify users preferences in case of an emergency (911 or family/ friends). Monthly wellness reports.

What We Would Change: No GPS features, tethered to home land-line.

Recommend?: Absolutely.  We love that it’s waterproof and think the sensing technology is a huge step above traditional personal emergency response systems.  We would love to see a GPS enabled version of QMedic.

Where to Purchase: Currently, purchases must be made through the QMedic website.

Cost: $30 per month. No long term contract. No equipment purchase. Free Shipping, 30-day money back guarantee.

Excellent Service

We found the staff at QMedic very easy to work with.  This started in their marketing department and spread to the folks at the call center who wanted to make sure I was okay when I pushed the button (many times).

Great Speaker Range on the QMedic

What really impressed me was the range of the speaker on the base station throughout my home.  The call center and I played “can you hear me now?” on both levels of my home and we could still hear each other the whole time.  The base station speaker is really loud if you are in the same room, but perfect if a user needs help a distance away from the base station.

We will be adding QMedic to our “Favorites List”, if you have used QMedic and have any feedback about your experience, we would love to hear about it below!

Is Consumer Reports Rating Medical Alert Systems?

Medical Alert Buyers GuideIf you’ll look at some of our articles on Medical Alert Systems you’ll see that our robust user community is all about helping each other find the best products and services for boomers and seniors.  One of the areas that’s always been hot on The Senior List has been the Medical Alert System arena.  The reason it’s such a hot sector is because these little devices solve a problem for aging adults that are staying in the home longer.  The obvious problem they address is; What happens if there’s a medical emergency?  The solution is to press an alarm button that will summons help if no one else is in the home.  This trend toward staying in one’s home vs. moving into a nursing home or assisted living is called “Aging in Place“.

Is Consumer Reports Rating Medical Alert Systems?

One of the questions we get quite often is the following; Is consumer reports rating medical alert systems? The answer is no, they aren’t ratings specific medical alert systems but in July, Consumer Reports provided a brief review titled “What to look for in a Medical Alert System“.   They also provide a few reviews for 6 popular medical alert providers.  The article lacks some detail, but does provide some useful information such as “who needs a medical alert system”, and “what the best medical alert systems have”.

Consumer reports rating medical alert systems

There are a number of resources that provide ratings for medical alert systems.  Since you’re already on The Senior List, you probably know that we provide ratings and recommendations for medical alert systems.  If you see a recommendation for a medical alert system here, you can be sure we’d make the same recommendation to our own family members, giving you peace of mind when making these difficult choices.  We even put together a Medical Alert System Buyers Guide to help you make the best choice for your specific situation.

 

 

LifeStation Medical Alert System Reviews

We’ve been looking at LifeStation Medical Alert Systems for some time now.  A recent anonymous call to their customer service center revealed a professional sounding gentleman (despite calling on a lovely Sunday morning).  These “secret shopper” calls can reveal a lot about the business practices of senior service providers (and any other providers for that matter).

LifeStation has options for both traditional in-home medical alert systems as well as a mobile cellular options.  There are a number of LifeStation Medical Alert system reviews online, and the biggest complaint we’ve noticed is a coverage issue throughout then entire home.  This is a common complaint for a lot of traditional in-home medical alert systems, as each home is a different set up.  Some homes have many walls, some are small and some are big.  Each of these factors will affect the ability of the emergency response pendant to communicate with the base station.  Always do your due diligence when buying a medical alert system for yourself or a family member.  Here’s a list of questions to ask before buying a medical alert system.

The LifeStation Medical Alert System

  • Name:  LifeStation Medical Alert SystemLifeStation medical alert system reviews
  • Website Info: www.lifestation.com
  • Auto Fall Detection? :  no
  • Equipment Cost:  $0
  • Monthly Cost:  $27.95 per month (based on quarterly billing)
  • Cancellation Policy: No Fees, Cancel at Anytime
  • Features:  Waterproof Pendant, Wireless, 24/7 Monitoring, 32 hour back-up battery for base station (in case of power failure), up to 500 feet range (pendant to base station).

Product Review: LifeStation Medical Alert System

LifeStation Medical Alert System ReviewsThe LifeStation Medical Alert System is an excellent option if you’re looking for a traditional medical alert system. LifeStation has options for both in-home pendant style buttons, as well as a mobile help button that operates on a cellular network.  LifeStations touts their pendant as being waterproof which is one of the items we like about modern medical alert pendants.

LifeStation owns and operates it’s own UL listed monitoring center, and provides 6 weeks of training before each of their operator specialists are certified.  The equipment is easy to set up, and the price is in-line with industry averages.  They send the equipment out with no installation costs, or shipping (if ground is acceptable).  Everything is included in the monthly costs associate with The LifeStation medical alert system.

The Bottom Line: LifeStation Medical Alert Systems

Bay Alarm Medical AlertWe’re recommending LifeStation Medical Alert Systems because they satisfy many of our top criteria for medical alert system providers.  They offer short-term agreements, there is no equipment to buy, the pendant is waterproof, and installation is easy. If another family member in the same household requires monitoring as well, for just $3.99 per month, they’ll provide an additional pendant and include monitoring. We’re putting LifeStation on our recommended list of medical alert system providers.

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide

If you’ve used The LifeStation Medical Alert System or know someone who has, please give us your opinion in the comment section below!

 

This post may contain affiliate links. We only consider affiliate relationships on products that we recommend to friends and family.

5 Mistakes To Avoid When Shopping For Medical Alert Systems

Sometimes you just have to learn the hard way… If you browse at the medical alert systems that we’ve reviewed here on The Senior List, you’ll see a great many comments from folks that made mistakes purchasing a medical alert system for family or for friends.  Either they bought a bad one, bought the wrong type, or got into the wrong agreement. We’re trying to help you avoid the pitfalls that others have fallen into by sharing the 5 mistakes to avoid when shopping for medical alert systems!

avoid these mistakes when buying medical alert systemsMistake #1.  You bought the wrong type medical alert system

Did you know there were different types of medical alert systems?  There are traditional in-home medical alert systems, and their are cellular (mobile) medical alert systems.  If that wasn’t hard enough… There are also 2 different types of in-home medical alert systems; The traditional pendant (1 button) type medical alert system AND the speakerphone (talk-thru) type medical alert system.  Do your research so you know exactly what you’re looking for.  Then choose the best of that breed.  Our medical alert system buyers guide can educate you, and walk you through the process.

Mistake #2.  You signed a long-term agreement

This is a big issue for consumers and there a lot of unhappy community members here on The Senior List that have signed multi-year agreements only to find out they have no out clause for any reason.  You must read the Terms and Conditions document that all providers must supply you with.  Don’t be lazy with this one, it’s very important.  We recommend never signing for a term over a year.  Even if you stick with our 1 year max rule-of-thumb, make sure you have an out clause and that you can cancel at any time.  Any medical alert providers that we recommend will offer a cancellation provision (or we won’t recommend them).

Mistake #3.  Your alert system doesn’t have adequate coverage

Different alert systems have different coverage areas (usually between 400-800 square foot radius from the base unit).  Make sure the alert system you choose can cover the spaces your loved one is most active in.  Sometimes you have to move the base unit around a bit to find just the right (central) location. Remember, for traditional in-home medical alert systems, the base unit will need to be plugged into your home phone wall jack.

Mistake #4.  You waited too long to purchase

For a lot of folks, it takes a crisis to occur before they realize they need a PERS (personal emergency response system) device for their loved one.  By this time, there’s been a fall, or an acute event and someone’s been hurt.  Don’t put it off too long, if you’re considering the need for a medical alert system, it’s probably time to take action.  It’s good piece of mind for $25 per month.

Mistake #5.  The alert system you bought is too hard to set up

Some of these systems are tough to set up, and there is little or no support.  We like providers that offer quality packaging, intuitive set-up instructions, and help or support when you need it.  Keep in mind if the support isn’t adequate during set-up… Imagine how bad it might be down the road after you’ve been a customer a while!

These are just a few of the top mistakes to avoid when making a medical alert system purchase.  If you do your research ahead of time (and read the fine print) you should end up a satisfied customer.

Would You Like a Medical Alert Recommendation?

Medical Alert Buyers Guide