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GreatCall Lively Review: A Mobile Medical Alert System

Editor's Rating:

4.0 / 5
Are you sure GreatCall is right for you?
***UPDATE: We are aware of a recall on the updated GreatCall Lively, which means it is currently out of stock- this information will be updated when it becomes available again. Looking for another medical alert option? Check out the list of top medical alerts here.

The right medical alert system provides peace of mind for seniors. As we age, we’re more likely to suffer a fall or a medical emergency and need help. Having a medical alert system means seniors can get assistance with just one button press.

One reasonably priced mobile medical alert service that we reviewed some years ago is GreatCall Lively Mobile. GreatCall products are already well known for their award-winning senior-friendly Jitterbug cell phone with added health and safety services.

GreatCall also makes a standalone cellular medical alert called the GreatCall Lively Mobile. This lightweight, easy-to-use mobile alert has had a few updates over the years, so it’s time to revisit it. Let’s take a look at what GreatCall Lively Mobile has to offer.

Find out which medical alert system is best for you…

1)Who are you shopping for?
GreatCall Lively Mobile Pricing
 
Lively Mobile Plus
Basic Plan$19.99/mo + one time $37.49 activation fee
Preferred Plan$24.99/mo + one time $37.49 activation fee
Ultimate Plan$34.99/mo + one time $37.49 activation fee

The Stuff We Liked

Cellular, waterproof and lightweight unit. Works on the Verizon network, can be bundled on the same account with the senior-friendly phone Jitterbug (although pricing remains the same). First 30-days free, Urgent Care and device replacement with the Ultimate plan is a great deal.

No limits to the in-home range since it’s a cellular-only option. Lots of extras included in each plan (keep reading for additional detail about extras). U.S based monitoring center, not outsourced. No contracts, no cancellation fees.

The Stuff We Didn’t

While the unit is quite small for a cellular medical alert, it’s too large to be worn on smaller wrists. Daily charging is recommended, we’d love to see the battery last longer (but then the unit would be larger, so it’s a trade-off). We have also had reports from users who say the battery hasn’t been lasting a day and the GPS location does not seem accurate.

The Bottom Line 

GreatCall Lively Mobile is a cellular option for users looking for a medical alert device that operates on the Verizon network. Competitively priced with the first 30-days free adds the Lively Mobile as another alternative for a cellular medical alert system.

Visit GreatCall to order or call  for more information.

Go Anywhere with GreatCall Lively Mobile

The GreatCall Lively Mobile medical alert makes it easy for seniors to go anywhere, knowing the call center has their back.

Most mobile medical alert devices use the AT&T or T-Mobile networks. GreatCall is different in that it uses Verizon. This makes it a great choice for anyone who happens to live in an area where AT&T or T-Mobile reception isn’t very good, or in an area where Verizon reception is strong.

GreatCall Lively Mobile is also waterproof, which means users can keep it on even when bathing or showering. As the bathroom is a common area for slips and falls, a good watertight rating is a must, and GreatCall delivers with a truly waterproof device.

Swift Response When Help Is Needed

GreatCall is understandably proud of their reputation for a swift response when the button is pressed (as verified by the Good Housekeeping Research Institute).

Seniors and caregivers can rest easy knowing that when help is needed, they’ll get a response quickly. Communication through the device works via the two-way speakerphone integrated into the GreatCall medical alert.

GreatCall Lively Mobile Ratings
Reliability When help is needed, the equipment does its job, the call is answered promptly, courteously, and appropriate action is taken to handle the reason for the call.
4.1 / 5
Equipment Equipment is updated and utilizes the latest technology. It works as it should with easy-to-understand instructions and simple installation.
4.2 / 5
Reputation The reputation of the company as reported by consumers, user reviews, industry feedback and our review/analysis. Customer service and technical support are also responsive and helpful.
4.5 / 5
Options The company offers a variety of medical alert solutions to fit the needs of customers. In-home and cellular medical alert systems as well as optional fall detection and additional accessories.
2.5 / 5

Pros

  • Waterproof
  • First 30 days free
  • Competitively priced
  • No contracts, no cancellation fees
  • Lots of extras included in each plan
  • One of the few cellular medical alert devices that operates on the Verizon network

Cons

  • Needs to be charged daily
  • One-time fee to purchase
  • While small in size, too large to be worn on smaller wrists
Lively Mobile Plus

Features: All in one cellular medical alert system with a two-way speaker including 5Star Urgent Response.

Extras: GreatCall Link app, fall detection, and product replacement protection can all be added.

Battery: 24-hours

In-home range: n/a, since this is a cellular unit, coverage works anywhere with cellular service

Cost: Starts at $19.99/month

What’s In The Box?

Every order includes:

  • A GreatCall Lively mobile medical alert system
  • Easy-to-use charging cradle
  • Magnetic lanyard for ease of wearing (and removing quickly if needed)
  • Accessory clip for wearing it on a belt or carrying in a purse
  • Simple-to-follow user guides

The Lively Mobile Alert comes with a charging cradle, magnetic lanyard, accessory clip (for attaching to a belt or purse), as well as a helpful quick start guide.

The wristband option is also available, although for someone with small wrists, it feels a bit large to be worn there.

Added Extras

GreatCall offers a range of added extras including:

  • Urgent Care – users can talk to a live nurse or doctor any time 24/7. They can also order medication prescriptions over the phone.
  • GreatCall Link – an app that caregivers can log into and view health and account information for their senior
  • Affordable replacements – customers can request a replacement device for just $15 if the GreatCall Lively Mobile medical alert system is lost or stolen
  • Fall detection – enabling fall detection means that if the device senses unusual movement, it will automatically connect to the call center and make sure the user gets the help they need.

Affordable, Flexible Solutions

One of the things we especially like about the GreatCall Lively Mobile is the reasonable monthly pricing. GreatCall Lively Mobile offers three packages:

Basic: Includes the GreatCall device and excellent customer service, plus charging cradle, accessory clip and lanyard. $24.99 monthly.
Preferred: Includes everything in the Basic package, plus Urgent Care and GreatCall Link. $29.99 monthly.
Ultimate: Includes everything in the Preferred package, plus device replacement and fall detection. $39.99 monthly.

There is also a one-time fee of $37.49 to purchase the device itself.

GreatCall doesn’t tie their customers into long term contracts. You can cancel anytime, and there are no cancellation fees.

What We Like

We like how small and lightweight the GreatCall Lively Mobile is. Even for seniors who are hesitant to wear medical alarm bracelets or pendants, GreatCall is a viable option, being light and easy to wear.

We wore it all day and barely noticed it after the first few minutes (though we found it was a little bulky to wear on the wrist). The service was swift when the button was pressed, we like the competitive monthly price, and the Urgent Care and GreatCall Link added features.

What We’d Change

GreatCall advises that users should charge the device every day for the best results. This is one of the things we’d change about GreatCall Lively Mobile.

With some mobile medical alert devices running for two, three or even five days on one charge, having to remember a daily charge seems a little inconvenient. We have also noted consumer complaints about the device not holding a charge for a full day.

We’d also like to see fall detection included in the basic package.

We think GreatCall Lively Mobile is a nice option for seniors who want peace of mind at home and outside. It’s affordable, lightweight, easy to use, and comes with useful extra features and award-winning customer service.

31 Comments

  1. Greatcall support is the worse. No, actually their flip phone is the worse. Caller ID stopped working on my mother’s phone a month ago. She cannot tell who is calling so she assumes it is a scam call. I can’t reach her. No one in the family can. Greatcall support confirmed it is a known problem and they have no idea when it will be fixed. My mother is 99 and I use to call her frequently. This is a device sold as a good phone for the elderly. It isn’t and they don’t seem to care. Refused to give me a call or bug number for reference. Said they don’t do that. What support organization in this world does not keep track of their calls?
  2. I’ve been with Great Call for several years. My first unit quit charging in about 2 years. I bought a new unit. The lanyard with the magnet clasp is a joke. It will not stay fastened. I lost mine because of this. I had to buy a third unit. Mom had the same problem with hers. We both went to the crafts section at Walmart and bought what we needed to make our own necklace for them. It needs to be charged frequently, about every 30 hours or so. The response team is ok. They answer quickly and usually stay on the line until help arrives. Apparently, they do not have GPS access. They always ask where I am. One night, I had a single car accident on a rural highway, flipped and totaled my car, trapping me inside. Although I knew what highway and very general location, I had no specific reference point to give the representative. I had to wait until a good Samaritan stopped and give me aa exact location. The rep did stay with me for about an hour until EMTs arrived. I’ve had numerous falls. Since I am over weight with bad knees, I can’t get up by myself, I use it frequently. Always had good responses with these falls. I like the available app. I use it to check on Mom every once in a while. It gives a location and a two week summary of unit status and usage.
  3. I have the lively. Have had it for a while now. Not holding a charge. Before I cancel I need some recommendations as to which company I should go with. So many so confusing. This is not dependable for 45.00 a month, got to give it up, would appreciate some recommendations as to which other company to go with ,and cheaper than this. Calling lively today to cancel. Thanks so much, really appreciate this site
    1. Hi there- sorry to hear about your experience with your Lively, that does sound frustrating. Check out the list of recommended medical alert systems here- https://www.theseniorlist.com/best-medical-alert-systems/. Hope this helps, Amie

  4. GreatCall customer service needs improvement. Hold time entirely too long. My 91 year old mother has a GreatCall device that stopped charging. GreatCall did a factory update on the device over the phone. This did not correct the problem. I called on behalf of my mother as the GreatCall link would only give me her status from four days prior. Nothing more current. We were on hold 45 minutes and with a representative over an hour. He could not get the issue resolved and determined that the device was part of the recall/update. He stated that a TracFone would be sent to her in the interim at a reduced rate. With the TracFone she would get a packet to sent the faulty device back to GreatCall. She got the TacFone, but not packet to return her faulty device. When she called me to make certain the tracFone worked, it came across as another person. Not my mothers name and not GREATCALL. My mother called Greatcall to find out the issue and was on hold 45 minutes, finally got a representative, was placed on hold for an additional 30 minutes and she finally hund up. This is VERY POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. She is supposed to get an envelope to return the tracfone when she gets a replacement device that WORKS (WE HOPE). Will this be done? Will she get credit on her bill for the time she was not covered by GreatCall when her faulty device was not working? She is ready to replace GreatCall with another service!!
  5. GREATCALL IS AWESOME!! We purchased the Jitterbug Flip and we are very satisfied! The speaker is loud and clear! The battery lasts long! We pushed 5 star as a test and they answered within seconds!! I am so happy that my Grandma has this! If she ever needs help I know she can get it fast! GreatCall customer service is also great! They are very helpful!
  6. I too had a Great Call Lively device, the only problem is that it is a piece of crap, worthless when my wife needed it during a 911 emergency for a stroke, it failed her and me too. The device was on recall and yet no one told us ? Just got a form letter informing me the device is on recall due to serious defects and is may not work ? they knew it and still sold it to the elderly and ill, I do NOT trust them any longer and will never use any products sold or affiliated with Great Call or Best Buy every again.
    1. Sorry to hear of your issues with Great Call Lively Mobile Plus, as I too had one two months ago, it too DID not work no 911, no fall detection, no locator nothing no one answered the Medical Device was a total 100% worthless piece of Junk and then i get told to return it to the Call Center in Carlsbad, CA and they will gladly “Buy Me Off” with a petty $ 50 Gift card to use at none other than their own store Best Buy who owns Great Call. I’m currently in touch with Lawyers to file suits against both these companies for fraud, misrepresentation, knowingly knew of the Defects and sold them anyway.
  7. DON’T BUY THIS!! THEY JUST RECALLED EVERY DEVICE MADE ON MAY 15, 2019 AND HAD THE NERVE TO OFFER A JITTERBUG PHONE WITH NO FALL DETECTION ABILITY AS A REPLACEMENT. HIGHLY INSENSITIVE ACTION.
  8. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND> bought this for an 82 year old. the real-time feature is awful. had the app, i would pull it up and it would say ” about an hour ago Jim was out and about”. An hour? and out and about? That is not acceptable when you have an elderly person that could have fallen 59 minutes ago. The best i could ever get it was around five minutes ago. Most of the time was 30 to 45 minutes ago. Finally a few days ago, the green light went off, we tried charging for over two days but it never would even come back on. I finally called and cancelled, saved $45 a month, very disappointing really needed this peace of mind that i thought this device would bring me. John Walsh should check into a company before he attaches his name
    1. The devices are ALL defective and not working, both Verizon and Great Call as well as the parent company knew this and yet are still selling them under false pretenses, I suggest you seek a lawyer to file suit some are already pending. This devices are not safe, do not work and are all a scam to allow the elderly to feel a false sense of security, the FDA has notified the company to recall all of them and remove them from all shelves in all stores they sell them in from, CVS, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Best Buy and on the computer as well as Amazon
    2. I too learned from trying to use my Great Call Lively device it was worthless and did not work, when i needed it most it failed me, so i called customer service they had me turn it off, and then back on and push the emergency button, they could NOT find where i was ? She then said, try buying another one ? really it does not work, so it was returned only to get another one that also did NOT work, the fall detection never did work, the GPS did NOT work, when a week went buy i called again this time a representative was finally willing to tell the truth ” A National Recall has been secretly going on” the company did not want to scare the public or have Best Buys stock effected by the massive recall, as Best Buy owns Great Call. The representative was getting over 50++ calls a hour on their shift alone about the problems, was told that little by little letters are going out that the devices are defective and to return them once you get their recall pre paid package , they will give you a “Free” Jitterbug the same one that was also on recall some years ago, then they offer a $500.00 Gift Card to Best Buy . B.S. Great call Best Buy have placed my life in risk i would never do business with Great Call or Best Buy I hope the Government steps in and files charges
  9. My 88 year old mother had lively mobile fall device service for about 14 months. Within that time period she had 3 units that failed ( one left her lying on the kitchen floor overnight till neighbors heard her scream for help). The 3rd unit was defective and Great Call charger her $60 to replace it. It lasted for about a month and it wouldn’t work. At this point ( 5-2-19) I got involved and said We would not pay for a replacement and Great Call agreed to send one at no cost. I asked it to be sent overnight and was told 3-5 business days. As of 5-17-19 , no new unit. I called Great Call and was told they had a problem with the current units and they were being replaced new a newer one. Asked when this would happen, Great Call doesn’t known. Now let me understand all this, 14 months 3 bad units charges for replacement of defective 1 month old unit can’t send overnight don’t care if Mom is without protection during replacement wait period been waited for over 2 weeks for a 4th replacement and now find out after I made a call ( no notice from Great Call) that they are waiting for a new model but they have ideal when it will be available
  10. GreatCall just recently had a recall on their GPS/cellular device (the Lively Mobile Plus, formerly the 5Star Responder). They do not currently have a replacement for it, so there is no cellular based device available (only cell phone based). The website still shows the Lively Mobile Plus, but it can not be purchased. We had to cancel the service for now and are going with someone else.
    1. Agree, I have has great call for some time, then they contacted me to upgrade as they were fully aware of the serious health and disabilities i have so I trusted them ( MISTAKE) I got and paid in advance for the New Lively with Fall detection etc, problem is it NEVER EVER worked, I called them after falling several times, was told ” It is not a perfect unit” and thus may not work ? The device while sitting in its charging cradle would go off all on its own at all hours, thus never working when i wore it and fell several times, so they call back after filing 7 complaints, they now admitted it is a “Faulty” unit and thus is going to be recalled Nationwide soon, yet as of today they are selling it all over the place, there parent company Best Buy called and admitted the recall did NOT to out as fast as they thought and thus many were still being sold. Then this week i get a form letter saying the device in now on a Public Safety Recall ? yet they forgot to tell thousands as they did NOT want it to effect the price of there stock on the market. The device is defective, faulty and does not work and can get you KILLED……
  11. Got the jitterbug for my 90 year old mother. Even though it was twice the price of the reg Verizon phone, the buttons were bigger and the ease and safety features made our decision to change. Big mistake. Original jitterbug only lasted 4 months . Called, got a replacement. You would think especially with seniors, they would make sure the phone was going to work. Wrong, replacement phone did not work. Done with Greatcalls. Not worth the stress.
  12. For the last 4 weeks we have been trying to get the GPS on my Dad’s 5Star working. I called customer service numerous times each week and I have received numerous excuses, too many to list. I also had promises of calls back yet nothing. I even had 3 new units and none worked. I asked if they can treat me as a new customer and delete the entire account and start over. They couldn’t do that either. Service is terrible and time for another service
  13. I recently started trying the GreatCall Lively with fall protection “30 day free trial period” and so far, I am concerned about the battery life and customer service. The device did not hold a charge for over 7-8 hours most days. Not the 24 hours that they say it will. So, I called customer service, and they told me that I had been send “old” chargers based on the serial numbers of the chargers I gave them. (My original deal was for 2 chargers.) This made me wonder why a new customer on the “30 day free trial period” would be sent “old” chargers… When the package arrived, there was only one charger– not two as promised. I called. They said they would send me another charger. Meanwhile 2 days after using the ‘new’ charger that I had received, the device lost its charge after 7-8 hours. I called again. I explained what had happened since the start. They said they would send ANOTHER new charger AND a new device. The first customer service rep said the problem was not the device, it was the “old” chargers. This customer service rep said she thought (like I did) that it may be the device since the device one day held a charge and the next day did not. They DE-activated the device I have now since they are sending me a new one, and they say they cannot keep the one I have working til I get the new one, (even tho this is an option for some people, but they already got it started, and can’t change it now.) Great, I pay for their mistake which is particularly upsetting since I have recently had some problems and was referred to a cardiologist. This is not the best customer service so far. I am going to try the new one if and when I get it, but I concur with the people who say that customer service is not very good. Each time I had to demand that they extend the “free 30 day trial period” because the thing was not working right because it did not hold a charge. The first time, the customer service rep said ok we will add 30 days and they added 30 days from the time of our conversation, not the time that the one (instead of the promised two) new charger arrived almost 2 weeks later. When they send out equipment, they say “10 working days” so that gives them 2 weeks. The second time I demanded that they add on 30 days from the time that the new device and charger arrive and they said they would. We will see. I’m a pretty assertive senior, not as old as many who use this device, so I do have concerns about this company especially for seniors who are less assertive. Every business has problems, so I am giving them a chance to see if the new equipment they are sending me will work correctly or I am sending it back.
    1. I purchased one for my 91 year old mother the 1st one was big so I saw the smaller version and purchased that one She kept having battery issues so I purchased a second one, same problem after just a few months so they sent her the lively mobile plus for free, that one was working great she has hadvvit for a little over a month now they are recalling that one so she has to send it back so will be without anything untill I get back to find something else to replace it, they offered to send her the phone but the one she has is around her neck so she has it all the time. I am very desatified with the company the one she has is working fine but just because a few are bad they are recalling all of them and now she will be unprotected until I can find something else.
    2. Yes, the entire system of Great Call and their parent company Best Buy were aware of a serious safety issues and yet still sold the defective devices, their are several law firms suing Great Call and Best Buy I would recommend going to a lawyer as their is a Class Action Suit in California Federal Court Los Angels Pending against them with more to follow. Great Call Lively devices were and are totally defective and do not work, anyone using one for help will most likely die if they wait for any help. Their is a national recall ordered by the FDA and FCC on these defective devices do NOT use or buy them it is a death trap.
  14. This company double bills on auto pay and then it is a nightmare to get it fixed. Service good but unethical auto withdrawals NOT recommended. And customer service sees two withdrawals in 9ne month but doesn’t do a damn thing about it. Horrible. Best advice get a pre paid card and use that for auto withdrawals (they will not do anything but auto withdrawals). Never leave your account vulnerable to this company. I can not tell you the hell I am going through.
  15. I hate to say it, but my Mom is having the same issue. We had a Great Call Lively that wouldn’t hold it’s charge so we replaced it (for a fee) in December. Two months later, the brand new device is not holding a charge for more than 7.5 hours at a time. My Mom is 95 and needs something that won’t require constant charging. The agents available on the phone keep trying to reboot it and this doesn’t correct the issue, which I suspect is a design flaw. It’s a good concept … cellular signal that is not reliant on a base station. But if it is not practical, it doesn’t matter how good an idea it is.
  16. I am in my second year of using great call also on my second lively mobile because the first one went bonkers. Now the current lively is not holding a charge from one day to the next. I charge it every night when I go to bed and now it is blinking red early in the evening and beeping at me and then sometimes turning itself off. I am very unhappy about this and I’m considering canceling the service.I would say that the battery should last at least 24 hours. Another thing the thing tells me it’s charged in less than an hour and I see recommendations that you should charge it for 90 minutes but that’s really stupid if it tells you when it’s got a complete charge.there are definitely battery problems although I believe it’s a decent service if you got a decent device.
    1. I changed from the old GreatCall device to the Lively mobile for the fall detection for my mom. When I called to upgrade, I told the Great Call rep that we wanted the Ultimate package with fall detection. She gave me the cost and talked about the features and sent the new Lively device. From the beginning it didn’t stay charged but about 8-9 hours. It was on the charger EVERY night for about 12 hours each time. I called the service number and told them it should be able to hold a charge for at least 12 hours so it would work during the time most of the users would be up and about. The rep kept asking me to be sure mom was putting it on the charger correctly. Yes, she listens for the ‘music’ when she places it in the charger. I was told to charge it each night for a few more days and be sure she was doing it correctly. (This gets very frustrating, since I must have repeated this part of the conversation at least 3 times.) A week later, I called again with the same issue – not holding a charge throughout the day. This rep said maybe it was the charger and they sent another one. Same problem with the new charger. I let it go a couple weeks and called again. The wanted to send me another charger and I suggested that maybe it was the device, not the charger. After some discussion, they finally agreed to send another device. A new Lively AND another charger came. Charged it up over night and the next day – same thing – about 8 hours of time before it went dead. This time, the rep said because the device has so many features and the fall detection, it uses the battery much faster. She suggested that Mom put it on the charger after about 5 hours for 90 minutes and then put it back on. So, my 93 year old mother is supposed to remember to remove the device, put it on the charger by her bed or chair and then when she needs to get up, remember to put it back around her neck for the next 5 hours until bedtime. Not acceptable! Then when she fell, the fall detection application didn’t work – no call from Great Call. I called the service rep again and told them the fall detection didn’t work. She said that it only works when they fall IF they don’t move at all for a few second or more. That if the wearer moves it knows they can push the button themself. Now, 2 months later and several phone calls about short battery life, I made another call to change the credit card number on the account and found that the fall detection feature was never activated. She also said the information about short battery life was incorrect. It should hold a charge all day. And the information about the fall detection only working if the user was still after a fall was incorrect. The device should call immediately upon a fall. She said she would add the fall detection, but I should go to Mom’s to make sure it said “Fall Detection activated” when it is placed in the charging cradle and call them back. Of course, you never get the same person twice. I called back, got another rep and had to explain all of this again. She gave me the same answer about the extra features causing short battery life and it would only work 5-8 hours with fall detection. If it was only working about 8 hours WITHOUT fall detection, I’m not so sure about it making it to 8 hours with fall detection. We’ll find out tomorrow. There was nothing in all the information provided by Great Call about the short battery life. That should be disclosed when someone calls to inquire about the device. My mom is still quite active at 93, but does have a balance issue and has had several falls. I need the device to be useable for at least 10-12 hours. If it has to be a little larger to do that, then make it a little larger. Very disappointed. We can go back to the $19.99 package if it won’t stay working during her waking hours. Otherwise, we have loved the Great Call overall, but the battery life, and different information from the service reps is annoying. Just be aware that this is a big problem, unless your user takes 90 minutes naps during the middle of the day every day and can be sure they charge it during that time and remember to put it back on when they get up.
  17. I was considering using you but I have ATT. Also some reviews are concerning. Please let me know when it works with something other than Verizon. Verizon does not work where I live. Thank you.
  18. I see many comments about peace of mind. Unfortunately my neighbor had the 5 Star device for 2 years and the one time she fell to the floor because she was having a heart attack and pressed the call button she was told repeatedly that she must call 911 on her own phone. She could not reach the phone and begged for the operator to call 911 for her. Help was never called. The next day she managed to go see her doctor who immediately admitted her to the hospital because she had had a heart attack. So much for peace of mind.

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