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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Life Alert

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Wristband and necklace attachments for your help button
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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Life Alert

When it comes to medical alert systems, Life Alert is easily the most widely known brand; however, visiting the company’s website will give you little information about the product, how it works, and how much it costs.

After purchasing and testing out a Life Alert system of our own, here’s what you should know about the service.

Did You Know: To learn more about our experience with Life Alert, read our full hands-on Life Alert review.

Life Alert costs $50 to $89.95 per month.

Unlike other medical alert providers, Life Alert is a bit cagey when it comes to pricing. Even if you call a sales rep, you likely won’t get a straight answer about how much one of their devices costs.

From our experience, Life Alert costs anywhere from $50 to $89.95 per month, depending on the equipment you choose. The more advanced systems will run higher.

To put these numbers into perspective, systems from Medical Guardian cost as low as $29.95 per month, and Medical Alert costs as low as $19.99 per month.

Life Alert offers three different systems.

Life alert offers three different systems:

The catch with Life Alert’s systems, however, is that no matter which devices you want, you’ll have to purchase the basic in-home system first, meaning you can’t purchase either the wall-mounted help button or mobile system without also having the in-home system.

The upside of this is that both of the latter two systems have batteries that will last for years before needing to be replaced.

Life Alert has no option for fall detection.

Although Life Alert has devices that will protect you both in and out of your house, they currently offer no equipment with automatic fall detection, meaning that you’ll have to actually press a button to trigger a call to their monitoring agents.

In some cases, when a person falls, they may be unable to press a button, which is why we always recommend seeking a system with this feature. To learn more about automatic fall detection, read our guide to the best medical alerts with fall detection.

Life Alert pairs you with a “care counselor.”

One of our favorite aspects of Life Alert is their approach to customer service. Once you’ve completed your purchase over the phone, Life Alert will pair you with a “care counselor,” who will walk you through the process of setting up your system, using it, and (in our case) adapting to your role as a caregiver.

My care counselor gave me strategies for using Life Alert with my father. For starters, this meant having a conversation with him about using the equipment and then convincing him to actually use it. My care counselor even gave me her personal cell phone number so that I could contact her with any additional questions.

Life Alert requires a three-year contract.

Pricing aside, the biggest downside to Life Alert would have to be their approach to contracts. No matter which configuration of devices you choose, Life Alert requires you to sign a three-year contract, one that can be broken only through death or a transition to round-the-clock care.

FYI: To learn more about Life Alert’s contracts, be sure to check out our guide to Life Alert costs.

Additionally, if you want a system that doesn’t lock you into a long-term agreement, then take a look at our rundown of this year’s best medical alert systems.

ryan-molloy
Written By
Ryan Molloy

Ryan has years of experience researching and testing products that help people successfully age in place. After years of working for various publications such as Boston Magazine and The Believer, he has found his home at The Senior List, writing about all things related to caregiving and senior healthcare.