With more than 30 years in the medical alert industry, ResponseNow is one of the most trusted names in personal safety. The company’s affordable systems offer protection for users both in and out of their homes, but how well do they work?
I will take you through the process of choosing, setting up, and testing ResponseNow’s Belle+ device. You should soon know everything you need to decide whether ResponseNow is right for you.
Pros and Cons of ResponseNow Medical Alert Systems
Here are my main takeaways from using ResponseNow medical alert systems.
Affordable systems: With in-home systems starting as low as $24.95 per month, ResponseNow is one of the most affordable medical alert providers. The company also guarantees your subscription charges won’t rise for the duration of your contract.
Waterproof pendants: Having a waterproof pendant made my life exponentially easier. I did not have to worry about damaging my device if I forgot to take it off before showering or what I would do if something happened while I was in the restroom.
Stellar battery life: The Belle system’s battery lasts 30 days, and the battery on the Belle+ lasts five — both well above the average of 24 hours. These are two of my favorite systems for on-the-go protection.
Great customer service: ResponseNow has plenty of services that made me confident and comfortable, including a 30-day money-back guarantee, easy contract cancellation with refunds, and emergency personnel available 24/7.
No available app: The pendant is the only way to connect with the Belle, Belle+, or in-home medical alert systems. I appreciate the ability to check in on my devices in multiple ways, so this was a tad unfortunate.
Limited devices: ResponseNow’s three medical alert systems perform well, but they offer no additional add-ons such as wall buttons, smart watches, or voice commands.
ResponseNow Systems Overview
ResponseNow offers three options for medical alert systems. Each has its own functions and available add-ons, such as an in-home landline option and a portable pendant with fall detection.
In the Home: ResponseNow’s in-home option is a combination of a landline-based hub and a pendant. It has a connectivity range of 500 feet, so it’s a great fit for people who spend the majority of their time at home. Like the rest of ResponseNow’s systems, it offers the choice of a pendant or a wristband. You can also choose a fall-detection pendant for $11.95 per month or an extra pendant for $2.95 per month.
Belle: The Belle is ResponseNow’s most popular system. This all-in-one system is great for older adults with active, independent lifestyles since it can be used both inside and outside your home. The Belle relies on a cellular signal, so you could travel anywhere in the United States with your pendant. It is also water-resistant and has a shocking 30-day single-charge battery life — the longest I have ever seen in a mobile system.
Belle+: The Belle+ is ResponseNow’s most expensive and feature-loaded product. Like the Belle, it offers mobile protection through a cellular signal. But it also offers a few additional features, such as GPS location tracking and fall detection — so ResponseNow can locate you even in the worst circumstances. The Belle+ has a five-day battery life, which, although not as good as the Belle, is still above average for a mobile unit.
FYI: Only the Belle+ and In the Home systems work with fall detection.
ResponseNow Medical Alert Features
Cellular or landline
Average Response Time
$11.95 per month
Using ResponseNow Medical Alert System
I wanted to focus my review specifically on the Belle+. The process of purchasing the system was incredibly pleasant. After checking out products on ResponseNow’s website, which was informative and easy to navigate, I called a friendly customer-service representative, who informed me of multiple purchasing options.
ResponseNow offered the first month of service free to test the product to determine whether it was the right fit. It was nice to have multiple contract-length options, since older adults’ lives can change quickly. I didn’t have to worry about being stuck in a contract I didn’t want. Even if I chose an annual plan but ended up not using it for the entire period, ResponseNow would provide a refund for the remaining months.
Upon receiving my Belle+ system, I opened the box and found the following:
1 Belle+ mobile unit
1 charging cradle
1 instruction manual
The Belle+ was fairly easy both to set up and to use. I plugged in and charged the pendant for three hours, and the charge lasted five days. On the fifth day, I received a text and an email saying my Belle+ was close to running out of steam. This feature was especially nice since I have a busy lifestyle, and things like that often slip through the cracks.
Testing the ResponseNow Medical Alert System
After the pendant was charged, I pressed the button in the middle of the device. Since it’s one of the only buttons, there was no confusion about what I was supposed to press. After just a few rings, I was connected with an emergency responder who already knew my name. After reassuring him that I was just testing the device, he assured me I would be getting the best care with ResponseNow. We had this conversation while I strolled around the house, making sure the connection remained strong. I even wandered outside in both the front and backyard and around the neighborhood, covering well over 1,000 feet. As I had hoped, the communication lines remained clear and stable no matter where I went.
I left the device on for the remainder of the testing period (except when it was charging every five days). I brought the Belle+ with me wherever I went — to the store, to my friend’s house, in the garden, on a walk. I often forgot the 2.3-ounce system was hanging around my neck. When I bent over to do dishes or play with my pets, however, the device sometimes got caught on knobs, handles, and toys. It was slightly frustrating, but I got used to tucking the pendant into my shirt while doing more movement-intensive activities.
I tested the device a handful of times. Each time, I was quickly connected with emergency personnel, who made sure I was OK and asked if I needed assistance. I also acted out a fall to test the fall-detection feature. Not once was I left without someone equipped to handle the emergency. The 24-hour availability of these professionals made me more comfortable sleeping at night and going out early in the morning.
ResponseNow Medical Alert Systems Pricing
I did not have to purchase the ResponseNow system. Instead, I leased it. Regardless of which system you choose, your equipment leasing costs and monitoring fees will be lumped together in the cost of your monthly subscription. The Belle+ system is $49.95 per month, the Belle goes for $39.95 per month, and the in-home system costs $29.95 per month.
ResponseNow does not require you to lock in to a long-term contract, but it does offer discounts if you pay on a quarterly or annual basis. If I’d chosen an annual plan for my Belle+, it would have cost $44.95 per month instead of $49.95.
For more information on the costs of ResponseNow systems, check out the ResponseNow costs page.
Final Thoughts on ResponseNow
When it comes to purchasing a medical alert system, I recommend the ResponseNow system for any older adult with an active lifestyle. The unlimited range and long battery life make the Belle+ perfect for people who are often out of the house or going on trips. The features of the Belle+, such as the GPS tracking function, are especially useful for anyone who frequently travels.
All-in-one mobile protection: I always recommend choosing a mobile system that doesn’t require extra buttons, so I appreciate systems like the Belle and Belle+ that combine help buttons, speakerphones, and even fall detection in one portable device.
Long battery life: Most mobile medical alert systems last only a couple of days on a single charge. ResponseNow’s Belle+ and Belle, however, last for five days and 30 days, respectively.
Monthly contracts: Life Alert costs upwards of $50 per month and requires long-term contracts, whereas ResponseNow allows you to pay month-to-month with no commitments.
I wouldn’t recommend ResponseNow if you want:
Caregiver features: The Belle+ features GPS capabilities, but none of ResponseNow’s systems feature a companion app or caregiver portal. If you’re looking for these features, I would recommend a system from Medical Alert or Bay Alarm. To learn more, read my Bay Alarm Medical review.
Additional wall buttons: Apart from lockboxes and additional help buttons, ResponseNow doesn’t offer many accessories. If you’re looking for voice-activated buttons or wall buttons, then I’d recommend a system from Medical Guardian.
The only system that comes with built-in fall detection is the Belle+, but the in-home system offers a fall-detection accessory. The fall-detector accessory works slightly differently than the one on the Belle+. Like with a traditional pendant, you can press the button and be connected to an operator. If a fall is detected and no motion is registered for 50 seconds, a signal will be sent immediately to the base station and to an emergency operator.
A text message or email notification can be set up to inform you when it is time to charge your system. This is helpful for the Belle and Belle+, which have long battery lives. To charge your Belle or Belle+, plug the charging cradle into an electrical outlet, place your system in the charging cradle, and keep it in there for three hours.
If a fall occurs and a call to ResponseNow is made, you will first be put in touch with an operator. They can send emergency responders to provide additional assistance if needed. This feature is available on all systems.
No, there is not a free trial, but there is a 30-day money-back guarantee. If you call within 30 days, you will get a full refund and a free shipping label to send your medical alert system back to ResponseNow.
Amie has been writing about senior care products and services for the last decade. She is particularly passionate about new technologies that help improve the quality of life for seniors and their families. Seeing her parents and grandparents age made Amie ask herself, “Would this be good enough for my loved ones?” In her spare time, Amie enjoys outdoor adventures and spontaneous road trips. Learn more about Amie here