More and more people are living alone well into older adulthood. According to Pew Research statistics, 27% of people over 60 in the United States live by themselves. And there’s a growing number of people in their 80s and 90s living solo.

But while folks remain independent for longer these days, older adults living at home may still have trouble with mobility and self-care activities. As you age, you’re also more likely to have a chronic condition and a higher risk of falling and injuring yourself.

A medical alert system can help provide peace of mind as you maintain your independence. Medical alert systems give you access to help at your fingertips. Some even have fall detection features that can automatically detect a fall and connect you with emergency services that can determine whether to send medical help your way.

But with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to figure out which product is right for your needs. LifeFone may be one brand you’ve come across in your search.

Read on to learn more about LifeFone’s medical alert products and reputation.

LifeFone is a medical alert company based in White Plains, NY. The company started operations in 1976 and currently offers various medical alert products, including at-home and on-the-go options.

LifeFone’s accredited response centers can provide services in English or Spanish and offer nationwide coverage.

Keep in mind that most medical alert systems are subscription based. But unlike other companies that lock you into a contract term, signing up for LifeFone’s services involves no time commitment. You can cancel at any time.

There’s also no fee for the equipment, so you just pay for the monitoring services. That said, if you cancel your services, you’re responsible for the cost of returning the equipment. The equipment starts at $24.99 a month for the at-home landline service, and there are add-ons available to customize your product to your needs.

Additionally, in some states, monitoring services like LifeFone’s systems are covered by Medicare Advantage (Part C) or Medicaid. Contact your provider to find out about coverage.

Many medical alert systems offer discounts if you sign up for an annual plan.

At-home products

At-home landline

The at-home landline package includes a base unit and a water-resistant wrist or pendant help button that you can carry on you at all times. This system requires a landline and has a range of up to 1,300 feet, meaning you can activate the help button as long as you’re within this range of the base unit.

Because it’s landline-based, it’s a good option for people in rural areas who are outside of cellular range.

Standout features

  • Price: $24.95 per month
  • Fall detection?: yes, as an optional add-on for $5 per month
  • Range: 1,300 ft
  • Battery life: 32-hour backup battery life
  • Water resistant?: yes, both the pendant and wrist help buttons are water-resistant
  • Temperature sensor?: yes
  • Wi-Fi and location services?: no
  • Warranty: lifetime

At-home cellular

This system is nearly identical to the at-home landline option but instead uses a cellular connection to connect you with the call center.

Standout features

  • Price: $30.95 per month
  • Fall detection?: yes, as an optional add-on for $5 per month
  • Range: 1,300 ft
  • Battery life: 32-hour backup battery life
  • Water resistant?: yes, both the pendant and wrist help buttons are water-resistant
  • Temperature sensor?: yes
  • Wi-Fi and location services?: no
  • Warranty: lifetime

On-the-go products

At-home and on-the-go Active

This package includes an at-home base unit and a mobile unit. Both use a cellular connection. You can use the mobile unit on the go anywhere in the U.S., whether you’re heading to the grocery store or traveling.

Standout features

  • Price: $36.95 per month
  • Fall detection?: optional water-resistant fall detection necklace is $10 per month
  • Range: 1,400 ft from the base unit, 600 ft from the mobile unit
  • Battery life: 30 hour backup battery
  • Water resistant?: yes
  • Temperature sensor?: yes
  • Wi-Fi and location services?: location services cost an additional $9 per month for 30 location requests per month
  • Warranty: lifetime

At-home and on-the-go VIP Active

If you’re active and don’t feel the need for a home base unit, this on-the-go pendant might be a good fit. The lightweight unit is water-resistant and compatible with many LifeFone add-on services. Call center employees can detect your location in case of emergency using GPS, Wi-Fi, and cellular technology.

Standout features

  • Price: $39.95 per month
  • Fall detection?: yes, as an optional add-on for $5 per month
  • Range: N/A
  • Battery life: up to 5 days
  • Water resistant?: yes
  • Temperature sensor?: no
  • Wi-Fi and location services?: yes
  • Warranty: lifetime

At-home and on-the-go VIPx

Features for this mobile unit are nearly identical to the VIP Active package, but this system also provides you with the option of the VIPx Caregiver app, an app that allows caregivers to track the location, activity, and button presses of the wearer. However, it’s important to note that the VIPx app comes with an additional monthly cost.

Aside from the optional app compatibility, this system also has a longer battery life, and is the lightest LifeFone system available.

Standout features

  • Price: $41.95 per month
  • Fall detection?: yes, as an optional add-on for $5 per month
  • Range: N/A
  • Battery life: up to 16 days
  • Water resistant?: yes
  • Temperature sensor?: no
  • Wi-Fi and location services?: yes
  • Warranty: lifetime

At-home products

LifeFone at-home products either work using a landline or cellular connection. An at-home system has a personal help button that you can press if you require assistance. Once connected to the LifeFone call center, they can access your personal care instructions, determine what kind of help you need, and dispatch emergency services if necessary.

They will stay on the line with you until help arrives. Your caregiver or family members will be notified about the situation if applicable.

An optional fall detection add-on can automatically detect a fall and call for help even if you can’t.

On-the-go products

On-the-go products are mobile devices that you have on you at all times. They work using LifeFone’s cellular service. The device will work as long as there is AT&T 4G LTE service where you are. Instead of communicating with a base unit, the device allows for two-way communication.

These products can also detect your location for an additional monthly cost.

Add-on products

You can purchase additional wall help buttons for rooms around your home.

Other products available include:

  • a lockbox, which allows you to safely store keys that family and emergency service personnel can access with the code
  • protection plan for repair and replacement ($5 per month) of a base unit or help button

Additional wristbands or pendants cost $39.95, plus shipping. But LifeFone does offer a second wristband or pendant for free if you live with a spouse.

In addition to the products LifeFone offers, you can add services to your subscription to tailor your needs as much as you need to. Below are some of the services you can include:

  • fall detection ($5 per month)
  • VIPx Caregiver app ($8 per month)
  • activity assurance ($6 per month), a simple daily check-in that involves responding to a beep on the base unit with a button press to confirm you’re ok
  • daily check-in call ($19 per month) involves a daily phone call with a LifeFone agent to check on your well-being, remind you to take medication, or whatever you choose
  • medication reminders ($6 per month) via your base unit
  • location service ($9 per month) for up to 30 requests per month (this feature is specifically for caregivers who might want to check in on their loved one’s whereabouts)

If you’re considering signing up with LifeFone, the first step is to browse their product line and determine which option is best for your needs. The website will be the main point of contact for most people, but you can also call to speak to someone directly.

Buying

You can go through the purchasing process on the website or call LifeFone directly. You can easily add LifeFone products to an online shopping cart and customize each selection according to your needs, but if you’re confused about your options, you might find it helpful to speak to a representative.

Set up

According to LifeFone, most people don’t require assistance to set up their devices, but the company can walk you through the steps if you need help. You’ll get visual setup instructions and access to the brand’s 24/7 support line when you receive your system.

Before you’re set, you must test the system to ensure it works. To do so, press your emergency button to connect with the call center. Someone on the other line will walk you through the testing process and can answer any questions you have.

LifeFone has solid ratings on third-party review sites like Consumer Affairs and Trustpilot. The rating on Consumer Affairs is 4.7 out of 5 stars, from a total of 734 ratings. On Trustpilot, the rating for LifeFone is 4.8 stars out of 5, with over 80% of reviews giving the brand 5 stars.

Most people note they were satisfied with the service, but many say the add-ons can get pricey.

Other positives noted by customers include:

  • quick response time
  • excellent customer service
  • attention to detail

Some say it’s easy to trigger the help button accidentally, which is a common issue with medical alert systems. And a handful of caregivers note problems with being contacted during emergencies.

Additionally, the company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.

Alert1

  • Price: $28.95-$48.95 per month
  • Fall detection?: $10 per month, but included with some systems
  • Range: up to 656.2 ft
  • Battery life: 24-hour backup battery
  • Warranty: Warranty Advantage Plan available for $99.96 per year

Unlike LifeFone, several Alert1 systems include fall detection at no additional cost. But the range for the Alert1 home units is a lot less than LifeFone ones, and there’s no included warranty.

ADT Medical Alert System

  • Price: $29.99-$39.99 per month
  • Fall detection?: yes, optional for $10 extra a month
  • Range: 300 to 600 ft
  • Battery life: up to 30 hours backup battery life
  • Warranty: unconditional

ADT is a big name in home monitoring and offers comparable services to LifeFone. Like LifeFone, fall detection is optional and represents an additional cost. Unlike LifeFone’s wearables, ADT pendants and wristbands are waterproof, not just water-resistant. You can also choose to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually if you opt for an ADT medical alert system.

One important difference is that you have to pay more for an extended range with ADT, while LifeFone offers the same range for all home systems.

Aloe Care Health

  • Price: $29.99-$49.99 per month (plus one-time equipment fees)
  • Fall detection?: free with specific plans
  • Range: up to 200 ft
  • Battery life: 4-6 hour backup battery life for base, up to 5 days for mobile unit
  • Warranty: 30-day money-back guarantee

Aloe describes itself as the “world’s most advanced medical alert system.” An important feature of Aloe is the app that allows caregivers to stay connected with their loved ones. A more modern home base design also includes multiple sensors, including motion, temperature, and air quality sensors. It even boasts a motion-activated nightlight.

Unlike brands like LifeFone, when you opt for Aloe, you must pay a one-time equipment fee. While this means the up-front cost is higher than with other companies, you own the equipment and don’t have to worry about returning it.

The downside? You’re responsible for repairs. Aloe’s range is also shorter than LifeFone’s, something to consider if you live in a large home.

GetSafe Medical Alert System

  • Price: $27.95 per month for all plans (plus the cost of equipment)
  • Fall detection?: yes, with optional wearables
  • Range: up to 800 ft with the wearable button
  • Battery life: up to 5 years for the wall buttons, depending on usage
  • Warranty: 1 year

GetSafe sets itself apart by focusing on attractive non-wearables, like wall buttons that you can activate with the push of a button, the pull of a cord, or the sound of your voice.

CompanyPriceFall detection?RangeBattery lifeWarranty
LifeFoneup to $41.95 per monthyes, for an additional fee per monthup to 1,300 ft30-hour backup battery, and up to 5 days for mobile unitlifetime
Alert1up to $48.95 per monthincluded with some systemsup to 656.2 ft24-hour backup batteryWarranty Advantage Plan available for $99.96 per year
ADT Medical Alert Systemup to $39.99 per monthyes, for an additional fee per month300 to 600 ftup to 30 hours of backup battery lifeunconditional
Aloe Care Healthup to $49.99 per month (plus equipment fees)free with some plansup to 200 ft4-6 hour backup battery life for base, up to 5 days for mobile unit30-day money-back guarantee
GetSafe Medical Alert System$27.95 per month (plus equipment costs)yes, with optional wearablesup to 800 ftup to 5 years for the wall buttons, depending on usage1 year

What is the return policy for LifeFone?

LifeFone has a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can also cancel the service at any time by calling LifeFone. You have to pay to ship the equipment back.

What happens if I press the button but can’t talk?

LifeFone will try to call your phone to contact you. If they can’t get in touch with you, they’ll follow the emergency care instructions on file.

What if I press the button accidentally?

Just make sure to wait until the call agent comes on the line to let them know you pressed the button by accident. There’s no extra charge for false alarms.

Where can I buy LifeFone products?

You can purchase LifeFone products directly from the website or by calling to place an order.

Does LifeFone take insurance?

No. But, in some specific circumstances, your insurance provider may possibly offer some limited coverage for medical alert systems. Call your provider before signing up to inquire about coverage.

A medical alert system like LifeFone can offer an extra layer of protection and security as you maintain your independence in older adulthood.

If you’re in the market for a medical alert device, LifeFone is a solid option with a good reputation and positive customer reviews.

Its base unit also offers more range than other medical alert brands, something to consider if you have a big house or like to spend a lot of time outside.

And while the base rates for each system are reasonable, be aware that many features, like fall detection, require an additional monthly fee.