Medical alert devices, also known as personal emergency response systems, are designed to help people get medical help when they’re unable to reach a phone.
Often worn as a pendant, these devices are especially helpful for older adults who live alone. The devices allow them to remain independent without worrying about being alone during a medical emergency.
Some devices automatically call for help when they detect a fall. They may also connect to medical personnel or alert loved ones or a support system.
If you’re an older adult who lives alone or is alone for part of the day, a medical alert device might keep you safe and provide peace of mind. But since all devices are different, it’s a good idea to do some research before investing in one.
Here’s a look at Lively Mobile Plus, one of the top medical alert devices on the market.
Lively Mobile Plus is a medical alert device. If you have a medical emergency while alone, you can use the device to call for help. It can be helpful for people with health conditions who are alone for some or all of the day.
The device lets you communicate with Lively Mobile’s urgent response agents, and it has built-in GPS so that the agent can send a response team to your location if necessary. It can also connect with an app, which notifies your close contacts when you need help.
Lively Mobile Plus also has a fall detection option. For an extra fee per month, your device can alert the urgent response agents when you fall. It’s waterproof so you can use it in the shower.
How it works
Lively Mobile Plus is designed to be a wearable device. You can attach it to your belt or keep it in your pocket or purse. You can also wear it with their fall detection lanyard if you opt for their fall detection services.
It also has a two-way communication feature. This means that you can press a button to be put in touch with one of their urgent response agents if you have a medical emergency. Using the device, you can communicate with the agent, and they can assess your situation.
If needed, the agent can contact emergency services for you. Because the device has a built-in GPS, they can easily see your location and direct emergency services to you.
The device has up to 80 hours of battery life and doesn’t need a home base, so you can use Lively Mobile Plus at home or when you’re out and about.
- 24/7 help from urgent response agents
- two-way communication
- up to 80 hours of battery life
- enhanced GPS
- fall detection system available
- nurse-on-call and care advocate services available
- Lively Link app notifies your inner circle when you call for help
- can be eligible to purchase with health savings account (HSA) funds
- fall detection, nurse-on-call, and care advocate services cost extra
- only operates within the United States
- a full charge takes 6 hours, so it’s best to charge it while you sleep
When researching products, we look at factors like:
- medical credibility
- company reputation
- good business practices
Our vetting standards include poring over independent customer reviews and testimonials and taking the product’s features and limitations into account.
The Lively Mobile Plus device costs $50. This includes free shipping.
The activation fee is a separate cost. Though not apparent on the company’s website, customer service notes it’s a $35 activation fee in person or over the phone. That fee goes down to $25 if the device is activated through the Lively website.
You’ll also need to pay a monthly fee. Their basic package, which includes urgent response and Lively link, is $25 per month.
Their premium package is $35 per month. This package has the added benefit of nurse-on-call and care advocate services.
Regardless of which package you choose, you can also add fall detection for $10 per month.
Does Lively Mobile Plus offer payment plans?
No. The device has a single flat retail price. But you’ll also need to pay a monthly fee in order to use the service.
Is there a setup fee?
Lively Mobile Plus has a $25 to $35 activation fee.
Does Lively Mobile Plus accept insurance?
No. However, if you have a health benefits account or HSA, you might be able to request a reimbursement for the purchase of your Lively Mobile Plus device.
If you’re not sure whether medical alert devices qualify for reimbursement, you can speak with your health plan administrator.
Can you change or cancel your Lively Mobile Plus subscription?
Yes. According to Lively Mobile’s website, there is no cancellation fee. You can change from a basic package to a premium package or vice versa depending on your needs.
Once the device has been activated, you can press the urgent response button when you need medical assistance.
The agent will contact you through the device. They will assess your situation to determine what kind of help you need.
They will contact emergency services if needed and stay on the line until the issue is resolved.
With your permission, members of your support system can download the Lively Link app, which allows them to view your location. The app also notifies your loved ones if you call for help.
If you have enabled fall detection, you’ll need to wear the device on their specially designed fall detection lanyard in order for it to work. The device will detect when you fall, and an agent will automatically contact you.
On Trustpilot, Lively has a rating of 1.8 out of 5 stars.
Lively also receives mostly negative customer reviews on the Better Business Bureau.
While some reviews are positive, most reviews are negative. The majority of negative reviews seem to be about their Jitterbug phone, a device designed for seniors.
Most complaints are about customer service and hidden fees. Some reviewers note that they were also billed after cancelation.
Although many customer reviews of the Lively company are negative, there are many positive reviews of the Lively Mobile Plus device.
In particular, people praise:
- the fast response time
- the device’s ease of use
- the app’s capabilities
The reviews on Lively’s customer service are mixed: Some praise the customer service representatives, while others say they’re incompetent, rude, and slow to respond.
Lively Mobile Plus has a 1-year warranty that covers manufacturing defects.
If you want to return your Lively Mobile Plus device, you’ll have to contact their customer care line at 1-800-733-6632. You’ll have to ship the device back at your expense in the original product packaging. If they do refund you, you’ll be charged a $10 restocking fee.
If the device was purchased from a retail store, it’s subject to that store’s return policy. To find a store near you and research their policy, you can use Lively’s store locator.
24/7 help from urgent response agents
When you press the urgent response button, an agent will answer within 1 minute. If you get disconnected or hang up for some reason, they will call you back on the device. According to customer reviews, the agents call back fairly quickly.
The device allows the agent to hear you and you to hear the agent, which means you don’t need to get to a phone in order to ask for help.
The device is waterproof and designed to be used in the shower.
Up to 80 hours of battery life
The device comes with a charging station. It has 48 to 72 hours of battery life when fully charged. There’s an extra 8-hour buffer where the device beeps once a minute to let the user know the battery is low.
It takes 6 hours for the device to be fully charged.
Enhanced GPS and 4G LTE service
Enhanced GPS means that agents are able to pinpoint your location. Lively Mobile Plus uses 4G, allowing for better, more reliable coverage.
Lively Link app
Your loved ones can download the Lively Link app. With your permission, they can view your location on the app and be notified if you call for help.
Fall detection system
If you opt for their fall detection services, you’ll have to pay an extra $10 per month. You’ll also have to use their specially designed fall detection lanyard, which automatically calls for help when a fall is detected.
If you opt for the premium package, you can get nurse on-call services. This allows you to contact registered nurses and board certified doctors when you have medical questions. You can also get prescriptions and refills for certain medications without making an appointment.
Care advocate services
Care advocate services are included in the premium package. Care advocates can assist you with issues such as financial matters, estate planning, health goals, and more. After discussing your goals with the care advocate, they’ll customize a plan for you to follow. You can make follow-up appointments with them as needed.
Lively Mobile Plus can be a good option for people who are prone to falling or have a condition or circumstance that may require urgent assistance from time to time.
It might also provide peace of mind to people who live alone or are alone for most of the day.
Falls can lead to health complications, including broken bones and internal bleeding.
Older adults might also benefit from medical alert devices if they have health complications that require immediate medical attention from time to time. For example, if they have a lung condition, they might need to call for help if they feel short of breath.
Lively Mobile Plus might not be a good option for some people.
Because it requires you to charge it regularly — likely overnight — you’ll need to remember to remove it from the charging dock and wear it. If you forget to wear it, or if you dislike wearing it, it might not be helpful.
Although medical alert systems can help you call for help, they aren’t a perfection solution for all older adults who want to live independently. They may help you live comfortably alone for a while, but if you require special care or assisted living services, living alone and using a medical alert system isn’t a suitable replacement for a nurse or aid.
Fall detection devices might be helpful for people with epilepsy, but it’s possible to have a seizure without falling. The Lively Mobile Plus is not designed to detect seizures. Rather, if you have epilepsy, opt for a seizure detection device specially designed for people with epilepsy.
- food intolerances
- non-emergent conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol
- postoperative nausea
- undiagnosed conditions
Lively Mobile Plus can be a good option if you:
- are prone to falling or have fallen before
- live alone or are alone for part of the day
- are worried about needing medical help and want peace of mind
- have a chronic condition that may require urgent assistance
According to the 2017 research mentioned above, medical alert jewelry like Lively Mobile Plus is appropriate and useful for people with conditions like:
- Addison’s disease
- bleeding disorders
- dementia or intellectual impairment
- previous organ transplant
Keep in mind
Lively Mobile Plus can help you call emergency services, but it is not a replacement for seeing a healthcare professional for regular check-ups.
|Specifications||Lively Mobile Plus||Life Alert|
|Device cost||$50 one time||$50 per month|
|Activation cost||$25–$35||$198 setup fee|
|Monthly cost||• $25 per month for basic package |
• $35 per month for premium package
|$90 per month for basic monitoring, GPS, and bathroom monitoring|
|App||free with both plans||fee based|
|Size||• Height: 2.63 inches (in)|
• Width: 1.67 in
• Depth: 0.65 in
|• Height: 7 in|
• Width: 7 in
• Depth: 1.5 in
|Weight||1.98 ounces (oz)||3 oz|
|Battery life||up to 80 hours||• 10-year life span|
• doesn’t need charging
|Response time||less than a minute||less than a minute|
|Fall detection (per month)||$10 per month||included in the basic package|
|Warranty (wear and tear)||warranty only covers manufacturing defects||no|
Customer reviews and ratings of Lively Mobile Plus are a mixed bag: Some are negative, and some are positive.
Customers commonly complain about poor customer service and hidden costs.
Positive reviews often praise Lively’s:
- customer service
- good call reception
- fast response times
Purchase the device
You can purchase the device online or in person. You can use their store locator to find a Lively Mobile Plus seller near you.
Activate the device
Download Lively Link
If you want, your loved ones can download Lively Link, an app that allows them to stay connected to you. During the activation process, you can link the app to your device.
Use as needed
Press the button when you need urgent help and an agent will get back to you. If you have enabled fall detection, you’ll need to wear the fall detection lanyard for it to work.
Does Lively Mobile Plus take insurance?
No. However, you might be able to request a reimbursement from your HSA after buying the device.
Can I accidentally set it off?
It’s possible to accidentally touch the urgent response button. Most reviews note that the button works fine: It isn’t overly sensitive or too difficult to press.
If you have enabled fall detection, it might accidentally go off if you drop your device and lanyard. However, many reviewers note that the lanyard is sturdy and the fall detection service works well.
Is Lively Mobile Plus private and secure?
There is little information about the privacy and digital security of the Lively Mobile Plus. However, your loved ones will not be able to access your location data without your permission: You’ll need to consent for them to be connected to your GPS location via the Lively Link app.
How do I turn this off?
You can turn your Lively Mobile Plus device off by pressing and holding the power button. You’ll hear a voice saying, “Your device is powering off.” Two lights on the device will turn red. Once they’re off, the device is completely off.
Is Lively Mobile Plus better than Life Alert? How?
Some might prefer Lively Mobile Plus because it’s significantly cheaper than Life Alert.
Although both charge you a monthly fee for their respective services, the Lively Mobile Plus device has a flat fee — you don’t have to pay an additional fee to rent the device every month as with Life Alert.
Also, unlike Life Alert, which locks you in with a 3-year contract, Lively Mobile Plus allows you to renew or cancel your membership at any time.
Additionally, Lively Mobile Plus has fewer hidden fees. With Life Alert, you’ll need to call to get updated pricing, while Lively Mobile Plus shows most of their prices on their website (save for their activation fee).
Still, unlike Life Alert, Lively Mobile Plus includes GPS and app fees in their basic monthly fees.
What about unmonitored medical alert systems? Are they worth it?
Some medical alert systems are unmonitored, meaning they don’t connect you to an operator. In some cases, these alert systems will call your loved ones.
The issue with this is that there’s no guarantee your loved ones will be able to pick up their phone. Monitored medical alert systems, such as Lively Mobile Plus, put you in contact with a trained agent no matter what time of day or night it is.
Although it’s up to you to weigh up your options, you might find that a monitored medical alert system is worth the extra cost.
Lively Mobile Plus is a medical alert system that allows the user to call for help. When you press the emergency button, an urgent response agent will call you via the device. It also notifies your loved ones, if you have given them permission to connect to your device.
Although the reviews on Lively are mixed, many customers praise this particular device. It could be a helpful device for older adults who live independently and want peace of mind.
If you’re interested in trying Lively Mobile Plus, you can get started here.