LifeStation Medical Alert System Review

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Website: LifeStation

LifeStation is one of the leaders and an established medical alert monitoring and system provider in US. One of their key strengths is that they have their own monitoring center in the US making them able to closely monitor the quality of their calls especially during emergencies as these calls may have serious consequences.

History

LifeStation was born in 1977, thus, is one of the oldest medical alert system providers. Over the years, LifeStation has proved to be a great medical alert option for seniors or those with various medical conditions such as hypertension, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease.

The builders of LifeStation were driven by a single goal – providing “Secured Independence”. They wanted their monitoring systems to allow seniors to have the independence they wanted, but still have the assurance that should they need urgent medical assistance, someone will be there to help.

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Reputation

Over the years, LifeStation has gained the respect of many of it’s customers and are known to offer excellent customer care. They have a great reputation with many websites like Angie’s list, the BBB, and Consumer Reports as well. With an A+ BBB rating they’ve demonstrated their excellent reputation by resolving all 32 complaints over the past 3 years. It simply shows that their relationship to customers is a priority.

Medical Alert Systems, Equipment, Plans & Pricing

Aside from the excellent customer service that LifeStation offers, they also produce high-quality products that help ensure a customer’s “secured independence”. Their packages come with a base station that is equipped with batteries so that it can operate even during power outages. It also comes with a waterproof help button in the form of a necklace pendant or wrist band of your choice.

For users who are still on the go, LifeStation offers a Mobile Emergency Button that does not require a landline connection.

They also offer optional features that add to your medical security which we’ll learn more about below.

AT HOME Medical Alert System

LifeStation only offers one alert system, but users have a wide array of upgrade choices. Basically, their alert systems are for users who mostly stay at home but they have upgrades available for those who are always on-the-go or those who do not have landline connections. First we’ll discuss their basic alert system, and then cover the upgrades later on.

This medical alert system comes with a base unit and a help button. The base unit, which is connected to a landline connection, has high powered speakerphone which makes it possible speak with their monitoring station in case the user has been immobilized and cannot get to the base unit. It also has a large “Emergency” button in the middle of the base unit. If the power goes out the base unit still operates using its battery that can last for up to 32 hours. Their commitment to quality was shown here because their product is UL listed and not all medical alert system companies have UL listed products, so that’s an advantage to LifeStation.

The help button that comes with their product can be in the form of a necklace pendant or a wrist band, that depends on what you choose. The help buttons are water resistant which gives an extended medical security even when the user is in the bathroom because that is where most slips and falls happen. By pressing the button within 500 ft. from the base unit, it will establish a connection to the medical monitoring station. But be reminded that the 500 ft. range is based on an open air space. The range may depend on the house and the materials used to build it (e.g. concrete, lumber, etc.).

To make sure that your console is working correctly they run automatic testing every week. Having that said, it is still advised for users to test their consoles manually every month to make sure that it is working as expected.

Also, if the help button was pressed by accident, don’t worry. The base unit has a “Clear” button beside the “Emergency”. Pressing the “Clear” button cancels the call. Or you can take the call anyway and tell the representatives that it was just pressed accidentally, but this is another nice feature that LifeStation offers.

Pricing

You can get their package in a reasonable price. They also give you 3 billing options, monthly, quarterly, or annually. You’ll get discounts if you choose to pay annually or quarterly. Basically, the package costs $29.95 per month, but that is if you pay monthly. If you pay quarterly, the average will be $27.95 per month. And if you choose to pay annually, the cost will be as low as $25.95 per month in average.

Installation

The installation is simple and it can be done in merely 5 minutes. The concept is simply establishing a landline connection to your base unit and plugging it to a power outlet. Anyone can do it, but if in case you have any trouble installing it, you can give them a call and ask for guidance.

After installing, it is advised to try your help button’s range from every place in your house to determine the range of your base unit and help button since the range may vary depending on your homes layout and construction materials.

Extras and Upgrades

As said earlier, their basic package comes with many upgrades. Some of which are hardware upgrades while some offer additional services. Let’s start with their hardware upgrades.

Mobile Emergency Button

The range of the help button that comes with their package is quite low, reaching only 500 ft. Roughly estimating, it will only be usable within the average house including just outside. Sp for an additional monthly charge a user can get a Mobile Emergency Button that, when pressed, will connect you to 911 immediately. The beauty of this thing is that there’s no airtime charge and it doesn’t need a cellular service provider, just the Mobile Emergency Button itself. It is very handy, in fact, it easily fits into a purse or your pouch.

This device is battery operated. It uses 2 AAA batteries, and a set could power it for years without having to replace them, so perfect for vacationing, traveling, and seniors who are still very active.

The Mobile Emergency Button is billed per month, and this upgrade costs $9.95 a month.

Wall Mounted Emergency Button

A senior might easily forget to wear his/her pendant, and we don’t know when an emergency would hit. In such cases, it will be good to have extra choices, like wall mounted emergency buttons. Ideally, these emergency buttons should be placed in places such as the bathroom, a hallway, or the bedroom. This will be a second option in case the pendant is not available for use. Getting one will cost you an additional $2.49 a month for each unit, but it will also provide you a more secured feeling.

Additional Emergency Button Pendant

In some cases, there may be 2 seniors in a house. They don’t need to get one package for each of them because they can get an extra pendant that will also work with the base unit of the original. This allows another person in your home to use the system without having to pay for another package.

Lockbox

There are cases where the senior cannot answer the door during an emergency. The first option for LifeStation’s medical monitoring center is to call a relative, neighbor, or a friend. But most of the time, they are not readily available, and that can delay the help. So LifeStation offers a LockBox to hold the key to allow caregivers or medical respondents to enter the house. This upgrade ensures that even when the senior cannot get to the door and no one can answer the door for them, help can still be given.

Activity Assurance

This is a service upgrade for all LifeStation users. Basically, the senior or a relative should press the “Home” button in the base unit once every 24 hours. But you might say that your senior mom barely remembers to take her medicine, how can she even remember to push the button every day? She doesn’t have to, the system remembers it for her. In the base unit, there is a “Home” light that blinks whenever the inactivity timer is running. Within 15 minutes before it sends an “inactivity alarm” to the monitoring center, a short beep will be heard every 10 seconds reminding the user to press their home button.

This upgrade gives seniors more independence and security.

How Are Emergencies Handled?

You’ll know a medical alert system’s quality through their service during emergencies. So it is very important to have an overview of what happens during those times.

Triggering an Emergency

To trigger an emergency simply press the “Help” button either from your pendant, wrist band, wall mounted help button, or the one in the base unit. Having more options in triggering an emergency is good because it raises the chance of getting help when needed.

For those who signed up the Activiy Assurance service, once the “inactivity timer” expires, help will be immediately sent to you assuming that there’s something wrong because you did not respond to their Activity Assurance service.

Caregiver Alerts

This is very important. Appointed individuals such as children, relatives, and preferred medical healthcare or caregivers are contacted once an emergency has been triggered. That is to ensure that someone will look after you.

Aside from emergencies, these same people will also be contacted when there’s something wrong with your equipment so that they can check on you.

Customer Support

Simultaneously, a customer support representative will be speaking to you over the phone. One thing I liked about LifeStation is that for every call, 2 representatives will assist you. One will contact relatives while the other stays on the line with you. They make sure that you feel that they are there for you and that help is on its way without compromising their call for help.

Over the years, this system has proven to be comforting for the users.

They Never Leave You Until Help Gets There

The representatives are happy to help their customers, and they will never leave you until help arrives. Every step of the way, the user will be guided, comforted, monitored, and assisted in any way they can.

Pros

  • Customer Service Representatives are well trained and are CSAA Certified Specialists. They undergo a 6-week training program and they must pass a review process before actual working. They are also trained to stay on the line until help arrives.
  • Two representatives for each caller, one will contact help while the other stays on the line with the user.
  • They offer many optional upgrades to their package.
  • Caregiver Alerts that inform appointed relatives and friends whenever there’s an emergency.
  • UL listed monitoring center and equipment

Cons

  • The range of the Help Button pendant is only 500 ft. Pretty low compared to other companies.
  • There are no carbon monoxide and fire alert options. These options would make it possible to contact the monitoring center should there be a fire or too much carbon monoxide detected.
  • Choice of service plans are limited. But they made up for it by offering additional upgrades.

Conclusion

LifeStation is a fair choice in medical alert systems. They offer high-quality customer assistance and the hardware products are all trustworthy. Their package works best for home-dwelling seniors but may be a hassle to on-the-go people.

Learn more at LifeStation.com