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Life Fone vs Rescue Alert

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LIFE FONE

Since 1976, LifeFone has been a part of the healthcare communications industry. With both a A+ rating at the BBB and thousands of independently-verified positive customer reviews, this company continues to offer reliable, effective service through their medical alert systems.

When considering what LifeFone has to offer, you'll see that they have three general packages for their medical alert services:

  • At Home Landline and Cellular: for a monthly fee of $29.95 for landline service and $34.95 for cellular connection, you'll get an in-home base unit and a wristband or pendant help button with a range of 1,300 feet: one of the best in the industry. It also includes a high/low temperature sensor, where help can be automatically summoned if extreme temperatures are detected.
  • At Home and On-the-Go GPS: for a monthly fee of $39.95, you'll get both an in-home base unit and a mobile system that can be used anywhere and that uses AT&T cellular coverage and GPS to determine your location in an emergency. You'll have 600 feet of range from this base station and 350 feet of range from the mobile unit, which can be placed in different parts of your residence when at home to expand your signal coverage and voice range.
  • At Home and On-the-Go GPS with Voice-in-Pendant: for a monthly fee of $46.95, you'll get the same features as the previous package, with the addition of a pendant that includes a two-way speaker. The pendant can also be worn on a belt clip, and it allows you to speak directly to the 24/7 monitoring center in the event that you need help. It should be noted that LifeFone does not recommend this system for those who have trouble hearing; instead they should consider the previously-described medical alert system.

All plans offer discounts if you pay quarterly or annually; look at the bottom of the main pricing page to see those options. Only the annually-paid plans come with free standard shipping on your equipment; however, there was a limited-time promotional offer at the time of our review that included free shipping and a free month of service on all plans, regardless of payment schedule.

LifeFone has a 30-day free trial on all medical alert systems, and you can cancel at any time. If you've prepaid for your service, you will get a refund on any unused amount as soon as your equipment is returned.

The company offers several add-on services, such as daily-check in calls, medication reminders, and location services. Check at the bottom of your desired plan's pricing and information page to see what additional features are included and at what cost. Most plans allow for free monitoring for a spouse, though you may have to pay for the additional help button pendant or wristband. Also, Fall Detection is available on all plans for an extra charge of either $5 or $10 per month, depending on which plan you choose.

With LifeFone, you also have the opportunity to create a customized plan of Emergency Care Instructions with the help of a customer service agent. This plan includes the user's medical history and medications, preferred hospital and physicians, allergies, as well as family members, friends, or neighbors who should be contacted in an emergency. Such information makes it much more likely that you or your loved one will get the right kind of care in a timely fashion, and that first responders will be well-informed when they arrive.

We were glad to see so many customers with good things to say about LifeFone's response to emergency situations. Their monitoring center has a great track record for getting people help quickly as well as informing the family members or friends designated in the Emergency Care Instructions.

In short, LifeFone keeps people safe with a good selection of medical alert systems that are priced fairly and serviced well.

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RESCUE ALERT

Rescue Alert is based in Utah and provides medical alert systems for both home and mobile use. We love that Rescue Alert has been in business for more than 30 years and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Even more remarkable is that they have zero registered complaints with the BBB: an accomplishment for a company that has been around for three decades and BBB-accredited for nearly 15 years.

One reason customers like Rescue Alert is the 21-day check-in: if no calls or button-pushes have happened over the course of a 3-week period, RA's customer representatives will reach out to ask the user to test the system and make sure it's still functioning properly. Many seniors and their caregivers have said that they feel extra peace of mind knowing that the medical alert system is working even when they've not had to use it.

Compared with our highest-ranked medical alert services, Rescue Alert comes up a little short when it comes to monitoring: although customers are generally pleased with the courtesy and responsiveness received when they've pushed their button, RA's call center is in-house, with no backup in place. Our top services tend to have multiple call centers or service locations, so that in the event of a natural disaster or other outage, there is no break in service to their medical alert customers.

Pricing is also more complicated with Rescue Alert. While most companies have no equipment fees and just charge a monthly fee for monitoring, this provider breaks their medical alert service fees into two categories: rental vs. purchased equipment. With further pricing differences depending on whether payment is made monthly, quarterly, annually, or one-time, the average customer could understandably come out confused.

Here's the rough breakdown of what Rescue Alert has to offer:

  • MXD: the traditional, landline-based unit with a pendant-style or bracelet Personal Help Button. Pricing options include the $32.95 monthly rental plan, $29.95/month quarterly rental plan, and $27.95 annual rental plan; alternately, you may purchase your equipment for a fee of $199 and then pay just $15.95 for monthly monitoring, or a one-time fee of $849 that comes with lifetime monitoring. All MXD plans come with a free gift of a key lock box(valued at $39.99) that allows first responders access to the residence with no need for forced entry, or a second Personal Help Button for another user in the home. You can also include the fall detection service - myActive Alert - for an additional $10/month, or a wall button that can be mounted anywhere in the home that falls are likely ($5/month).
  • MXD3G: the all-cellular, no landline required system, which uses the AT&T network to connect the base unit to the monitoring system. This also uses the same pendant/bracelet panic button as the MXD unit. Pricing options include the $42.95 monthly rental plan, the $39.95/month quarterly rental plan, and $37.95/month annual rental plan; you may also choose to purchase your equipment outright for $299 and then pay just $25.95/month for monthly monitoring. This plan also includes the free gifts and additional services available with the MXD plan described above.
  • Rescue Alert GPS: this plan uses the AT&T network and updates the users location via GPS every 15 minutes. The device only weighs 10 ounces and can be worn or placed in a pocket or purse. This system includes both a lanyard and carrying case/belt clip for the help button, along with a free lock box ($39.99 value). You can also choose to bundle this with the landline-based MDX unit for an additional $15/month in monitoring fees. Pricing for the GPS-based unit starts at $44.95/month for monthly rentals, $39.95/month for quarterly rentals, and $37.95/month for annual rentals. This plan does not offer the capability of adding the myActive Alert fall detection or wall button features.

Overall, Rescue Alert has a good reputation for service, and some customers may like having the option to purchase their equipment outright and pay lower monthly monitoring costs.

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Best Medical Alert Systems

To help you find the Best Medical Alert Systems, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Life Fone and Rescue Alert.

Who has the best Medical Alert Systems? As the US population ages, the need for medical alert systems grows. Given the increasing number of seniors who prefer to "age in place" - living in their own home as long as possible, rather than moving to an independent or assisted living facility for the elderly - it is easy to see why a medical alert system could make the difference between life and death.

Medical alert systems give users the ability to rapidly contact emergency services, typically through a button worn on the wrist or as a pendant around the neck. All it takes is a click of that button to get in touch with an operator who will help determine if a call to emergency medical services is needed. For added peace of mind, a number of companies offer equipment that can automatically detect when the wearer has fallen.

There are a wide variety of choices when it comes to medical alert systems: some services that have been on the market for many years, and others that are newer to the industry. When shopping around for the right product for yourself or for a loved one, you may find a straightforward, easy-to-use website that clearly explains your options. On the other hand, some companies still rely on pushy sales tactics that won't give you much information unless you speak with a representative.

As you compare the various medical alert systems currently available, there are several aspects to keep in mind:

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best medical alert systems on the market today. We hope these reviews give you the information you need to select the medical alert service that will give you or your loved one extra safety and peace of mind.



How to Choose a Medical Alert System

Each year many sick and elderly people encounter accidents and health issues that needlessly take their lives. Medical alert systems can make all the difference in the world for those living alone and in distress. In an emergency, medical alert units create a direct line of communication to needed assistance. If a person falls or becomes ill they simply press a button on a pendant or wrist transmitter to gain the attention of an emergency specialist. That person will immediately call the authorities to send help if needed. The fear of a loved one waiting hours or even days for assistance is no longer an issue with a medical alert system available.

If this is your first medical alert system purchase you may be looking for help with choosing the right device. Making a well informed decision will ensure you get the most for your money and are satisfied with the end result.

There are several important elements to consider when choosing a medical alert system. Some of these include:

Equipment
Not all equipment is created equal. The medical alert button needs to be easy to wear and use. Some may want a unit that's water proof and sturdy to handle showers. If hearing is an issue you'll want a unit that is easy to adjust and has adequate volume options. Knowing the size of the home and how far the transmitter will reach is also important. You'll want UL tested equipment with a good history. Look for products with a battery back-up should the power go out. Also look to see how often batteries need to be replaced. Some batteries last a few months while others last for years. Ask about installation and if a professional is required and how much that will cost.

Warranty
If something happens to the equipment you'll want to make sure it comes with a guarantee. Preferably, the company will replace any broken equipment at no cost. Also look for a company that regularly tests the in home system for good working . Are extended customer support hours available should an issue or question come up about the equipment.

Monitoring Center
In the event of an emergency you'll want a company that provides fast, top notch service. A monitoring company that utilizes its own employees, and doesn't outsource, will most likely provide the best overall service. One that is accountable and well staffed. Does the monitoring company have back-up power, during outages, and are they UL certified?

Cost and Contracts
All medical alert companies price their equipment and monthly monitoring fees differently. Some will sell you the equipment and then charge a monthly fee while others will allow you to rent the equipment and including the monitoring costs in the monthly charges. Some require a several year contract while others are more flexible. If you decide to cancel the contract early you may encounter an early termination fee. Make sure you understand any fees associated with a medical alert system you're considering.

 



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