LifeStation vs Life Alert

COVID-19 Update: Medical Alerts are considered essential devices during the COVID crisis, so monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how these and other essential products can keep older adults safe and connected during this crisis, take a look at our list of 10 essential products.

With advanced age comes an increased risk of falling or experiencing a medical emergency. In fact, one in four seniors aged 65 and older has at least one fall every year, and injuries from falls are the leading cause of fatalities among older adults.

While no device can prevent accidental falls or medical emergencies, a medical alert system can improve the chances that help arrives quickly. These small, lightweight help buttons are designed to be worn on a lanyard or wrist band, providing an immediate connection to an emergency call center that reaches out to a relative, neighbor or paramedics.

Today’s medical alert systems come with a wide range of options and features that are designed to improve the safety of seniors, people with disabilities, joggers and anyone else who may need to call for help.

LifeStation vs Life Alert – What’s the Best Choice?

Finding the right medical alert system can mean spending hours browsing through websites, reading brochures and phoning sales reps. To help simplify your search, we’ve done the legwork for you by reviewing the leading brands and devices, collecting information on the costs and researching the pros and cons of each system.

Today we’re comparing LifeStation and Life Alert. We discovered that while both companies have similar help buttons and call monitoring services, Life Alert’s prices are higher, and they require a three-year service contract. To find out more, take a look at our comparison chart and in-depth company profiles followed by our pick for the best choice for yourself or your loved one.

LifeStation Life Alert

COSTS

Up-Front Equipment

$0-$99

$0

Monthly Monitoring

$19.95-$34.95

$49-$68

Activation Fee

$0

$95-$198

CONTRACT

Long-Term Contract?

No

Yes – three year

Optional Monthly Add-Ons

Wall mounted HELP buttons ($3.49/month each and up)

Lockbox ($2.99/month)

Additional user/help button ($3.99/month)

Fall detection

N/A

FEATURES

Water-Resistant Wearable Devices

Yes

Yes

Fall Detection

Yes

No

GPS Location Monitoring Available?

Yes

Yes

Mobile App/Online Dashboard

Yes

Yes

RELIABILITY/PERFORMANCE

Connection

Landline or cellular

Landline or cellular

Range (From in-home base unit for landline service)

Up to 500′

Up to 800′

Battery Life on Help Button

Up to five days on mobile help button

Up to seven years on help button pendant; up to 10 years on wall-mounted HELP button

Battery Back-up on Base Unit

Up to 32 hours

Up to 72 hours

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

PIN-protected lockbox

Extra wearable help buttons

Up to six wall-mounted HELP buttons per in-home base unit

Additional wall-mounted waterproof HELP button

Overview of LifeStation

Established in 1977, LifeStation is one of the oldest medical alert companies in the United States. They sell in-home and mobile medical alert systems through their website, phone sales center and a network of authorized retailers.

LifeStation has three medical alert systems; the in-home landline, in-home cellular and mobile GPS help button. Monthly costs start at $19.95 for the basic in-home system, and users can add another person at the same address for $3.99 per month. Wireless bathroom and hallway help buttons cost an extra $3.49 per month, and a PIN-protected lockbox can be used to store a house key in case of an emergency is $2.99 per month.

The mobile medical alert device is an all-in-one system equipped with GPS and a speakerphone for clear communication with the emergency response center. This mobile help button works on the AT&T cellular network to provide coverage nationwide, and it’s safe to use in wet environments. LifeStation’s complimentary AlertMessage service sends a text message to authorized caregivers and family members when a subscriber activates their medical alert button.

Pros of LifeStation

  • No long-term contracts
  • Emergency call buttons are waterproof and safe for use in wet environments
  • LifeStation automatically tests each active medical alert system weekly
  • Medical alert devices are UL listed
  • $25 referral credit provided to existing customers who refer a friend to LifeStation
  • Equipment repair/replacement is included in the monthly monitoring fee
  • Easy self-installation
  • Fall detection available
  • Emergency operator stays on the line with the caller until help arrives
  • Service works throughout the United States and Canada
  • U.S.-based CSAA monitoring center with an average response time of 20 seconds

Cons of LifeStation

  • No mobile app or online caregiver dashboard
  • Pricing for cellular systems is not provided online
  • Customers have to pay return shipping when cancelling the service

Overview of Life Alert

Life Alert is another well-established, U.S.-based medical alert company that has been in business for more than 30 years. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and the emergency monitoring center is Five Diamond CSAA certified and UL listed. According to Life Alert, their team of emergency operators handle more than two million calls from subscribers annually and their service saves a life every 11 minutes.

Life Alert offers two in-home medical alert systems that pair a wireless help button with a base unit equipped with a speakerphone. These systems start at $49 per month, and new subscribers must pay $95 or more for activation. There’s also a mobile GPS-enabled device that works without a base station anywhere there’s cellular service.

All of Life Alert’s wearable help buttons are waterproof and include a non-rechargeable battery, making these systems virtually maintenance-free.

Life Alert Pros:

  • The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
  • Help buttons are waterproof and never need charging
  • The in-home base units have a backup battery that lasts up to three days to maintain service in a power outage
  • Subscribers can add a wireless waterproof help button to place in the bathroom or anywhere else within range of the base unit

Life Alert Cons

  • No fall detection
  • Subscribers must enter into a three-year service contract and early cancellations are only permitted with medical documentation verifying the customer has either passed away or moved into a care facility
  • The devices may not be appealing to users who want a modern, sleek help button
  • No online/mobile app
  • Prospective customers must call a Life Alert sales agent to learn about pricing and place an order, which may lead to high-pressure sales tactics

Our Pick

LifeStation and Life Alert appear to be similar at first glance, but our researchers have discovered that there are significant differences in price and service terms. When choosing between LifeStation and Life Alert, we recommend LifeStation due to the lower monthly monitoring costs, consumer-friendly cancellation policies and transparent, up-front pricing.

We also like the fact that LifeStation offers a complimentary caregiver notification service, AlertMessage, which sends an automatic email to authorized friends or family members when a subscriber activates their help button.

In terms of the equipment, Life Alert does have a better range between the in-home base unit and the call button that’s offered through LifeStation, but this minor difference isn’t enough to justify the $30 per month price difference between the two companies.

Compare Other Medical Alert Options

LifeStation and Life Alert are just two of the dozens of medical alert systems available today. If you’d like to learn more about other popular personal help buttons, take a look at our comprehensive collection of medical alert comparison articles. You’ll find in-depth information that can help you pick the perfect medical alert device for yourself or your loved ones.