LifeStation is a medical alert device that provides 24/7 monitoring and is made for use in homes that have a traditional telephone landline. You have the option of adding a Mobile Emergency Button to your plan, but when you press the button, that mobile alert will only call 911—not the LifeStation monitoring center. Their base station and personal alarm pendants do call the monitoring center. Their call center is UL-certified and staffed by extensively trained care specialists. LifeStation is affordably priced and a system worth considering for seniors who have landlines in their homes.
How does LifeStation work?
The LifeStation medical alert system connects you with LifeStation’s UL-certified monitoring center when you press the alarm button on your wearable device or base station. The wearable alarm button can be worn around the neck with a breakaway lanyard or on the wrist like a watch.
Here’s how it works:
- The LifeStation client pushes their personal alarm button.
- The alarm button activates the LifeStation base station.
- The base station calls the LifeStation Monitoring Center.
- Within 20 seconds, a care agent will speak to the client through the two-way speaker on the base station.
- The care agent asks the client if they need help. Depending on the nature of the problem, the care agent will contact local emergency services, a designated contact person or both.
In an example scenario given by LifeStation, the care agent first calls an ambulance. Then they call the client’s neighbor to come to the house to stay with the client until the ambulance arrives. They also call the client’s daughter to inform her of the situation.
LifeStation’s medical alert system works with a traditional phone landline. You can add accessories to customize your service.
1. LifeStation Medical Alert (Telephone Landline Required)
You can only use the LifeStation medical alert system if you have a traditional telephone landline in your home. You receive a base station with a two-way speaker and your choice of a pendant alarm or wristband alarm button. To call for help, press the alarm button and speak with a care agent through the base station. You cannot speak through your wearable pendant.
LifeStation has a range of 500 feet, which is about average, and a base unit with 32 hours of standby power to keep you covered during a power outage.
The LifeStation medical alert has a weekly test timer. This feature automatically checks your medical alert system each week to make sure it’s functioning properly. Some other medical alert companies require that you place a monthly test call to ensure your system works, so this is a convenient feature from LifeStation for added peace of mind.
You can use your LifeStation as a speaker phone and answer incoming calls by pressing your wearable alarm button. It’s nice to not have to run to the phone every time rings. However, you can’t make outgoing calls this way; you can only answer the phone through the LifeStation.
Included with this plan:
- A base unit with a signal range of 500 feet
- (1) Waterproof emergency help button
- 32 hours of standby battery power
- Automatic weekly test timer
- Ability to answer the phone with your alarm button
Fall Detection Add-On
You can add fall detection to this plan for an extra $5 a month. You’ll receive a waterproof pendant that can tell if you fall. If so, it automatically calls the LifeFone emergency response center. Fall detection works up to 600 feet from the base station.
Other Add-Ons for this plan:
- Additional buttons
- Lock box
- Bathroom and hallway buttons
- Mobile emergency button
- $29.95 / month billed monthly
- $27.95 / month billed quarterly
- $25.95 / month billed annually
About the Add-On Options
LifeStation offers four accessories. You’ll pay an additional monthly fee for each item you add to your basic plan.
- Additional Wearable Help Button. A second person can use your LifeStation medical alert system, but they’ll need their own pendant or wristband button. Cost: $3.99 a month, per button.
- Mobile Emergency Button. The mobile emergency button can be used at home or on the go. Keep in mind that it does not connect you with the LifeStation monitoring center; instead, when you push the button, you’ll be connected directly to 911. It’s small enough to easily fit in your purse or pocket. The mobile emergency button works using local cellular networks. You don’t need to own a cell phone or have a cell phone plan to use it. Cost: $9.95 a month.
- Bathroom and Hallway Button. You can place these buttons anywhere in the home within a 500 feet range of your base station. With these buttons, you’ll have emergency help within reach even if you aren’t wearing your pendant or wristband alarm button. Positioning the wall buttons low on the wall will make sure you can reach them if you fall and can’t get back up. Cost: $2.49 a month, per button.
- Lock Box: Store a spare key inside a lock box and hang it on the exterior handle of your door. LifeStation staff will give the code to emergency personnel so they can open the combination lock and gain entrance to your home without the need to break in. You can also give the code to the contacts of your choice. Cost: $2.99 per month.
Additional information about LifeStation’s Products
LifeStation’s Medical Alert Systems:
- Have no activation fees
- Provide 24-hour service/365 days a year
- Are easy to install yourself
- Don’t require a long-term contract if you choose the monthly payment plan
- Have locked-in prices. Your rate won’t go up.
- Include a base station with two-way voice capabilities
- Have built-in backup battery power
- Are completely portable. If you move or go on vacation in the United States, you can take your system along at no extra cost
- Include the essential equipment free of charge (add-ons will have additional monthly fees)
- Your equipment will be replaced at no cost to you if it’s broken or needs replacement (that is not a result of misuse)
- Are UL-rated for safety
About the Company
LifeStation says their system was designed by medical alert industry veterans. Their mission is to provide what they call, “secured independence.” With LifeStation, you can live life independently knowing that you can get help with the push of a button.
They’ve been a BBB-accredited business since April of 2013.
About the Call Center
LifeStation runs its own in-house call center that is UL-listed. That means their monitoring center meets high standards of reliability and safety. Each agent in their call center undergoes six weeks of training and completes an apprenticeship program with an experienced care agent. The care agents are certified by the Central Station Alarm Association, indicating that they meet optimal monitoring center standards.
LifeStation’s monitoring center:
- Provides 24/7 coverage every day of the year
- Is staffed with highly trained care specialists
- Responds to alarms within 20 seconds
- Conveys your information quickly to emergency responders
- Stays on the line with you until help arrives
Frequently Asked Questions
LifeStation has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), which means it has an excellent reputation for responding to complaints made to the BBB. From that, you can conclude that the customer service is pretty good.
The vast majority of customer complaints were about the cancellation policy. LifeStation states that customers can “cancel anytime.” What they don’t tell you is that while yes, you can cancel anytime, you still have to pay out the remainder of your contract whether you cancel or not. If you’ve signed up for a year and cancel after one month, they will bill you for the full year. They claim that is the reason why they give discounts to customers who sign up for longer contracts.
However, the customers who complained about this policy to the BBB were refunded by LifeStation even though it’s not their official policy to give refunds on unfinished contracts.
There weren’t many complaints at all about the level of service when using the system.
Pros & Cons
- LifeStation has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Their equipment is free
- There’s no activation fee
- Their call centers are company-owned, US-based and UL-certified
- Price is good, less than $1 a month
- Limited choice of equipment
- Not upfront about their cancellation policy
- No fall detection
- Mobile device doesn’t have GPS
- Add-ons have monthly fees. If you keep the accessories for a long time, you can end up paying more than they’re worth.
LifeStation sticks to the basic medical alert model. If you don’t have a landline in your home, that can be a problem. Some tech-savvy users have hooked their LifeStation up to VoIP phone connections, but when the power goes out, they won’t be able to connect to the monitoring center. They could use the Mobile Emergency Alert during a power outage, but that costs an extra $9.95 a month and only connects with 911, not the LifeStation monitoring center. If you don’t have a landline, it’s better to choose a medical alert system that works with cellular networks, like LifeFone.
Many medical alert systems don’t offer refunds if you cancel your service before your contract is finished, but LifeStation seems to try to hide that information about their service. They don’t make their terms available on their website, and it’s not until you receive your LifeStation equipment and have enrolled in a plan that you’re given a copy of the fine print.
If you sign up for the monthly plan, you can cancel after one month with no further charges, but if you sign up for one year and pay for that year in advance, you won’t be refunded for early cancellation. However, plenty of customers are fine with that because of the savings they get with an annual contract. When deciding on a plan, think about whether the lower overall price of an annual contract is worth not being able to cancel until the year is through. If you’re confident you’ll be using the service for a long time, signing up on an annual basis could make sense for you. Otherwise, go for a monthly or quarterly contract.
Most customers only cancel due to outside circumstances, such as going into assisted living, not because they’re unhappy with LifeStation’s customer service. LifeStation has invested a lot into training their care specialists and have a top-quality monitoring center. It’s nearly impossible to find any customer complaints about the quality of the medical alert monitoring service itself. For that reason, LifeStation is a very good choice. It’s an affordable home medical alert system that’s perfect for seniors with traditional landlines in their homes.