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GreatCall Lively Mobile Reviews: Medical Alert Options in 2022

Updated for January, 2022

Lively, previously GreatCall Lively Mobile, provides medical alert devices and cell phones designed for seniors. What makes Lively stand out amongst its competitors is its price. Its cell phones, medical alert devices, and monthly plans are affordable compared to other options on the market.

In this GreatCall review, we’ll explore Lively’s medical alert system that’s available on both its medical alert devices and cellular phones. We’ll compare Lively to other leading brands and explore who’s likely to enjoy Lively’s emergency support products.

Design and Features of GreatCall Lively Mobile Medical Alert System

Lively carries two medical alert devices. The Lively Mobile Plus device is a wearable alert button with a two-way speaker that you can wear on a lanyard or with a belt clip. The Lively Wearable2 is a watch that pairs with your smartphone for support.

Unlike the Mobile Plus button, which needs nightly charging, the Wearable2 can last up to four months on a single charge. But keep in mind that you’ll need your smartphone with the Lively app for the smartwatch to work.

Lively Mobile Plus Lively Wearable2
Type Clippable Button Smartwatch
Equipment price $49.99 $49.99
Activation fee $35 $35
Money-back guarantee 30 days with a $10 restocking fee 30 days with a $10 restocking fee
Warranty $2.50/month $2.50/month
Contract? No No
Water-resistant? Waterproof Water-resistant

Lively Health & Safety Packages

When you purchase a Lively medical alert device, you choose one of three monthly plans for emergency support wherever you go. These devices are GPS activated and work over cellular networks that cover most of the United States.

No matter which monthly package you choose, it comes with Urgent Response. If you need assistance from either emergency services or your emergency contacts, you press the button on your Lively device to connect with Lively’s Urgent Response agents. An agent will talk to you through the device or your phone to see what help you need, determine your location, and contact the right people to assist you.

In addition to Urgent Response, there are other services available depending upon which plan you select:

  • Urgent Care: Speak with a doctor or nurse 24/7 for no additional fee. Think of this service as a remote doctor’s appointment. You can discuss medical concerns and receive prescriptions for certain medications.
  • Lively Link App: A smartphone app allows approved friends and family to see your location, device’s battery life, and daily activity (with the Wearable2 watch only). When you contact Urgent Response, these contacts receive a notification.
  • Automatic Fall Detection: Using motion-sensing technology in your medical alert device, Lively’s Urgent Care response team is notified when you fall. The agent will attempt to contact you and determine next steps, whether that’s sending an ambulance or having your emergency contacts come and check on you.

Here’s an overview of the services included with each of the three monthly Lively Health and Safety Packages.

Basic Package Preferred Package Ultimate Package
Price $24.99 $29.99 $39.99
Features
  • Urgent Response
  • Urgent Response
  • Urgent Care
  • Lively Link app
  • Urgent Response
  • Urgent Care
  • Lively Link app
  • Automatic fall detection
  • A Unique Offering: Cellular Service with Emergency Support

    In addition to the personal emergency response systems outlined above, Lively offers cell phones for seniors. These phones are designed to replace your current cellular phone and have the option to add a Lively Health and Safety Package.

    The primary difference between the Urgent Response packages with the medical alert devices and the phones is that there is no automatic fall detection option with the Lively phones. Additionally, Lively phone users have access to Personal Operators and Lively Ride, which don’t come with the medical alert products. Personal Operators can help place calls or provide driving directions, while Lively Rides works with Lyft for affordable and simple transportation.

    Lively has two cellular phones: a smartphone and a flip phone. The smartphone is excellent if you like to browse the internet or send emails on your phone. But if you miss simpler press-button phones of years past and only use your phone for talking and texting, the flip phone fits the bill.

    Jitterbug Smart3 Jitterbug Flip2
    Phone Cost $149.99 $99.99
    Phone Plan Pricing $14.99–$49.99/month $14.99–$19.99/month
    Lively Health & Safety Price $19.99–$34.99/month $19.99–$34.99/month
    Phone Type Smartphone Flip Phone
    Calls, Text, and Data Calls, Text, and Data Calls and Text Only
    Features
  • Large touchscreen
  • Internet and email access
  • Simple menu list
  • On-screen Urgent Response button
  • Press button design
  • Large buttons
  • Easy-to-read screen
  • On-screen Urgent Response button
  • Pros and Cons of GreatCall Lively Mobile

    Pros

    • Three plan levels to suit different needs
    • Ability to choose between easy-to-use cell phones and wearable devices
    • 24/7 urgent response assistance
    • 24/7 doctor and nurse support via Urgent Care
    • Lively Link app for family, friends, and emergency contacts
    • Automatic fall detection included in Ultimate Package
    • Personal Operators offer remote assistance with phone calls and more (with Jitterbug phones)
    • Lively Rides for easy and affordable Lyft rides (with Jitterbug phones)
    • No contracts, so you can cancel at any time
    • U.S-based customer service and emergency call monitoring

    Cons

    • Poor customer reviews on Better Business Bureau and TrustPilot
    • No landline-based home plan
    • $35 activation fee and $49.99 equipment fee for medical alert devices
    • 30-day money-back guarantee on medical alert systems has a $10 restocking fee
    • No ability to return the phone if you’ve reached 30 minutes of talk time

    Health and Safety Features

    According to Leslie Branon, Account Manager and Outreach Strategist with MedVoice PR, “It’s important to consider using a medical alert system if you are at risk of falls, have a medical condition that may impact your ability to seek medical attention, you live alone or are left alone at times. Delays in emergency care can worsen injuries or ultimately result in poor outcomes, including death. Medical alert systems allow you the opportunity to be more independent with a safety net of knowing someone can help if needed.”

    GreatCall Lively Mobile provides customers with multiple products created to bring extra security and support for seniors. All Lively products, including the two medical alert devices and the two phone options, offer Urgent Response with every Health and Safety Package. With Urgent Response, you press a button on your phone or wearable medical alert device to connect with a trained emergency response representative.

    Once connected, the Lively representative works with you to see what help you need—whether that’s an ambulance, reaching out to your emergency contacts, or simply staying on the line until they know you’re okay. And if you have automatic fall detection through a Lively medical alert device and you fall, this all happens without you needing to press the button. If you can’t talk, the Lively representative has emergency help sent to your location.

    Lively Phones vs. Wearable Devices: Fall Detection

    When deciding between Lively’s phones or wearable medical alert devices, ask yourself whether you or your loved one needs automatic fall detection. With fall detection, Lively’s response team is alerted when you fall, without the need for you to press a button.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 3 million older adults receive treatment in the ER for fall injuries every year. And with falls being the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, there’s no guarantee that you can make a call or press a button after you fall.

    If you live alone or frequently head outside of the home alone, you may want to consider a medical alert device with automatic fall detection. Neither of Lively’s phones offers fall detection, but both the Mobile Plus and Wearable2 do when you purchase the Ultimate Package.

    But if you’re rarely on your own, the Lively cell phones and medical alert devices both have Urgent Response with the lowest-cost monthly plan. Just know that you’ll need to press a button for help from Lively’s Urgent Response team.

    Mobile Plus vs. Wearable2: Ease-of-Use

    The Mobile Plus and Wearable2 are Lively’s two medical alert devices. The Mobile Plus can be worn on a belt clip or lanyard, while the Wearable2 is a smartwatch worn around your wrist. Because these products have the same price, it can be hard to decide which one’s best for you.

    When we interviewed Melanie Musson, a Senior Health Expert with InsuranceProviders.com, she explained that “You might want to consider smartwatch options because watches are familiar to most seniors, and something familiar may not cause as much anxiety as something new.”

    But know that there is another difference between these two products. Only the Mobile Plus has a built-in two-way speaker that you use to communicate with Lively if you press the button. With the watch, you must have your smartphone with you. The watch connects to the phone, so if you fall or press the button, you talk with a Lively agent through your phone.

    Customer Support

    Call center Help

    If there’s one area that concerns us with GreatCall Lively, it’s customer support. When reading through customer reviews on Trustpilot, most customers gave a 5/5 star or 1/5 star rating—and poor customer service is the most common complaint. Customer service complaints include rude representatives, poor technical support, and billing issues.

    The only silver lining is that we didn’t find many complaints about the emergency services, but there were very few reviews about this aspect of the company. We recommend trying out any product you buy within the 30-day trial period to ensure that the services work for you. Consider using the button to speak with an emergency support rep and trying out other features if you opt for them, such as the Urgent Care medical line.

    Pricing and Plans In-Depth

    Lively Health and Safety Packages

    Basic Package Preferred Package Ultimate Package
    Medical Alert Systems (Lively Mobile Plus and Lively Wearable2) $24.99 $29.99 $39.99
    Lively Cell Phones (Jitterbug Smart3 and Jitterbug Flip2) $19.99 $24.99 $34.99
    Features
  • Urgent Response
  • Urgent Response
  • Urgent Care
  • Lively Link app
  • Urgent Response
  • Urgent Care
  • Lively Link app
  • Automatic fall detection*
  • Personal Operator*
  • Lively Rides*
  • *Automatic fall detection is only available with the Medical Alert Systems, while the Personal Operator and Lively Rides are only available with the Lively Jitterbug phones.

    How GreatCall Lively Mobile Compares to Other Medical Alert Systems

    Medical Guardian vs. GreatCall Lively Mobile

    Both Medical Guardian and GreatCall Lively provide monthly medical alert plans for when you’re out and about, but in this regard, Lively is more affordable. With Lively, you pay as little as $24.99/monthly for a medical alert system that you take with you. But with Medical Guardian, the monthly rate for these plans starts at $44.95.

    However, if you want a simple home-based system, you’ll need to opt for Medical Guardian. Medical Guardian has home plans with a base station connected to your landline, a wearable device, and emergency buttons that you can place around the home. Lively doesn’t have these types of plans, although Lively does offer unique cell phones designed for seniors with optional emergency support.

    Another important difference between these companies is customer satisfaction. On Trustpilot, GreatCall Lively has better ratings than Medical Guardian, which has some of the lowest ratings that we’ve come across for a popular medical alert company.

    Bay Alarm Medical vs. GreatCall Lively Mobile

    Bay Alarm Medical has more impressive customer satisfaction than GreatCall Lively, earning it the spot of the Most Trusted and Highly Reviewed medical alert system in our compilation of the Best Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection. On Trustpilot, Bay Alarm Medical has a 4.1/5 rating with nearly 1,000 reviews. In comparison, GreatCall has a 2.6/5 with 146 reviews.

    Lively and Bay Alarm Medical offer GPS smartwatches and mobile help buttons for emergency support when you leave your home, and these plans have similar pricing. But only Lively’s smartwatch offers fall detection. So if you prefer a watch to a button and want automatic fall detection, Lively’s a better option.

    Another difference is that Bay Alarm Medical has an in-home alert system, while Lively offers cell phones for seniors. Additionally, Lively’s Urgent Care doctor and nurse line is a unique offering that’s excellent for anyone who wants a simple and affordable telehealth provider.

    MobileHelp vs. GreatCall Lively Mobile

    MobileHelp is one of the medical alert companies with excellent customer reviews on third-party sites. On the Better Business Bureau site, MobileHelp has 4.7/5 stars and 60 customer reviews, compared to Lively’s mediocre 2.6/5 rating on Trustpilot. With this in mind, you may want to choose MobileHelp over Lively if you don’t want to struggle with mediocre customer service and billing issues.

    But if your loved one would like a senior-friendly phone with emergency support, Lively provides a unique offering. Just know that only Lively’s medical alert plans offer fall detection, which you can also get with the MobileHelp at-home or mobile medical alert systems.

    As for emergency coverage outside of your home, Lively is slightly more affordable, with plans starting as low as $24.99/month. You’re looking at $29.95/month and up with MobileHelp. Another Perk with Lively’s medical alert devices is that the Mobile Plus and the Wearable2 have fall detection built-in. With MobileHelp’s products, you’ll need to carry both the original button as well as a separate fall detection device if you opt for automatic fall detection.

    LifeFone vs. GreatCall Lively Mobile

    LifeFone is one of the best medical alert companies for add-ons and customer satisfaction. The LifeFone app is slightly more advanced than Lively’s, including perks like a first motion of the day alert to family or friends and texts that tell you when your battery is low.

    Additionally, LifeFone is truly risk-free to try. With no activation fees or equipment fees and a fee-free 30-day trial period, you have less financial risk trying out LifeFone than GreatCall Lively. Lively’s plans typically have activation fees, equipment fees, and a $10 cancellation fee. And with an incredible 4.6/5 customer review on Trustpilot compared to Lively’s 2.6/5, you’re likely to have a smoother experience with LifeFone.

    But one big difference that may have you choose Lively is price. Lively’s on-the-go plans for active seniors are some of the most affordable that we’ve found, and they boast unique benefits like Urgent Care—which provides telehealth services for no additional cost. LifeFone’s on-the-go plans range from $39.95/month to $50.95/month, compared to Lively’s $24.99–$39.99/month price.

    Medical Alert vs. GreatCall Lively Mobile

    Medical Alert has a more robust offering if you want a medical alert device that works only in and around your home. When you pay annually, prices start as low as $19.95/month, or $29.95/month if you also want automatic fall detection. With Lively, there’s no home system but an on-the-go button, which you’ll need to charge from time to time when you’re at home. Additionally, Medical Alert has voice-activated home wall buttons that can help in the case of a fall or other emergency.

    While Medical Alert is a great option for folks who spend most of their time at home, Lively is more affordable for on-the-go coverage. Medical Alert is $42.95/month for this service, with an additional $10/month for fall detection. In comparison, Lively’s similar coverage ranges from just $24.99 to $39.99/month. And Lively is the only company with medical alert services paired with easy-to-use cell phone plans.

    GreatCall Lively Medical Guardian Bay Alarm Medical MobileHelp LifeFone Medical Alert
    Monthly Price $24.99–$39.99 $29.95–$54.95 $21.95–$59.95 $24.95–$74.95 $24.95–$45.95 $22.95–$42.95
    Equipment Fee $49.99 $0–$124.95 $0–$179 $0 $0 $79–$229
    Activation Fee $35 $0 $0 $0 or $49.95 $0 $0
    Cellular or landline? Cellular Both Both Both Both Both
    Money-back Guarantee 30 days ($10 fee) None 30 days 30 days 30 days 30 days
    Customer Rating 2.6/5 1.3/5 4.1/5 4.7/5 4.6/5 1.1/5
    Standout Features
  • Cell phones for seniors
  • Affordable for on-the-go support
  • Urgent Care remote medical visits
  • Discounts for spouse monitoring
  • Discounts for paying annually
  • Attractive pendant charms
  • Smartwatch alert device
  • Positive customer reviews
  • Affordable for couples
  • Health and activity tracking
  • Tablet-connected home device
  • Optional daily check-in
  • Discounts for spouse coverage
  • Long battery life
  • Wall buttons with voice activation
  • Affordable home-based plans
  • Key Takeaways

    • Provides on-the-go medical alert devices and cell phones
    • One of the most affordable options on the market for emergency support
    • Automatic fall detection covers you in case of an emergency
    • Lively Link app gives family caregivers access and updates
    • Urgent Care is a telehealth platform where you can speak with a doctor or nurse 24/7
    • Mediocre customer reviews, especially surrounding customer service
    • No contracts, so you can cancel at any time

    What Customers Are Saying About GreatCall Lively Mobile Medical Alert System

    Customer Reviews About Lively’s Cell Phones for Seniors

    Purchased this phone for an emergency phone/backup phone. Lively uses a carrier that is very respected in the industry, and very reliable. We really like the simplicity of the phone, everything works as it should. Very easy to use. Highly recommend this phone. * 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

    Hank Sprute

    I purchased this flip phone for my cousin who has never used any computer technology. And her memory is poor so it’s difficult to teach her a new device. This phone is very easy to use just for phone calls and she is getting it right away. I set everything up and put in her contacts. It was extremely easy for me to do. * 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

    Jo

    Customer Reviews About Lively’s Medical Alert System

    GreatCall Emergency Alert is very reasonably priced, lightweight, and easy to use and was easy to set up. I now feel safe going outside to walk around my yard or being in the shower so I can get help if I fall. 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

    Pam Dodson

    My mom has fallen 5 times in the last 3 months and never once did the fall detection work. We found her in the yard laying by her walker last week. Thank God she had only been there a few minutes. When I hit the button after her last fall to see if it worked, they answered and told me that it had never shown all 5 times she fell and told me to insist they send a new pendant. They gave me a phone number to call and when I called I got the worst customer representative I have ever talked with, talking over me and not letting me tell what happened, just went on the defensive immediately. This is the worst company I have ever dealt with. * 1/5 stars on Trustpilot

    Joyce Hendrix

    Best thing I ever owned! One day I stubbed my toe and fell in my yard. Within seconds I had a call that a fall had been detected and the medic office had been informed of my fall, but if I wanted to cancel, just press the white button, which I did. I was not hurt, only being clumsy. It was nice to know somebody out there was ‘looking out for me.’ Gives me a real feeling of security. * 5/5 stars on Trustpilot

    Upstate NY long-time customer

    Customer Reviews About Lively’s Customer Service

    Horrible product that won’t hold a charge. Bad customer service and offer no help to get a replacement. Told them to cancel my account and they proceeded to charge me for 8 months saying they would send it to collections if I didn’t pay. * 1/5 stars on Trustpilot

    L.G.

    Three different customer service people were so breathtakingly rude they left me speechless, and two of them actually hung up on me! I’m sure they are used to dealing with confused seniors, which I am not–I was helping my mom. * 1/5 stars on Trustpilot

    Jessica

    Bottom Line

    Lively sells products designed to help improve safety for seniors. Both Lively’s medical alert devices and cell phones boast emergency support when you buy a Lively Health & Safety package, which costs between $24.99 and $39.99/month—less than most competitors in the space.

    There’s a lot to love about Lively’s products besides price. The phones have a senior-friendly design and come with unique perks like a personal operator and help with scheduling Lyft rides. We also appreciate the Urgent Care feature that comes with some of Lively’s monthly plans, which provides unlimited telehealth visits with doctors and nurses 24/7.

    While Lively provides excellent products for the cost, one downside is hard to ignore: poor customer reviews. On both Trustpilot and Better Business Bureau, there are a lot of complaints about poor customer service. Because of this, we only recommend Lively if cost is one of your biggest priorities. And if you choose Lively, consider testing out all of the features in the first month to be sure that everything works well for you.

    For other leading medical alert companies, head over to our list of the Best Medical Alert Systems for 2022.

    Why You Can Trust Our Expert Review

    Our experts independently research and recommend products we believe provide value in the lives of our readers. We’ve spent collectively more than 1,700 hours conducting in-depth research on medical alert systems. To make our picks, here’s what we did:

    • Engaged in ongoing independent research
    • Consulted with geriatricians and adult caregivers
    • Mystery shopped the brands
    • Surveyed medical alert system users
    • Tested various medical alert systems
    • Interviewed experts in the field
    • Read hundreds of verified customer reviews from trusted third parties such as Better Business Bureau and
    • Consumer Reports

    Where to Sign Up for GreatCall Lively Mobile Medical Alert System

    You can find Lively’s phones and medical alert devices online at lively.com or at select Walgreens stores. Visit Lively’s store locator if you would prefer to shop in person.

    How We Reviewed GreatCall Lively Mobile Medical Alert System

    We reviewed the GreatCall Lively Mobile Medical Alert System based on the following criteria:

    • Price of installation and monthly service
    • Warranties, contracts, and (whether it has any) hidden fees
    • Reliability of monitoring center
    • Comfort and wearability of mobile devices
    • In-home range of equipment
    • Water resistance of wearable devices
    • Battery life and recharging requirements
    • Ease of installation and use
    • Expert opinion
    • Customer service accessibility and performance
    • Customer satisfaction reviews
    • Company reputation
    • Special features such as automatic fall detection, smartphone apps for family members, and location tracking

    FAQs

    How can I pay for GreatCall services and products?

    To pay your bill, you may sign up for automatic payments, log in online and pay each month, or pay by phone using a credit or debit card. In addition, Lively accepts checks through the mail (P.O. Box 660688, Dallas, TX 75266-0688); be sure to include your payment slip to ensure that the payment goes to the correct account.

    Is GreatCall’s Lively Mobile Plus device waterproof?

    Lively’s Mobile Plus is completely waterproof, and the Wearable2 smartwatch is water-resistant. You can wear either device in the shower or in the rain.

    Is Lively the same as GreatCall?

    Yes, GreatCall and Lively are the same. GreatCall now goes by the name Lively, or you may see this company called GreatCall Lively Mobile.

    Can I return Lively?

    You may return your Lively medical alert device or phone during your 30-day trial period. There is a $10 restocking fee, and you must not have talked on your phone for more than 30 minutes to qualify for a refund.

    How much are medical alert systems from Lively?

    Whether you opt for the Lively Mobile Plus wearable button on the Wearable2 smartwatch, there is an initial $49.99 equipment fee and $35 activation feel. In addition, you must purchase a monthly Lively Health & Safety package, which costs between $24.99 and $39.99/month.

    Author: Nicole Gleichmann