LifeStation offers intentionally simple, straightforward and time-tested systems that meet the basic needs of seniors aging in place independently, without adding complicated bells and whistles that increase difficulty or resistance to using the system.
The medical alert business is becoming more and more complex with the advance of technology and the large number of new companies competing in the market.
LifeStation is a New Jersey-based company that has intentionally kept its offerings simple. As we have adopted smart phones and cellular technology into our lives, it has adopted cellular as an alternative for a phone line for its at-home base station. For its mobile device, it has adopted both cellular and GPS. However, the design of its units has remained simple and obvious.
Where it has implemented state-of-the-art technology is in its monitoring center. Here it boasts the industry’s fastest response time: 20 seconds from a button push to a human response. Since its founding in 1977, LifeStation has served the senior population reliably and affordably.
Monthly monitoring fee
Setting up service
Length of commitment
To terminate service
|Lifetime for defects|
Base unit range
Effective signal distance
Mobile device range
Effective signal distance
How system communicates
|None; it’s all cellular|
Risk-free trial period
Period for full refund
Basic equipment purchase
Fall detection button
Is it available?
Is it available?
Wearable in shower?
A medical alert system needs to meet the changing needs of its users.
The LifeStation system itself is very simple, therefore it is particularly user-friendly for all ages. It has large colorful buttons that minimize errors as mental and visual sharpness decline.
A caregiver, or even the user, can adjust the instructions given to the emergency monitoring center on how to proceed when a help button is pushed in order to meet the needs of an aging user. However, the LifeStation system lacks the internet-based monitoring tools offered by other companies. Those tools become so vital to the effectiveness of caregiver as a user’s condition declines.
What is not friendly is LifeStation’s website; in fact, it could cause trouble for older users trying to navigate it. The website does provide easy-to-understand answers to many questions in the ‘FAQ’ area. However, it also uses extensive internal links that create loops, making the site hard to follow and information hard to gather. Its lack of pricing requires a user to call a sales person for information, which may be more confusing for older users.
If we think of the two targeted audiences for a medical alert system, they are the user and the persons concerned about the user’s health. The LifeStation system is extremely friendly for the user both when health and focus are good and when they decline. The secret is the simplicity of the system.
Unfortunately, that simplicity means that loved ones are limited to little more than a notifying email whenever a button is pushed. There are no communications tools that permit loved ones or caretakers to monitor the user’s medical condition or activity level, for example. Third parties can be added to the monitoring center’s notification list once an alarm has been sounded, but they cannot access important information on a regular basis by computer or smart phone as they might on other systems.
As health declines, having access to such information about a loved one becomes increasingly important.
LifeStation offers many advantages to seniors. They include:
While LifeStation’s system is simple, it has incorporated a large number of small conveniences that make a marked difference in the comfort level of the person using the service, as well as loved ones and caregivers.
Some of LifeStation’s drawbacks include:
Over its forty years in business, LifeStation has kept its system simple, with few complicating add-ons. As a result, it is easy to understand, set up and use. Its systems have been time-tested by servicing the senior population well for so many years. The company takes pride in having its own Five Diamond CSAA certified, state-of-the-art monitoring center, with highly trained staff and with its acclaimed 20-second response time. While the company does offer online ordering, it requires calls to sales personnel in order to obtain pricing for anything other than the most basic system.
We recommend LifeStation as an excellent company in the industry for bringing simple, reliable and affordable solutions to the growing medical alert space.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Exactly what will happen when I press the button for help?
About twenty seconds after pressing the help button, a Care Specialist at the monitoring center will respond, using your name. If you are unable to communicate through the base station or mobile device, emergency medical services will be sent immediately.
If you can communicate, they will assess the situation with you and follow the plan you have predetermined of who to call when. One Care Specialist will remain on the line with you while a second one makes any needed calls.
That same plan covers how emergency services will get access to you if you cannot open the door: either a lockbox will have been installed, and the monitoring center will have given its code to them, or a friend or neighbor will be alerted to come let them in. An email-based Caregiver Alert system will also be triggered to notify loved ones or caregivers.
Who can use the LifeStation system?
While medical alert systems can be used by anyone, including healthy people living alone, they are most often used by seniors wishing to live independently at home, anyone recuperating from surgery or an illness and people living with physical challenges.
LifeStation has broadened the usefulness of its system to the visually impaired by having the ‘emergency,’ ‘cancel’ and ‘home’ buttons on its base station identified in Braille. It also uses lights and sounds as part of its alert system.
How do I know where my help button will work?
The help button, whether on the pendant or wristband, is rated for “up to 500 feet.” To be safe, you should arrange with LifeStation to test it in different locations. Those locations should include places you typically walk, such as the mailbox, and the far corners of your house. If the signal does not reach the base station, you should add extra buttons to place in those locations to be certain you are fully covered at home.
LifeStation offers a choice of three different packages to reflect your lifestyle. In addition to the features in the System Overview, each package includes:
LifeStation In-Home ($29.95/month, or $311.40/year)
The In-Home landline-based system works best for someone who only needs protection within the house and a short distance outside of it.
LifeStation In-Home Wireless ($36.95/month, or $395.40/year)
The In-Home Wireless system works the same as the landline system but uses AT&T’s 3G cellular network to meet the needs of someone who does not have a landline.
LifeStation’s GPS-Enhanced Mobile Alert ($48.95/month, or $539.40/year)
This mobile device about the size of a deck of cards with a single button will alert LifeStation’s monitoring center from anywhere in the U.S. that has 9-1-1 service and cell phone coverage. Having a speaker and a microphone, this mobile device replaces both the help button and the base unit. It provides cellular service through AT&T and GPS satellite tracking technology so you can be located immediately wherever you might need emergency medical assistance.
LifeStation Non-GPS Mobile Emergency Button ($9.95/month)
This mobile device about the size of a deck of cards with a single button will contact the nearest 9-1-1 operator from anywhere in the U.S. that has both 9-1-1 service and cell phone coverage. It is very easy to use and offers an affordable solution for those who are often away from the house.
LifeStation Assurance Plan ($5/month)
LifeStation’s Senior Fall Detection ($7/month)
Wall-mounted button ($2.49 - $3.49/month, depending on number ordered): for bathing areas or areas in your house where you might not have your pendant or direct access to the base station
Lockbox ($2.99/month) to hold your house key securely where it is accessible to emergency responders who come to your aid when you cannot unlock your door
Additional user ($3.99/month) for a second help button so an extra person can use the same home system.
LifeStation’s service is offered on a month-by-month basis, with no long-term contractual commitment. It does offer some price breaks over the monthly fee if you pay quarterly or annually, however, it is not clearly written that you get your unused fees back if you cancel during that term. Cancellation of service requires 30-day advance notice and service is not formally cancelled until the equipment has been received by LifeStation. That requires calling for instructions, awaiting receipt of a shipping label and actual shipping time. No cancellation fees are due.
LifeStation warrants that its equipment will be free from defect. It will replace any defective equipment at no charge, including replacement batteries. However, any equipment damaged or lost will need to be replaced at your expense, which could cost $30 for a lost help button or $300 to replace a base station. However, LifeStation’s Assurance Plan (at $5/month) covers those costs. All elements must be returned at the end of service.
LifeStation’s monitoring center is Five Diamond CSAA certified, as well as UL-List certified. The company’s rating with the Better Business Bureau is A+.
LifeStation’s ‘wearables’ are somewhat utilitarian: a grey plastic pendant or a grey button on a black wristband.
LifeStation has been providing “life safety monitoring” since it was founded in 1977 and brings over 100 years of combined experience in its management team. It is an established and respected company in the medical alerts industry. Today its medical monitoring system is said to be “designed by industry veterans who have one goal in mind – secured independence.”
2 Stahuber Avenue
Union, NJ 07083