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Sr. Content Manager
Edited By: Lauren Hamer
Lauren Hamer Editor
Lauren is the editor for Retirement Living focused on discussing current senior-related issues, including retirement planning, consumer protection, and health and wellness. With six years of finance and career journalism experience, Lauren has edited personal finance content for Credible, Angi, Slickdeals, Jobs for the Future, and more.
If you’ve been thinking about getting a medical alert system for yourself or a loved one, Lively Medical Alert devices are highly-rated for helping people live more independently, and the company has been providing simple-to-use medical alert devices and smartphones for seniors for over a decade. We chose Lively for inclusion in our Best Medical Alert Systems guide because of affordable plans and upfront cost, fast response times, and top notch customer service.
GreatCall Lively Mobile is an affordable, waterproof medical alert system with excellent response time and top notch customer service.
GreatCall Lively Medical Alert Review
GreatCall is a technology company based in San Diego and operating since 2005. The company offers products designed to allow older adults to age in place, with streamlined designs and built-in accessibility and safety features. GreatCall is primarily known for its push-button medical alert devices as well as Jitterbug Flip and Jitterbug Smart 2 cellphones.
GreatCall’s two medical alert models, Lively Mobile Plus and Lively Wearable, connect you immediately with a helpful agent, emergency responders, roadside assistance, or other services.
Connects to 24/7 assistance, caregivers, and emergency responders
Waterproof and can be used in the shower
Runs on reliable Verizon cellular network at no additional charge
Speaker quality may diminish in noisy settings
Lively Mobile Plus requires a nightly charge
GreatCall Lively Plus Medical Alert
GreatCall Lively Plus looks much like a pager and can be worn around your neck on a lanyard, clipped to your pocket or belt, or kept in your pocket or purse. If you have an emergency, press the button on the Lively Plus to connect with an agent.
You’ll speak to the GreatCall agents directly through the device’s speakers, and they will locate you using the built-in GPS in the Lively Plus Medical Alert. They will then notify the appropriate emergency responders or individuals to get you the help you need.
GreatCall Lively Wearable Medical Alert
GreatCall Lively Wearable is smaller compared to the Lively Mobile Plus medical alert device. Lively Wearable is designed to be worn on the wristband like a watch or around the neck on a lanyard. This medical alert device is also a fitness tracker and can keep track of your steps and give you daily goals for movement.
Push the button on the GreatCall Lively Wearable to connect to an agent through your smartphone. There is no speaker on the device, which uses Bluetooth technology to integrate with apps on your smartphone, so you must have an Android 4.4 or iPhone iOS 8.0 or later. You need to keep your phone within 150 feet of your GreatCall Lively Wearable medical alert at all times.
Compare Great Call Medical Alerts Lively Mobile Plus vs. Lively Wearable
Lively Mobile Plus
Included in the Box
Device, lanyard, charging dock, clip for belt or purse
Device, wristband, lanyard
Rechargeable on dock (charge fully before first use)
CR2450 lithium coin batteries (included), not rechargeable
Product Size and Weight
1.67 x 2.63 inches, 1.98 oz
1.3 x 1.4 inches, 0.7 oz
Yes, with lanyard
Yes, with lanyard
Options for Wear
Carry, lanyard, or belt clip
Wrist or lanyard
Daily Fitness Challenges
Yes, smartphone required
GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus Health & Safety Packages
All Lively Mobile Plus Health & Safety Packages provide 5Star Urgent Response. Lively Wearable requires you have your cellphone with you to use package features. We’ve listed the package options below, and you’ll find prices later in this guide in the cost section.
5Star Urgent Response: Push the 5Star button to speak to an agent certified by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED). The agent can assess your problem and call emergency services, a caregiver or neighbor, or others you designated. The agent stays on the line with you until you have help.
Urgent Care: Speak with a nurse or doctor any time you need to if you use GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus. You can even use this service to refill common prescriptions. Not available with Lively Wearable.
GreatCall Link: This is a mobile app your family and caregivers can download to their smartphone, so they get a notification if you contact 5Star Urgent Response.
Fall Detection: When worn on GreatCall’s specially-designed lanyard, your medical alert device detects falls and contacts 5Star Urgent Response on your behalf.
Product Replacement: GreatCall replaces your Lively Mobile Plus if it gets lost, stolen, or broken. Not available for Lively Wearable.
GreatCall Lively Medical Alert Costs
GreatCall Lively Wearable costs $49.99 to purchase, and you’ll pay $14.99 each month for 5Star Urgent Response, GreatCall Link, fitness tracking, and fall detection services.
GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus medical alert also costs $49.99, with a monthly Lively Mobile Plus Health & Safety Package fee, required to activate and use a Lively Mobile Plus device. The packages are available at three price points, each including 5Star Urgent Response with the second and third building on the previous plan.
Basic: 5Star Urgent Response at $19.99 a month
Preferred: Adds Urgent Care and GreatCall Link for $24.99 a month
Ultimate: Adds fall detection and replacement guarantee to Preferred for $34.99 monthly
GreatCall often offers promotional discounted pricing on the Lively Mobile Plus and Lively Wearable. For example, we found 15% off deals a few months before this review was published.
How to Buy a GreatCall Lively Medical Alert
Both the Lively Mobile Plus and Lively Wearable are available for purchase through GreatCall’s website. If you would prefer to purchase it in person, you can enter your ZIP code in the store locator on the site to find the nearest retailer.
GreatCall Lively Medical Alert Complaints
ConsumerAffairs reviewers give the Lively Mobile 4 out of 5 stars. Many reviews mention the company’s excellent customer service, peace of mind that comes with using a GreatCall medical alert device, and accessible price points. Complaints tend to focus on faulty devices that don’t hold a charge, so it’s a good idea to check your device by making a test call periodically.
GreatCall Lively Medical Alert also receives 4 out of 5 stars from PCMag editors, who noted the device had the fastest response times and was the most affordable of any medical alert devices they’ve tested. ConsumersAdvocate rates the medical alerts and GreatCall service a 9 out of 10 stars. GreatCall Inc. gets an “A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau.
GreatCall Lively Medical Alert Q&A
When would I use a GreatCall Lively Medical Alert? Anyone who has medical issues can use a GreatCall Medical Alert device to stay independent while having fast access to help if needed day or night. Some examples of when you may need to use GreatCall Lively Medical Alert include if you fall in the shower, walk to your car at night and want an agent on the line for safety, you are gardening or going for a run alone and become injured, or you live alone and feel safe knowing help is a button-push away.
How do GreatCall Lively Medical Alerts notify a caregiver or family member in case of an emergency? First, your family member or caregiver must install the GreatCall Link app on their smartphone. Then, they will receive an alert through the app on their phone if you press the emergency button to call for help. This service is available if you have the Lively Mobile Plus Preferred or Ultimate plan, or if you have the Lively Wearable.
How does fall detection work on a GreatCall Lively Medical Alert device? GreatCall Lively Medical Alerts have an internal, patented triaxial accelerometer to detect sudden changes in body acceleration which happens during a fall. If the device detects that you’ve fallen, it automatically contacts 5Star Urgent Response agents and uses your GPS location to send help in the event you are unconscious. You need to wear either the Lively Mobile Plus or Lively Wearable on a lanyard around your neck to take advantage of fall detection.
What colors are available for GreatCall Lively Medical Alerts? The Lively Wearable is available in white with gold trim or gray with gunmetal trim, and the Lively Mobile Plus is available only in silver.
Is it difficult to set up a GreatCall Lively Medical Alert device? Setting up either GreatCall Lively Medical Alert is quite simple. Each device comes with a Quick Start Guide to help you get set up fast with instructions on how to make sure the device is charged and working.
GreatCall’s Lively Mobile Plus or Lively Wearable are reliable options for safety with extra peace of mind for yourself or a loved one who is living alone. Consider the Mobile Plus if you want to be able to make emergency calls directly through the device, or GreatCall Lively Wearable to save monthly package fees if you feel confident you will have your cellphone handy in case of emergency.
My mother has had a Lively Medical Alert device for a year and it has been nothing but trouble. It needs a cell phone, which a 92 year old doesn't always know how to manage. But we cancelled her landline and got her a cell. Since this device depends on cell reception, in our rural area it was not reliable.
We paid for the fall detection service since she is at risk for falling. One morning she did fall and the device malfunctioned completely!! She wasn't able to get anyone to answer her call and the fall detection did not work.
She had to scoot naked on her butt out to the living room to get to the phone and call 911 for help. The device was worthless. I was furious because this could have been so awful for my mom and I called Lively to report this.
Various people tried to troubleshoot the issue, each giving me a different answer. Finally a manager stated that the device had been out of service for the time when it was needed. However, the green light was on, the battery was fully charged giving us no indication there was a problem.
Their answer was never satisfactory to me, since it seemed they were each venturing a different guess as to what happened. When I asked for a refund for the year, they resisted but finally agreed to a 3 month break on payment for the device.
Since that incident we have had Mom test it every evening to make sure there is a connection. But I have no faith in the system and the company. We have cancelled our service and would not recommend this device to anyone.
We have set up a new land line for my mom and have gotten a different company to provide her with the medical alert.
The new company doesn't require her to remember to charge the device each day (which means it has to be taken off and not worn for a period of time!) and will hopefully be much more reliable with the landline. Lively was a complete disappointment. I can't believe AARP endorses this device!
May 23 2021 1:34AM
I've had the Lively for years. I've had to call them & have good responses & help. They even called people I have listed because I accidentally pushed the button for help when didn't answer the people on the other end.
Once everyone was called they told them I was ok no big deal. The light on top wasn't connecting to the person the other end. All I had to do is reboot the device.
Big Lake, MN
January 09 2021 3:09AM
I've had Lively hearing aids for almost a year and I still love them! Being able to "control" the hearing aids with my cell phone makes my life so much easier. The initial Zoom meetings answered every question I had and I also got some great tips.
I've had experience with Customer Service a few times and they go above and beyond to satisfy their customers. I have already told many friends about Lively. They have a quality product at a great price and they back it up with 100% satisfaction. I am so thankful that I found Lively.
July 14 2019 2:59PM
One of my family members got the GreatCall Lively Plus, Medical Alert device for safety and to seek emergency help when needed. Well it was needed recently and it did not help at all, for several hours no one knew she needed help, it did not call 911, it was suppose to connect us family members it did not. After several conversations with GreatCall, we finally were told do not use it, package it up and return it for a $50.00 Best Buy Gift Card. What a con job, we checked and it had been recalled yet no one told us until we called them. Now it is time to hold them accountable and seek legal action, they can not be believed or trusted
July 11 2019 2:00AM
I'm an American Disabled Veteran, who had been doing business with GreatCall since 2015, when this year they asked me to get the new Mobile Lively Plus Device as it is 100% better than the old one. So I did, when I needed it twice it did NOT work, no operator, no 911, no fall detection, no GPS, not waterproof.
Nothing would work and I suffered from 2 falls. Great Call tried to lie and lie and cover up the truth that the device is defective and does NOT work, they tried to bribe me with a $50 gift card to there own company, then one of their lawyer tried to offer me $1500.00 I declined now they are in at least one Federal Class Action suit, soon I will be bringing a state suit for fraud, theft, threats, intimidation, unfair business practices, elder abuse, discrimination, civil rights violations and more.
We have learned that they have been paying $$$ to many sites and fake news online to say they are a good company one writer admitted today he was paid to say good things about this device same with Business Wire they too got paid to print their fake story. IF you own any BBY shares sell them and tell others these two companies do NOT care about you or your health or safety just you $$$$$ They even tried to get their hi-powered lawyers ( DLA. Piper) to intimidate me off the case that was a major mistake of theirs now I'm bringing a state case and will be doing more to let the Public know the truth and facts.
San Luis Obispo, CA
July 06 2019 1:20AM
Today I spoke to a Great Call customer service person (I will expose if it was a male or female) as the person said they could be fired for telling the truth, so this person called me after hours from their home.
As was revealed, the company Great Call willfully and with malice aforethought stated the company knew the New Mobile Lively Plus device was ineffective and defective from day one, the engineers of the software dept. warned the powers at be of this problem! Yet the corporate bosses had it sold anyway as the company needed a boost in profits.
The Device was only recalled after numerous complaints were received by the public. Both Best Buy and Great Call both lied to the Public, media and American people pulled off a major theft, defrauded the public as well as stock manipulation to gain profits. Now that the general public knows of the fraud, SEC violations and other violations of US codes the two companies are now being sued in US District Courts as well as several State Courts.
If you are a victim of Great Call and Best Buy I highly recommend you retain counsel and file suits, the American people have been conned by these companies and it is time to go after them in the courts and in the eyes of Public Opinion.
Culver City, CA
July 01 2019 10:32PM
When help was needed I pushed the client's Great Call button? Waited, waited no response. Called 911 from a Landline. Had we relied on this crappy failed Great Call Lively Plus my client would be Dead. After telling the family members of the issue they called Great Call and got the go-around of excuses and denials, all lies, as the device in now on a Safety Recall. The companies Best Buy and Great Call will be held liable for the lying, false advertising and failed Medical Device that is not working and apparently never did...
Daly City, CA
June 30 2019 1:09AM
Liars, cheaters, scammers and one big scam to defraud the people who are ill and dying, how this company can exist is suspicious at best, deceitful and liars. They have sold fake and defective medical devices and they knew it and still sold it. Malice and fraud is the only thing to say about them....
June 28 2019 2:51AM
Received notice from my employer that the GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus emergency Medical device is on recall?Tthat all the staff need to return the devices to HR, why didn't Great Call or Best Buy tell us the devices do not work, don't help anyone if needed. I tried it and yep, it did NOT work. How dare these companies falsely inform the public and elderly sick people who got one not knowing the device is faulty and a failed device. No one should have to find out the hard way, when you need help and it does not work, you die. Dirty lying corrupt corporate America - Best Buy and GreatCall you are dishonest and deceitful....
Long Beach, CA
June 27 2019 2:57PM
How can anyone give this company a rating of anything but VERY BAD, first the up sale pitch is one big fat lie, they talk up the device yet when you need to use it, nothing works as advertised. No it did not locate my wife or notify me. It did not even connect to a emergency operator, no help was dispatched, nothing when we called which took over 11 minutes of waiting, far too long we were told that the Device needs to be returned ASAP as it is in a safety recall? Safety Recall-- what they mean is a cover up of the facts the entire program and its devices are B.S. and not ever going to work as we were told. DO NOT use or buy this device if you cherish your loved ones this is a dangerous UN-dependable non functioning device. It is a fraud on all who bought one.