RescueTouch vs. Life Alert
Since the medical alert industry is considered to be “essential” during the COVID crisis, monitoring and customer service centers are still open and ready to help. To learn more about how a medical alert device can help keep you or your elderly loved one safe and connected during this pandemic, take a look at our list of essential products for seniors during COVID-19.
Medical alert systems give seniors the ability to live independently for longer periods of time by giving them help at the touch of a button. Family members have peace of mind knowing that someone can be there to help or give advice 24 hours a day. Many devices include GPS location technology as well as two-way communication and advanced fall detection.
The advantage that medical alert systems have over cell phones is that they are more difficult to misplace because they are usually wearable. Also, they are designed to be very easy to use. There are many companies offering medical alert systems which can make it difficult to know which one to use. This is why we’ve created this comparison chart to make it easier for potential users to choose the right system.
In this guide, we are comparing RescueTouch with Life Alert. While Life Alert is the older, more experienced company, RescueTouch’s focus on the latest technology and its practicality may appeal to many seniors.
Side By Side Comparison
$99 - free priority shipping - 30-day full refund
$96/In the bathroom
$96/On the go
$24 to $54 for family monitoring
$19 for professional monitoring
$39 to $64 for combination plan
$49/month for the At Home Landline plan
$49 + $19/month for In the bathroom plan
$49 + $19/month for the On The Go plan
Monthly, quarterly and annual plans available
Optional Monthly Add-On Services
Water-Resistant Wearable Devices
Pendant and wristband
In the bathroom/landline and cellular
On the go/cellular
2-Way Voice Communication
Through wearable mobile device that family members can call
Through In the bathroom Help button, in-home base for At-Home products or wearable pendant with On The Go service
Range (From in-home base unit for landline service)
No landline required
In home/800-1000 feet
2.5 days with GPS on
5 days with GPS off
In home/72 hours back-up
Pendent/up to 10 years
FALL DETECTION, LOCATION and RESPONSE SERVICE
Included in monthly fees with all plans except the basic professional and the basic family plans
Included in monthly fees with all plans except the basic professional plan
$1 activation plus $19 per month for Help on the go with GPS
$102 one time charge plus $39 for In home or In the bathroom
Coverage Away From Home
Included with all devices
Included with On The Go products
24/7 US Call Center
Yes; monitored by AvantGuard monitoring with 40 years monitoring experience
Yes; Life Alert operates its own call center and trained operators have access to each caller's health history
Rescue Touch was founded by former Virginia Beach EMT, Scott A. Leper, in 2014. RescueTouch was developed by and is owned and operated 100% by first responders, EMTs and health care professionals. RescueTouch’s creation was heavily influenced by firsthand complaints from seniors that they had incurred excessive medical bills from automatic 911 calls for minor incidents and falls, which could have been handled by family and neighbors.
Seniors also complained about high hidden fees when the equipment was lost or broken and having to continue to pay the monthly maintenance fees until it was returned. This issue caused RescueTouch to make its equipment available as a purchase rather than providing it for “free” upfront.
RescueTouch operates more like a mobile phone with two-way communication than an emergency response call button. This allows loved ones to handle minor mishaps that don’t require emergency services as well as having the ability to check in with seniors who might normally misplace an actual cell phone or forget to charge it. RescueTouch has an unlimited range, operates with cellular technology and does not require a landline.
Pros of RescueTouch:
- Wearable device that can’t be misplaced
- Device can be called by family
- Family-and-friends-only monitoring plans available
- Affordable monthly plans
- Brand new equipment for each customer
- No hidden equipment-return fees
- Designed by a first responder
- Unlimited cellular range
- Fall detection and GPS locating available
- Four colors to choose from
Cons of RescueTouch:
- No landline option
- Newer company with a shorter track record
- Cellular service may not be reliable
- Higher upfront cost
Life Alert Overview
Life Alert’s “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” catchphrase became well-known after its founding in 1987. Life Alert features fully trained staff with access to each senior’s health history at its own 24-hour call center. Seniors can contact the call center and the representative can then determine whether emergency services are needed. Family and loved ones can receive automatic texts whenever the call button is pressed to provide non-emergency help when needed.
The Life Alert system includes a wearable pendant that is simple to operate and difficult to misplace since the user has it on their person at all times. The system does not include fall detection which many family members prefer to avoid costly emergency calls for non-emergency situations. Some fall detection systems give false readings which can be frustrating for family members and caretakers which is why Life Alert does not include this service.
The three-year contract period is the issue that causes the most complaints with Life Alert. Many complain that it is difficult to get out of the contract if the senior moves to assisted living or a nursing home and no longer needs the service.
Life Alert excels in its response times, its hardware and system, and the fact that there is a text notification for family to help in non-emergency situations. The system offers an in-shower call button as well as a wearable pendant and wristband in addition to the in-home base unit.
- CSAA Five Diamond Certified
- Waterproof pendant with long battery life
- Large monitoring call assistance
- Multiple emergency services
- Rapid response times
- Family notifications
- Multiple emergency services
- Free shipping and warranty
- Three-year contract
- No automatic fall detection
- Expensive service
- Negative Life Alert reviews
The upfront pricing for RescueTouch and Life Alert is similar, allowing the customer to buy the products and eliminate the hidden equipment return fees when the service contract is completed.
The monthly service can be lower with RescueTouch if you choose one of the less expensive plans, but the deluxe combination plan is comparable in price to Life Alert’s monthly plan. RescueTouch’s 911-only plan with direct contact with emergency services may appeal to families of seniors with major health issues or those prone to falls. The 911-only plan does not include family communication.
Life Alert’s monthly plan is less than RescueTouch’s most expensive plan, but it does not include inbound calls for family members who want to check in on a senior who frequently misplaces their cell phone or forgets to charge it.
Although both products have higher-than-average monitoring costs, RescueTouch’s system includes direct two-way communication and fall detection. Because RescueTouch’s fall detection is included in the deluxe family plan, automatic calls to emergency services can be avoided, leaving family able to check in person to see if emergency services are needed in the event of a call.
The best option would depend on the needs of the senior. For seniors with major medical issues who always are at home, Life Alert’s at-home system may be preferred because it is connected with a reliable landline. Family members might find it reassuring that their loved one can still have reliable assistance even during a power outage.
On the other hand, there are many negative reviews about Life Alert’s three-year contract and the difficulty getting out of it. For this reason, we recommend RescueTouch, especially for seniors who are on the go and have fewer major medical problems. RescueTouch’s combination plan is $39 per month, direct 911 calling for emergencies that warrant it and up to five contacts for incidents that don’t.