Whether it is socializing through bridge club, golf, and luncheons, or venturing as far as the backyard garden, we know that getting out of the house and staying active is important to many older adults. GreatCall acknowledges this and has designed all four of their medical alert devices with these on-the-go older adults in mind.Read this Greatcall review to discover from medical alert devices to smart phones.
These devices are mobile, but they can also be used at home. The GreatCall products, unlike most at-home or hybrid systems, do not require a base unit to be plugged into a central location in the home or wall buttons to be placed throughout the house.Rather, GreatCall consists of a single, streamlined device which we think you’ll really like.
What you will learn
WHO IS GREATCALL?
GreatCall is a medical alert system provider that integrates most of its services with smartphone use and even sells Jitterbug smartphones and call plans to seniors. They have been in business since 2006 and market to active aging adults. They claim to be the original easy to use senior friendly cell phone. When compared to other medical alert services, which primarily focus on stand-alone equipment reserved exclusively for medical alert use, this is a fairly modern choice. They currently have over 900,000 customers and all of their customer service is based in the United States.
GreatCall purchased Lively in December 2015, a connected health platform that includes more traditional stand-alone medical alert devices as well as advanced features and a modern look for active seniors seeking emergency response protection. For retirees and caregivers, they also have a suite of healthy , medical, and safety apps. GreatCall has over 1,000 employees and is based in Carlsbad, California.
Some of GreatCall’s services, such as their well-known 5Star Urgent Response, only require a smart phone, and you can even use your current smart phone with their medical alert cell phone app. Their equipment is contemporary in appearance, and their sales representatives are not overbearing. We like that they have all of the latest equipment, including cellular phone service, GPS, activity tracking, drug reminders, and fall detection.
Best Buy purchased GreatCall in August 2018. Best Buy is one of the major big box retailers that has been investing in technology for the elderly and will be able to market and sell GreatCall’s products in their stores. In addition to Greatcall, Best Buy is investing in other home health products such as TytoCare which is technology that helps to manage your family’s healthcare at home such as personal EKG monitors, smart thermometers and an at home medical exam kit for online doctor visits.
GreatCall will keep their headquarter location and call centers in Carlsbad, CA and Reno, NA.
What we enjoy
When it comes to cellular plans, GreatCall doesn’t believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. You can choose an individual plan that best suits your requirements. GreatCall has options for you, whether you want unlimited data for streaming on the go or a cheaper plan with no data at all. Plus, any plan you select includes senior-friendly features for added security and support.
GreatCall uses the best network in the country.
GreatCall mobile uses the Verizon network to provide coverage for its customers. Lucky for you, Verizon covers 70% of the country and is the most reliable network available.
GreatCall mobile operates as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). Which is a fancy way of saying that GreatCall uses Verizon’s network instead of having its own network. GreatCall provides excellent service on Verizon’s network, so you shouldn’t have much issue making a call or sending a text (as long as you’re not from the remote areas of Alaska).
The only catch with having an MVNO is that your phone can be deprioritized. Since GreatCall is essentially borrowing Verizon’s network, you might run into a situation where your service drops out in a crowded area. This happens because Verizon gives priority to its own customers over GreatCall customers. Unless your church bingo games have hundreds of people present, you probably won’t experience deprioritization very often.
Included health and safety add-ons
You get the simple health and safety package included with your GreatCall cell phone plan. 5Star Urgent Response and Brain Games are included in the basic package.
The 5Star Urgent Response service allows you to connect with trained agents who can assist you in any situation by simply pressing a button. Have you recently tried to lift something and thrown out your back? Press the button to request assistance. Perhaps you’ve suddenly become light-headed and want to double-check that everything is in order. You can get assistance by pressing the button. Plus, children and grandchildren will be glad to know there’s an additional set of eyes and ears looking out for their Nana.
Brain Games is also installed on your handset. These simple games can help seniors maintain their mental health and memory. Plus, it’ll keep you occupied while you’re stuck in line behind the person with a million coupons at the grocery store.
The medical warning system on your phone
GreatCall offers four different mobile medical alert system options (they have several other legacy options, but only actively promote these four personal emergency response systems on their website). Please note that in order to use Verizon’s service, you must have Verizon cell coverage in your region (you do not have to have a Verizon data plan to utilize their urgent response service).
1. Lively Mobile Plus
This is the simplest medical alert device they offer. No landline or other equipment is needed with GreatCall Lively Mobile Plus, and you can speak directly to emergency assistance through the device. Available with optional fall detection utilizing accelerometer technology. The latest edition includes enhanced GPS technology, 4G LTE integration, improved battery life and loudest amplified speaker to date.
2. Lively Wearable
With a single push of a button, you’ll be linked to GreatCall’s emergency response team via a smartphone app. This option essentially transforms your smartphone into an emergency response device. You will need a smartphone with cellular service and an Android 7.0/iPhone iOS 11 or later operating system (this device uses Bluetooth, data, and GPS location from the smartphone). Your smartphone will automatically call an urgent response agent when you press the wearable medical alert button. Fall detection is included when you purchase the preferred plan, which is similar to other life alert reviews of other types of products. The button is also stylish and water resistant. The latest version also includes a daily step counter and health tips for seniors.
3. Jitterbug Smart2
A cellular smart phone with an app that offers a mobile medical alert service. This mobile device has a 5.5-inch screen, big icons, a simplified menu and text, a long-lasting battery, voice typing, and an emergency response app .
4. Jitterbug Flip
A cellular flip phone with a mobile service that includes a medical alert button. When you need a basic phone with built-in emergency assistance, this is an easy-to-use option. Larger buttons, a bright screen, a powerful speaker, a voice dial, and a magnifier with flashlight are all included.
GreatCall review: Is this medical alert system good?
GreatCall Mobile offers potentially life-saving features for senior citizens, so in that sense, it’s a pretty amazing wireless plan. The fact you can click a button when you feel like something is certainly wrong brings some peace of mind. Thankfully, GreatCall also offers solid coverage on top of everything else thanks to Verizon’s network.
Plans: You can essentially build your own data plan with how many options you have. You can choose anywhere between a 750-minute plan or unlimited data, call, and text. The only issue is that you can’t bundle plans together in a family plan.
Coverage: GreatCall uses Verizon’s mobile network, which just so happens to be the best in the country. You may run into deprioritization from time to time, but generally your coverage should feel reliable.
Overall: GreatCall makes a lot of sense for older folks who want a simple device with lots of helpful features.
- Simple menu.
- Big, bright display with large text.
- Backlit keypad.
- Quick Response Time
- No Equipment Costs
- No Shipping Fee or Other Hidden Fees
- Free App to Assist Caregivers
- One-of-a-Kind Service that Connects With Doctors/Nurse Practitioners
- Sleek and Contemporary Design
- Location Detection for Both the Response Center and Caregivers
- No internet or email access.
- No microSD card slot.
- Additional services cost extra.
- Two-Way Talk Not Included on Device
- Design of Battery Case Could Be Better
- Fall Detection Not Practical
What kind of download speeds can I expect with GreatCall?
Verizon’s network offers some of the fastest internet speeds around. The average download speed on the Verizon network is 20.9 Mbps.In other words, you shouldn’t have to spend much time waiting for things to load while streaming or browsing the internet.
Where can I get the battery for the Lively Wearable2 that I need?
The CR2450 can be found in most pharmacies and hardware stores. The battery is also available for purchase online.
What are the names of the physicians and nurses I may consult with at Urgent Care?
FoneMed, a private company that provides telehealth nursing services, collaborates with Urgent Care. MDLive is the company that hires doctors.
How do caregivers get access to the caregivers’ app, GreatCall Link?
GreatCall Link is available for free download on the App Store and Google Play.
What is the return policy for GreatCall?
GreatCall will refund purchases if they are returned in “like new” condition and returned within 30 days of the purchase date. Equipment fees, activation fees, and charges for the first month of service are all refundable. Shipping fees are nonrefundable, and a $10 restocking fee will be applied.
Is there a guarantee from GreatCall?
Yes, your Lively Wearable2 comes with a one-year limited warranty when you buy it. The protection starts the day you buy it.