Lively (Formerly GreatCall)

Lively, which was known as GreatCall for many years, offers a range of senior-focused tech and safety products. Lively is probably best known for its Jitterbug phones, which offer older adults a simpler alternative to complex smartphones. But products like alert buttons and mobile apps are also sold by the company.

Christian Simmons, writer and researcher for RetireGuide
  • Written by
    Christian Simmons

    Christian Simmons

    Financial Writer

    Christian Simmons is a writer for RetireGuide and a member of the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE®). He covers Medicare and important retirement topics. Christian is a former winner of a Florida Society of News Editors journalism contest and has written professionally since 2016.

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    Lamia Chowdhury, editor for RetireGuide.com

    Lamia Chowdhury

    Financial Editor

    Lamia Chowdhury is a financial content editor for RetireGuide and has over three years of marketing experience in the finance industry. She has written copy for both digital and print pieces ranging from blogs, radio scripts and search ads to billboards, brochures, mailers and more.

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    Robin Schiltz, C.D.S.
    Robin Schlitz, RetireGuide Reviewer

    Robin Schiltz, C.D.S.

    Senior Safety Expert

    Robin Schiltz is a certified Senior Home Safety Specialist and a certified CARES® Dementia Specialist™. In addition, Robin is the co-owner of Senior Safety Advice, an online platform that provides well-researched information and solutions for caregivers and seniors. Robin is an experienced writer in the financial and senior care industries.

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  • Published: July 12, 2022
  • Updated: May 23, 2023
  • 7 min read time
  • This page features 3 Cited Research Articles
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APA Simmons, C. (2023, May 23). Lively (Formerly GreatCall). RetireGuide.com. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-life-leisure/senior-safety/medical-alert-systems/lively-formerly-greatcall/

MLA Simmons, Christian. "Lively (Formerly GreatCall)." RetireGuide.com, 23 May 2023, https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-life-leisure/senior-safety/medical-alert-systems/lively-formerly-greatcall/.

Chicago Simmons, Christian. "Lively (Formerly GreatCall)." RetireGuide.com. Last modified May 23, 2023. https://www.retireguide.com/retirement-life-leisure/senior-safety/medical-alert-systems/lively-formerly-greatcall/.

What Is Lively (Formerly Known as GreatCall)?

Lively is a senior device company owned by Best Buy that offers various products that specialize in medical alert systems like fall detection and alerting emergency services.

The company was known as GreatCall for years but officially changed its name to Lively in 2021.

While competitors often center their services around alert buttons and similar devices, Lively in part stands out due to its more complex offerings.

It may be best known for its Jitterbug cellphones, which come with both flip phone and smartphone options now. Other offerings include wearable devices and apps that can be downloaded to Apple Watches or Amazon Alexa.

These products have the advantages of offering additional services and perks for users beyond just offering a line to an emergency operator. The smartphone can include everything from calls and texts to brain games.

But the drawback when compared to competitors is that some of these products have the potential to be much more complex for seniors to use than a simple alert button.

Lively (formerly GreatCall) offers a flip phone and a smartphone that are specifically made for seniors. Fall detection can be added to any of their devices for greater peace of mind.

What Medical Alert Systems Does Lively Offer?

Lively offers several different classes of medical alert systems. They sell a couple different types of phones, a wearable alert button and a mobile alert button.

Some other products like smartphone apps are offered as well. The best option for you will depend on what you’re looking for and how extensive of a service you are interested in.

Jitterbug

Lively offers a few different mobile devices under their Jitterbug brand. It’s important to remember when looking for a device that these are not just simple medical alert systems. They are full-fledged and functioning phones.

Essentially, these products are something you would look at to replace your current phone, not pair it with an existing device you have.

The Jitterbug Smart3 is the smartphone option that Lively offers, which is advertised as one of the simplest and easy-to-use smartphones on the market.

Differences Between Jitterbug Smart3 and a Standard Smartphone
  • Larger screen and text
  • Louder speakers
  • Simpler menu and navigation
  • Built-in urgent response button

Simplicity is key to many seniors who don’t want to deal with the hassle and frustration of trying to work the latest smartphone device.

The Smart3 caters specifically to seniors, with a large screen, loud speakers and very simple navigational menu. There is an urgent response button built directly into the phone that you can press if anything happens, like a medical emergency or fall.

The button will immediately connect you with an operator who can call for emergency services if necessary. There are numerous other senior-specific apps and tools built into the phone as well.

The price ranges from $19.99 a month to $34.99 a month depending on the package that you are interested in.

Lively also offers a flip phone alternative, the Jitterbug Flip2. It is far simpler than the Smart3 and is essentially just a standard communication device with a built-in urgent response button. It may be a more appealing option to seniors who want the convenience of a medical alert button on their phone without all the features and add-ons that come with a smartphone.

The Flip2 costs $74.99 plus a $19.99 monthly fee.

Lively Mobile Plus

Lively Mobile Plus is probably the simplest option that Lively offers. It is essentially an alert button that you can carry with you.

If anything happens, you can press the button to connect to an urgent response agent. Agents are available around the clock, so you will always have access to one in the case of an emergency.

Communication on the device is two way, so you can speak to the operator and they will speak back. They can then contact emergency services if you need help. Lively Mobile Plus also has built-in fall detection as well.

The device costs $37.49, and the monthly fee ranges from $24.99 to $34.99 depending on the package that you opt to purchase.

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How Do Lively’s Medical Alert Systems Work?

Lively’s medical alert systems are simple and not too different from how other medical alert companies structure their services.

Most of the devices come with a medical alert button, which is essentially the equivalent of a panic button. If you have a medical emergency or a fall, then you can press the button to be connected to an operator.

The operator can assess your condition by talking to you and alert emergency services if you need an ambulance or any other kind of emergency medical services sent to your house.

The way the service works varies from item to item. For example, the Lively Mobile Plus device includes fall detection as well, meaning it can automatically call for help if you fall, even without you having to press a button.

The idea behind these types of services is to give you peace of mind throughout your life by promoting senior safety. The older you get, the more susceptible you may be to falls, injuries and medical situations.

Having a medical alert button that you can take with you virtually everywhere, whether in the form of a phone or a pendant, can help ensure you will always have quick and immediate access to medical services if something happens.

What Other Safety Services Does Lively Offer?

Lively’s main services center around its Jitterbug phones and Lively Mobile Plus.

The phones come in both flip and smartphone models. The smartphone is more advanced, including more features and services, but both come with an alert button that can be pressed at any time. The Mobile Plus is a simple alert button that you can carry around with you and it detects falls.

But there are some other services as well.

ProductPrice
Jitterbug Smart3$149.99 to purchase, plus monthly plan cost of $19.99 to $34.99
Jitterbug Flip2$99.99 to purchase, plus monthly plan cost of $19.99 to $34.99
Lively Mobile Plus $49.99 to purchase, plus monthly plan cost of $24.99 to $34.99

Lively offers smartphone apps that can be connected to your iPhone or Android device. These apps can also typically be paired with a lively product, such as the Wearable 2, to enhance it.

There are Lively apps that can be added to an Apple Watch or Amazon Alexa as well, enhancing both of those devices by essentially allowing them to double as medical alert devices.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Lively?

There are many pros to opting for a Lively device. One of the benefits is the many available ways to get a medical alert button.

If you want one that is built into a phone and comes with other features, then the Jitterbug is a good option. At the same time, you can opt for a simple button that you carry around.

Another pro of Lively is that the prices are generally affordable compared to some other companies, especially since an increased monthly price typically comes with more services or perks.

Lively products are also a good option to integrate with existing technology that you have. For example, there are downloadable Lively apps that can essentially turn your existing devices, like an Apple Watch or Amazon Alexa, into medical alert devices by adding an alert option.

But there are some noteworthy drawbacks to selecting a Lively product as well. One is that, while there are a range of ways to get a medical alert device, the company doesn’t offer as expansive of options as some of its competitors.

Some other companies offer things like loud speakers that can be placed in your home or packages of devices meant for both in-home and on-the-go use, so you always feel safe.

Another potential downside is the complexity of some of Lively’s devices. The Jitterbug Smart3 positions itself as a simpler and more senior-focused alternative to something like an iPhone. But it is still much more complex than a simple panic button or wearable item.

There also may be some questions about reliability. As recently as 2019, the San Diego Union-Tribune shared that Lively was forced to halt sales of its Mobile Plus and recall those that had been sold.

Last Modified: May 23, 2023

3 Cited Research Articles

  1. Sisson, P. (2019, May 31). GreatCall recalls new medical notification device, citing unspecified glitch. Retrieved from https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/story/2019-05-31/greatcall-recalls-new-medical-notification-device-citing-unspecified-glitch
  2. Lively. (n.d.). Get Lively Services On the Product That’s Right For You. Retrieved from https://www.lively.com/
  3. Lively. (n.d.). Lively Wearable. Retrieved from https://www.lively.com/static/d4dcfb8f8afe1e2f03b8c1ea7d5b9f32/lively-wearable-user-guide.pdf