NorthStar is pleased to offer Lifeline installations and support to clients in and around the NorthStar coverage area. Information about our program can be found below.
Who is Lifeline? With over 30 years of experience, Lifeline Systems Inc., based in Framingham, Mass, is the premier personal telephone response company in the country. They have certified, trained, caring professionals ready to respond to a subscriber’s need 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Lifeline is the #1 medical alert program. It has helped over 6 million seniors and their families and is trusted by doctors, hospitals, and professional caregivers.
How does Lifeline work? After NorthStar installs the equipment (which takes about 1/2 hour), the subscriber wears a waterproof "Personal Help Button" on either a wristband or as a pendant. If there is an emergency or other need, the subscriber simply presses the button. The Lifeline Home Unit dials Lifeline and the Lifeline representative immediately responds through a speaker on the unit. After assessing the situation, Lifeline then contacts either a local friend or relative or immediately summons a NorthStar ambulance, local law enforcement, or fire department.
Who gets called? During the installation process, the NorthStar representative will help the subscriber complete a "Subscriber Data Form". In addition to the normal name and address information, they will also record the names and phone numbers of the first, second, and third choice of contacts in addition to the emergency numbers (fire, ambulance, police). These contacts may be a friend, neighbor, or relative that might be called at the request of the subscriber or in addition to any emergency response. An example of a call to a non-emergency contact may be one where the subscriber needs assistance getting out of bed in the morning or a fall where the client is not hurt, just needs some assistance getting up.
More about the Personal Help Button? The button, worn on the wrist or around the neck, is small, lightweight and easy to press. It is completely waterproof so it can be worn at all times, even in the bath or shower where falls often occur. It has a range of up to 500 feet depending on the house structure and other obstacles. The pendant is stylish and can be worn outside or underneath a garment.
What is the cost of the program? Installation for the normal system is a one-time fee of $30.00. NorthStar’s current monthly charge is $39.50 for the Home Unit Communicator, Personal Help Button and 24/7 response. Just a little more than a dollar a day. This monthly charge can also be paid annually ($474.00) or by credit card. NorthStar will waive the installation charge if the fee is paid annually. Installation charges may be waived under other circumstances as well. Other features such as a separate telephone unit, additional subscribers in the home, or an inactivity alarm are available for an additional charge. Unfortunately, Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance companies do not cover this program but a subscription makes an excellent gift from a loved one. Service for broken equipment or battery replacement is provided at no charge by NorthStar.
Other features? Included in the basic price (at no additional charge) are features such as: Remote call answering - use the built-in speaker phone to answer incoming phone calls with just a press of the Personal Help Button; Battery backup of up to 30 hours assures continuation of service during a power failure; Adjustable volume controls; TelAssure - reminds subscribers to connect with the Lifeline Call Center once a month to assure uninterrupted service; Voice prompts for troubleshooting; Adjustable neck cords with quick release clasps.
For an additional charge, you can get a Cordless Phone version or a Reminder Phone Communicator. We can also supply one or more Voice Extension set(s) to place in another part of your house. And we offer an "Auto Alert" version of the Personal Help Button that senses when you fall and will call Lifeline even if you cannot push the button. Ask us about these options!
Billing? Installation fee and a portion of the first month’s fee must be collected at the time of installation. NorthStar will bill subscribers at the beginning of each month for that month’s fee. Payment is required by the 15th of the month. NorthStar must terminate service and remove the equipment if the payment is not made. A new installation fee may be charged to reconnect the service.
What if I cannot pay? NorthStar provides this service at breakeven financially. So that NorthStar can offer this service at the lowest possible price, everyone must pay for their service. If the monitoring service is provided, even if it is not used, the fee must be charged (since NorthStar is being charged by Lifeline). If the service is not paid for, unfortunately, the plan must be terminated and the equipment removed.
Yes, I want Lifeline. What now? Call Lifeline, toll free, at 1-800-242-1306, ext. 4706 or leave a message at NorthStar Lifeline at 491-5444. Either the Lifeline or NorthStar representative will explain features or answer questions and set up the installation. Because installations are done by active duty NorthStar crew who may be called out for emergencies, installation times may need to be flexible. Every attempt will be made to arrive at the appointed time. Installation takes about one-half hour and includes testing the equipment, explaining all features, signing agreements, and collecting the installation fee (if applicable) and the prorated amount of the current month’s fee. The crew won’t leave until the new subscriber is comfortable with the system. It is often helpful if a neighbor or relative participates during the installation process.