WHAT IS THE BEST TELECARE / CARELINE PERSONAL PENDANT ALARM FOR THE ELDERLY?
With so many Telecare / Careline personal pendant alarms on the market you may ask “how can I choose the best one for me?”.
Looking for the best careline or SOS alarm pendant for your elder parent can be a difficult decision? Should you pick the lifeline offered by the council and is it free? How do these systems compare and which one should I pick?
Not every system will be suitable for everyone – with so many buzz buzzwords such as Telecare or Telehealth it can be confusing. Telecare means Telephone-care and covers careline/lifeline. Telehealth means Telephone-health-care. Both have a call centre where an operator determines whether to call emergency services or nominated contacts.
WHAT ARE CARELINE/LIFELINE/TELECARE SERVICES (OR DEVICES) AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
The devices that are worn around the neck are pendants which are essentially remote controls that connect to a box wired to a phone socket. When the pendent button is pressed the box automatically dials a call centre. Similar devices can also be attached to the wrist and can be waterproof. It is important to test their range so you are confident they will work all the areas around the home and in the garden.
These Auto-dial SOS phones are an alternative if simple mobile phones are preferred. My SOS Family has a speed dial number which can be assigned to the SOS button allowing you to alert several contact simultaneously directly – there is no call centre operator involved.
PIR MOVEMENT DETECTOR SENSORS FOR THE ELDERLY
These are movement sensors, also called Passive Infra-red sensors (PIR sensors). These electronic sensors measure infra-red (IR) light radiating from objects in its field of view. Commonly used in burglar alarm systems to detect intruders these sensors have been adapted to sense movement with safety in mind. When movement is not detected for a given period e.g. no movement for 2 hours in the front room between 10am and 3pm, it will alert the call centre. Although these sensors are helpful to a particular group of users, be prepared to maintain and adjust times of each room otherwise the system may trigger false alarms.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN THERE ARE 24/7 365 ROUND-THE-CLOCK MONITORING SERVICES LINKED TO ALARM PENDANTS?
Monitoring services simply connect you to a call centre waiting. The call centre is manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by shift workers. When they receive a call their system pulls up your details on a screen. Depending on circumstances, they ask if you need medical attention, require emergency services or wish to be connected to anyone in your emergency contact list (provided when you signed up).
WHAT ARE THE MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MONITORING SERVICES / CALL CENTRES LINKED TO PERSONAL ALARM PENDANTS?
The key difference is if the monitoring service provides home-call out support, that means the call centre needs home respondents to be available to come to the home of the person who may have fallen or needs help. You pay a premium for this service, hence very few organisations providing this level of service. Call centres delegate your request by contacting emergency services or calling nominated contacts on your behalf until someone answers . Before signing up pay close attention to the terms of service otherwise you may be tied into a contract.