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personal alarms - recommendations?

(32 Posts)
Ciutadella Thu 29-Dec-16 09:42:27

A drelative is thinking of getting a personal alarm (the ones that you press a button to contact a call centre) and I'd be most grateful if people have any recommendations/words of advice! I know Age UK do one. Just wondered if anyone has any personal experience of any providers? Thank you in advance if so,

Lovelybangers Thu 29-Dec-16 09:44:05

Am watching too.

DMIL lives alone and doesn't always keep her mobile home on her.

I have seen the advertised Age UK one too.

Ciutadella Thu 29-Dec-16 10:16:32

Yes lovely, and a mobile could slip out of a pocket and out of reach if you fall, whereas I think you wear the alarm round your neck. So as long as you remember to put it on in the morning you should be ok! (Though I suppose people take them off to go out and so on, so not foolproof.)

CMOTDibbler Thu 29-Dec-16 20:22:28

My parents have a system from AgeUK, and the staff at the call centre are superb - its had a lot of use unfortunatly and I've been really impressed at the things like calling back later to check everything is OK, staying talking if one of them is near the box and so on.

fortifiedwithtea Thu 29-Dec-16 20:36:02

I have one from Age UK. I'm not old (50) but have had it for more than 10 years, due to my epilepsy.

I have a pendant and the main control box in the lounge. For people who don't like the pendant, you can wear it on the wrist.

Ideally call centre has 3 names to contact and those people should be able to get to me in 15 minutes.

I also have a keysafe hidden in the garden. The call centre have the location logged and the code. I have needed the paramedics to use the key but thankfully not for a long time.

I have life long subscription but you can sign up for shorter times.

I have to press the button once a month. If I forget I get a letter to remind me to do it. If I still don't do it my daughter gets a letter to remind me to check.


Ciutadella Thu 29-Dec-16 21:09:25

CMOT and fortified, thanks so much, that is really useful info. Good reviews for AgeUk then. Will they call the emergency services if they think that's necessary? (Hope it has not been for you though.)

Lovelybangers Thu 29-Dec-16 21:15:29

Sounds like a good system. Will suggest that DMIL looks into the Age UK alarm.

HemanOrSheRa Thu 29-Dec-16 21:27:10

It might be worth having a look to see if careline operate in your area. Or you could ring Adult Care at your local social services to see what Telecare options they have. They may be able to offer 'add on' services like lifting if someone has fallen, falls/movement monitors, that sort of thing.

Redglitter Thu 29-Dec-16 21:34:06

Definitely do your home work. There's a number of companies around who when they get an alarm call from a client call 999 for the police to go and check on them.

My friends in laws were paying monthly for a service with one of these companies and believed the company would send someone out. They were horrified when they realised what they were paying

Ciutadella Thu 29-Dec-16 21:34:55

Thanks heman, careline 365 seem to have a similar service but with an optional add on 'fall detector' which looks useful - I suppose a fall could knock you out so that you couldn't even press the button to summon help? I wonder how it works - and how reliable it is in terms of detecting falls?

Does anyone know, do these services need you to have a broadband connection or do they use the existing telephone line - or how does it work?

Ciutadella Thu 29-Dec-16 21:36:54

Thanks redglitter, yes it's definitely worth looking into the options.

Are there many companies who will actually send someone out though rather than contacting your 'contacts' or the emergency services? I imagine that would be quite a lot more expensive (though could be worth it!)

ChozzleopsTheThird Thu 29-Dec-16 21:40:12

My grandmother has one, and instead of it calling a call centre it sends an alarm to 5 mobile phones; mine, my mothers, my aunts, and two cousins. So we can get there sharpish as one of us Is within a mile at all times.

HemanOrSheRa Thu 29-Dec-16 21:43:03

You need a phone line and a power point nearby Ciutadella. It's a small phone sized box, that works very much like a hands free phone, with a button on it that you can press. The pendant is programmed into that box. The phone is plugged into the box so they can be used independently. The only 'problem' which is easy solved is that the box needs to attached to the main phoneline not an extension.

A falls monitor is another little pendant type gadget. It has a sensor in it that activates the alarm if it is moved into a certain position. So not to be worn in bed!

chocomochi Thu 29-Dec-16 21:46:23

Chozzleops - I'd be interested in which system it is. My parents speak limited English and will be more useful to call me than a call centre.

HemanOrSheRa Thu 29-Dec-16 21:46:25

Oh and try googling the local authority + careline. That may give you more info about the provisionin your relatives area

Ciutadella Thu 29-Dec-16 21:48:47

Ah yes I see the problem Heman with wearing it in bed! Problem is, I imagine it might be easy to forget to take it off before going to bed! But maybe they call you to check what is going on if they do detect a fall?

Sounds as though it is probably worth paying for installation rather than doing self-install - the extra cost doesn't seem to be too great.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Thu 29-Dec-16 21:48:50

My great auntie had one - she lived independently and was in her 90s, so had a pendant type but had to wear it all the time, even in bed. Hers was a Careline one I think.

HemanOrSheRa Thu 29-Dec-16 21:54:13

Yes, it would work alongside the normal pendant. So it would activate a call in the same way. But would come up as a falls monitor at the call centre end. They would then speak to the service user in the same way.

There are lots of telecare options, door monitors, movement pads, medicine dispensers.

They are relatively easy to install but can involve a lot of crawling around on hands and knees and faffing about with wires!

Ciutadella Thu 29-Dec-16 21:58:08

This is all so useful - what would a door monitor or movement pad do in addition? Does it notice if someone has not gone through a door in a set period and check whether the person is ok? (probably nothing like that at all!)

HemanOrSheRa Thu 29-Dec-16 22:04:39

A door monitor can be used if say, someone who wanders and goes out at odd times. It would trigger the alarm in the same way as the pendant but come up as the door alarm at the call centre. A movement pad can be used in a variety of ways. For example put under a chair pad to detect movement (or rather, not) over a certain period. There are also temperature monitors that will detect falls in temperature within the home which could indicate a problem.

Ciutadella Fri 30-Dec-16 08:10:56

Thanks Heman, yes that makes sense about the door alarm.

What strikes me is that a lot of these things depend on there being relations or willing neighbours within a reasonable distance - say, 5 miles? - as the basic model is that the call centre calls them and they turn up to take over. (Though on another thread there is a school of thought that you should call an ambulance anyway if someone frail has fallen rather than trying to lift them yourself.)
In some instances that won't be the case - there are no geographically close relations, and nobody else you could impose on to ask to be a 'contact' (and most people are at work anyway!). Still, these things sound really useful and I would guess make it possible for a lot of people to stay living at home!

poisonedbypen Fri 30-Dec-16 08:49:06

I was told that the local authority provide them free for all over 80s. We found out too late - get them for your loved ones, folks. Then making them wear them is the next challenge!

Mehfruittea Fri 30-Dec-16 09:11:01

Pretty sure there are some systems that will put sensors in doors and windows and thermometer. They will then set alerts for hypothermia and any 'senile wandering'! They will call someone and say "xx close the window, it's cold!" And look out for them in that way.

Bythepath Fri 30-Dec-16 09:14:22

Depending on where you are it is also worth contacting your local authority as some provide them with a 13 week free trial period to see how they get on with it. Only after do they start paying for them.

HemanOrSheRa Fri 30-Dec-16 21:16:56

Yes Ciutadella it does very much depend on having someone able and capable to respond. It is a massive problem. I work in Sheltered Housing and we respond to emergency calls. It is, unfortunately, very difficult to provide a good service to people in private houses over a large area in individual properties. Almost impossible. Has your relative thought about sheltered housing?

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