Personal alarms and telecare for elderly and vulnerable people, are available during the coronavirus pandemic, in both Ireland and the UK. In Ireland, the Seniors Alert Scheme also continues to operate, with government grant applications for monitored alarms, being processed by Pobal.
At TASK Community Care, Ireland’s longest established telecare company (and Sponsors of Telecare.ie) Mr. Ronan Bunting, Head of Operations, explained to Telecare.ie, that the main change for TASK’s telecare customers, relates to the alarm installations. The monitored alarms are no longer being installed in people’s homes, but are instead being delivered to customers’ doorsteps, by TASK’s installation team or by post.
“Our trained installers no longer go inside the homes of elderly or vulnerable people to install the pendant alarms, except in exceptional circumstances, and then with additional precautions”, said Mr. Bunting. “Instead, wearing personal protective equipment, our installers stay outside the person’s home, or on the phone, to verbally assist with the installation process.”
“The monitored alarm units are very simple to install, and before delivering the pendant alarms, our team prepares the alarms, for clients to self-install in the easiest possible way. Since 2010 we’ve been accepting orders for telecare through our online telecare store, so we’re familiar with supporting people with installing the units at home. Special instructions are provided with every monitored alarm to be self-connected, and TASK also operates a 24-hour technical support line, to ensure any additional support can be provided, if needed.”
“Special instructions are provided with every monitored alarm to be self-connected, and TASK also operates a 24-hour technical support line, to ensure any additional support can be provided, if needed”
For Seniors Alert Scheme (SAS) clients, TASK’s team takes extra steps, to ensure everyone who needs a pendant alarm is able to get one. The team confirms in advance with the Seniors Alert client, if they will be able to install the pendant alarm themselves. If not, they ensure a family member can safely install the monitored alarm.
Mr. Bunting explained how TASK’s team of installers remain close at hand, ensuring the installation goes smoothly. “Our team of installers have been fantastic. With monitored alarms doorstep drop-offs to private customers, and every Seniors Alert client, the installer stays at the doorstep or on the phone, to make sure the telecare unit is installed correctly. They wait until a test call has successfully connected, to our 24-hour monitoring centre in County Meath”.
Additional Support during Covid-19
TASK’s 24-hour monitoring centre has been receiving many calls from older people, seeking reassurance and feeling anxious about the coronavirus. Mr. Bunting outlined how TASK is providing extra support during the outbreak. One way they are doing this is by asking people who press their emergency pendant button, for example when carrying out the monthly test call, whether they would like a friendly call service or any practical support – such as collection of food or prescriptions. If people need extra support, the trained CareLink call-handlers are able to contact the person’s nominated contacts, or can provide them with the telephone number of a support organization, to arrange for supplies or assistance.
“The monitored pendant alarms TASK provides are a lifeline for tens of thousands of people nationwide, and our CareLink team will continue working tirelessly to support our monitored alarm and telecare customers, until the outbreak is over, and for many years ahead.”
“We will do whatever it takes to keep older people, and those with underlying health conditions protected, as we have done with customers since we were founded in 1974” said Mr. Bunting. “TASK’s monitored pendant alarms are a lifeline for tens of thousands of people nationwide, and our CareLink team will continue working tirelessly to support our monitored alarm and telecare customers until the outbreak is over, and for many years ahead.”