The two-way speech unit is the central piece of telecare equipment that calls through to a 24/7 telecare monitoring centre if you need help. It is usually located in your hallway or bedroom. Your pendant alarms or other telecare equipment all connect by radio signal to the two-way speech unit. Therefore no new wiring should be required in your home. The two-way speech unit is installed by simply plugging it into a standard electrical socket.
To test if the telecare equipment is working you simply press the button on your pendant from anywhere in your home. It should transmit a signal the base-unit and you will be put through to the 24/7 monitoring centre.
If you have a phone-line in your home
If you have a home phone-line then your two-way speech unit will also plug into your phone-line, in the same way as your home phone.
If you are using the same socket for the two-way speech unit and phone-line, a double adaptor such as the one shown below will be used. The telecare unit simply plugs into one side of the adapter and your home phone plugs into the other. The double-adapter then connects into the phone socket in you wall. This means your home telephone can still be used.
Other telecare devices can automatically connect to the same two-way speech unit (but always check first with your telecare supplier that any other telecare equipment is compatible). If you are buying additional telecare devices from your supplier always make sure they carry out a test once it is installed, to ensure the telecare equipment is connecting to the two-way speech unit and going through to their 24/7 monitoring centre.
If you do not have a home phone-line
If you do not have a home phone-line, a ‘GSM’ telecare system can be used instead. This works in much the same way as a standard telecare two-way speech unit. It is also installed in the same way as a standard telecare two-way speech unit, but only an electrical socket will be needed. This is because the telecare system uses a mobile SIM card to connect to the monitoring centre over a mobile/cellular network. The GSM unit dials through to the monitoring centre in a similar way as a mobile phone makes calls.
Because these type of alarms work by using a mobile SIM card over a cellular network, rather than over your home phone-line, the GSM telecare units are usually a bit more expensive. Suppliers will generally provide a SIM card with the unit, however some telecare providers will let you use your own SIM card. If you choose to do so, then it’s best to us a contract SIM. That way there will always be credit for an emergency call. A ‘World SIM Card’ is probably the best type to opt for if you are using this type of telecare unit. World SIM cards work in the same way as normal SIM cards, but will search for the strongest network signal. That means if one mobile operator is down temporarily, the SIM will attach to a different mobile operator in its place. In contrast, if you use a single network SIM, it won’t have the capacity to latch on to another mobile operator in an emergency, meaning the call will have a greater chance of failing.
To get telecare equipment for your home you can have it installed or order online. You can find out more about the different options for getting telecare equipment here.
Note: The above is for general guidance only. Always contact your telecare equipment supplier for full instructions on how to install and test any piece of telecare equipment in your home.