Personal alarms for elderly people are used for any situation at home when you need help and cannot reach a telephone. They are one of the most effective ways to keep you or your loved ones safe. Elderly alarms are used by thousands of people across Ireland and the UK each year. They are simple to use, easy to install and increasingly affordable to everyone.
The most common types of elderly alarms are those worn as a pendant or wristband. In some cases the emergency buttons can also be clipped to clothing, but bear in mind that they are more easily misplaced if worn this way. Different telecare suppliers offer different options for the alarm button. Some provide buttons that are interchangeable and can be worn in any of the above three ways.
Pendant alarms for elderly people are an established way to keep people safe. They work in the following way:
Step #1 Press your personal alarm button
Step #2 Your alarm button connects to a two-way speech unit located in your home (usually in the hall or bedroom)
Step #3 Trained monitoring centre staff will talk to you through the two-way speech unit. Even if you are some distance away they can often hear you. If you have fallen or need help for any reason, they will call one of your key-holders or the emergency services to check on you.
If the monitoring centre staff do not hear you, they will usually try calling you back to your home or mobile in the first instance. If they still do not get a response from you, they will summon help by calling one of your key-holders or the emergency services. Your key-holders can be anyone you have chosen to be contacted in an emergency. Their details are kept at the monitoring centre to be contacted in an emergency.
Your elderly alarm button can also work when you are outside near your home, for instance if you are in the garden or driveway. Always check the range of your alarm before you buy it. Most will have a range of between 150 – 300 meters. The range also depends on where you have the two-way speech unit placed in your home (as this is where it is measured from). Other factors such as the thickness of your walls will impact the transmission distance too. You can ask a telecare installer to do a few test calls from different areas around your home and garden. If you are sure the alarm button covers the outside area, then it’s particularly important to wear it if you are outside in winter months.
Personal alarms for elderly people are used for any situation at home when you need help and cannot reach a telephone
These pendant or wrist worn alarms for elderly people are probably the most well know type of telecare device. However it can be reassuring to know that once you have this type of elderly alarm button and two-way speech unit in you home, it’s easy to add other telecare equipment if your care needs change. These telecare devices could include automatic fall detectors, pull-cords or bed exit alarms, indicating that you have fallen from a bed. So long as your telecare two-way speech unit is compatible, then these pieces of telecare equipment can be added without any additional wiring being needed. It can be a good idea to familiarise yourself with the different types of telecare equipment. Then ask your telecare supplier what other devices can be added to your system, before buying your personal elderly alarm.
Grant funding for personal alarms for elderly people
Government grants covering the cost of the alarms are available in Ireland under the Seniors Alert Scheme. The scheme is open to people aged sixty-five and over and it covers the cost of having a socially monitored alarm installed in your home. The Seniors Alert Scheme grants are not means tested. And the only cost to you will be the yearly monitoring charge (usually under €70 annually). In Northern Ireland, means tested ‘Community Care Grants’ are available to cover the cost of equipment.
Personal alarms for elderly people are an effective way of staying safe and independent. The alarm buttons can bring great peace of mind particularly if you live alone
If you wish to purchase a personal alarms for an elderly person you can do buy the alarm pre-programmed to a monitoring centre online or by calling your chosen supplier to arrange an installation. Installations for the personal alarms for elderly people are usually included in the cost of the alarm equipment. Our ‘How to Get Telecare‘ page contains further details.