Telecare encompasses many systems that can help elderly or vulnerable people who live alone to remain in their own homes safely for much longer. Alarm systems that were previously known as community alarms have been developed to offer a wide range of options designed to alert carers or relatives if the elderly person needs assistance or is at risk for any reason.
The available systems include pendant alarms - personal alarms that can be worn by the elderly person. These can dial directly to a monitoring station any time of the day or night at the touch of a button via the base station that is connected to the phone line,. The carer or designated person is then alerted and can check to see what the problem is. This is particularly useful if the elderly person is prone to falls or has ongoing health issues. These alarms usually work both in the house and in the garden, so the user can enjoy the freedom to live their life, knowing that they will be able to summon help if they need it. Also known as a panic button for the elderly, a personal alarm is a vital link to a careline in the UK any time it is needed.
A variety of sensors can also be linked to carelines to alert relatives and carers when an elderly person is at risk. These include property exit sensors, which are attached to the door and door frame and can alert the monitoring centre when the person leaves the house. These sensors are very valuable when an elderly person is unsure about the time of day and may try to go out in the middle of the night, thinking it is daytime. You can also install fall-risk sensors to monitor when an elderly person gets out of their bed or chair if their mobility is compromised. These can be set to trigger the alarm immediately or be linked to a timer which would only give the alarm if the person failed to return to their bed or chair - after going to the toilet, for example - within a set time. In addition to these sensors, monitoring can also include heat and smoke detectors, sensors that will be triggered if the person enters a certain area and even a hypothermia sensor. The knowledge that relatives can be alerted if their loved one needs assistance or is in a hazardous situation is invaluable and gives people the confidence to remain independent and in their own home for longer. Several local authorities across the UK will be trialling these new high-tech telecare devices. They are also cost-effective, as residential care is not needed so soon. Aster can supply alarms for personal monitoring that will help vulnerable elderly people to live safely in their own homes with the peace of mind that comes from knowing help is on hand if it is needed.