How to choose the right telecare system
Telecare products can play a vital role in helping to keep those who are more vulnerable safe and, importantly, assist those who care for them so that both parties can lead a more independent life. If you're unsure what Telecare is, we hope the following information will help explain it better.
What is telecare?
Telecare systems are used to provide an alert to a carer if you, or someone you look after, are at risk of falling, leaving your home, or forgetting to switch off appliances which could start a fire.
Most systems are a combination of products (sometimes sold as a package), which identify and send an alert if you, or someone you care for, fall, leave your chair or bed, or do something which has been identified as causing a risk.
Why would you need a telecare system?
If you, or someone you care for, have fallen or had an accident in your home, it’s worth thinking about how you can contact help in the event of an incident, in case you’re unable to get to the telephone.
Problems which can be monitored include:
- Leaving the house at night due to dementia
- Day/night disorientation causing wandering
- Forgetting how to do everyday things from which an accident arises
- Leaving the cooker on
A telecare system can identify if an incident has occurred and send an alert to an appropriate responder.
There are different levels of telecare. Stand-alone telecare systems operate within a single location and community telecare will alert a professional response team or your family if you need help.
Which telecare system is right for you?
Who do you need to contact?
Before purchasing equipment you need to decide who can respond in the even of an emergency – a partner or carer who lives with you, or a family member or paid responder who doesn’t live with you.
A carer in your home
If you live with a partner or a carer there are various systems which can alert someone in another room if you have a fall.
- A Care Call fall detector pendant is a gravity operated device which recognises if you fall and sends a message to a responder unit within your home
- A pressure sensor mat is placed beside your bed, and sends an alert if you get out of bed. This allows a carer to be sure you don’t fall during the night
- A chair leaving pressure sensor mat will let a carer know if you have left your chair and may be at risk of falling
- A Care Call movement monitor has a time delay setting, sending an alert if you do not return to bed within a set time
- The Care Call Signwave Portable Flasher Sounder receives a message from the fall detector or pressure mat and sounds an alarm to alert a carer that you may be in difficulty. (Telephone orders ONLY)
These items and other similar products alert a carer or partner that you have fallen, or may be at risk of falling if you get up during the night. Some products include a time-delay setting, allowing you time to go to the toilet before alerting someone you have been away from your bed or chair and may have fallen.
A carer who does not live with you
If you live on your own, you may need to consider using a system which is programmed to contact a family member if you have a fall.
- An easy use mobile phone can be programmed with quick dial numbers or have an emergency button to alert someone that you need assistance
- An Auto Dialling Emergency Alarm can be attached to your home telephone and programmed to contact your family if you have a fall
If you do not have family living close by, and are unable to rely on friends or neighbours to provide support, there are alarm services available which connect to your telephone and alert a professional responder in the event of an emergency.
- This type of equipment can also send alerts from smoke alarms or Carbon Monoxide detectors, flood detectors and temperature monitors
- Can also remind you to take your medication at the right time
- Can switch the gas off if you leave the cooker on
These services are subject to a weekly or monthly fee.
If you choose to use a service which provides a response service, you might consider having a keysafe fitted. A keysafe provides a safe place to store a key outside your home, to enable carers, response workers or emergency services to gain access to your home. Keysafes are used by local authorities and are recognised by the police and emergency services as a safe means of providing access to authorised assistance.
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