Your Guide To Personal Alarms and Telecare in Ireland

Pendant Alarms For Elderly People

Personal alarms for elderly people are invaluable in situations at home when you need help and cannot reach a telephone. They are among the most effective ways to ensure the safety of you or your loved ones. These 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 for everyone.

Types of Elderly Alarms

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 various options for the alarm button, with some providing interchangeable buttons that can be worn in any of these three ways.

How Pendant Alarms Work

Pendant alarms for elderly people are a well-established method for keeping people safe. They operate in the following way:

  1. Press Your Personal Alarm Button: When you need help, press your alarm button.
  2. Connect to Two-Way Speech Unit: Your alarm button connects to a two-way speech unit. This is the central hub of your telecare system, located in your home (usually in the hall or bedroom).
  3. Communication with Monitoring Centre: 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 keyholders or the emergency services to check on you.

If the monitoring centre staff do not hear you, they will usually try calling your home or mobile phone first. If there is still no response, they will summon help by calling one of your keyholders or the emergency services. Keyholders are individuals you have chosen to be contacted in an emergency, and their details are kept at the monitoring centre.

Coverage and Range

Your elderly alarm button can also work when you are outside near your home, such as in the garden or driveway. It’s essential to check the range of your alarm before purchasing it. Most alarms have a range between 50 and 300 meters, depending on the make and model. The placement of the two-way speech unit in your home and factors like the thickness of your walls will also impact that range. You should verify these details with your telecare supplier to ensure they meet your specific needs.

After installation, perform test calls from various areas around your home and garden. For instance, you could have a family member go to the bottom of the garden and press the button while you wait beside the telecare unit. When the operators respond, you can explain that you are performing a test call.

In any case, most telecare suppliers will recommend conducting a test call at least once a month to ensure your system is functioning optimally.

Expanding Your Telecare System

Personal alarms for elderly people are probably the most well-known type of telecare device. However, it’s reassuring to know that once you have an elderly alarm button and two-way speech unit in your home, it’s easy to add other telecare equipment if your care needs change. These additional devices could include automatic fall detectors, pull-cords, or bed exit alarms. As long as your two-way speech unit is compatible, these pieces of equipment can be added without any additional wiring. Familiarize yourself with the different types of telecare equipment and ask your telecare supplier about other devices that can be added to your system before purchasing your personal alarm.

Grant Funding for Personal Alarms (Republic of Ireland)

Government grants covering the cost of alarms are available in Ireland under the Seniors Alert Scheme [as of the last review of this page in June 2024]. The scheme is open to people aged sixty-five and over and covers the cost of installing a socially monitored alarm in your home. The grants are not means-tested, and the only cost to you will be the yearly monitoring charge, usually under €70 annually.

Personal alarms for elderly people are an effective way to stay safe and independent. The alarm buttons bring great peace of mind, particularly if you live alone. If you wish to purchase a personal alarm for an elderly person, you can buy the alarm pre-programmed to a monitoring centre online or by calling your chosen supplier. For further details, visit our How to Get Telecare page.

Welcome to Telecare.ie, your comprehensive guide to pendant alarms and telecare solutions in Ireland. Our resources and information are also valuable to readers in the UK and beyond.

We are proudly supported by Ireland’s longest-established telecare company, TASK Community Care. Based in County Meath, and with their NI counterpart, TASK Connect, in Lurgan, TASK supplies top-quality telecare equipment and offers a 24-hour telecare monitoring service throughout Ireland and the UK.

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