Lifestyle  •   Published 25/05/2016  •  Updated 28/11/2023  •  By Stewart Smith

Careline Pendant Alarms “Off the Hook”?

There is a sad article appearing in this week’s Harlow Star newspaper regarding the unfortunate death of Ann New, a 90-year-old Harlow resident.

Phone Off the Hook

Ann suffered a stroke whilst at home and in the process she inadvertently knocked her telephone off the hook. She was wearing her personal alarm pendant and pressed it to summon immediate help from her careline pendant alarm service provider. Unfortunately, it appears her pendant didn’t work. It was only the luck of a passerby who spotted Anne in difficulty that help arrived. Anne sadly died in hospital two days later. There’s no mention of the manufacturer of the alarm or the careline provider in the article. However, her daughters are understandably upset – as it would appear on first glance that the pendant failed to work.

According to the article they say, “This is marketed to the elderly and vulnerable and she, nor we, were ever told that if the phone is off the hook it does not work.” A council representative by the name of Ron Truan is also quoted in the article as saying “All personal alarm units available on the market work in the same way via a telephone and powered by electricity…If the telephone is off the hook for any reason the system won’t. If this is the advice the daughters of Anne New have heard to then it is no wonder they are upset. However, we would like to point out that the information given by the council above appears to be incorrect.

In light of the information available in the article, the comments by Mr Truan seem to have been made in error. In our view, this information should be urgently reviewed. The simple fact is a careline pendant alarm if installed correctly, will always work even if the phone is off the hook.

Install the Alarm Correctly

So how do you ensure that a careline pendant alarm will work, whether there is a power cut or if the normal home phone is off the hook?

Just follow these two simple steps:
Plug the alarm base unit into the main telephone socket in the house – NOT an extension. The existing home phone should be plugged into the alarm base unit.

By following these two simple steps, the home phone can be used normally. This procedure ensures that if the phone is off the hook and the pendant is pressed, the emergency call will still go through. The backup batteries in the alarm will ensure that it remains operational for quite a few hours if there is a power cut. Telecare24 test all their careline pendant alarms before they are dispatched to our customers. We can confirm that a correctly installed Telecare24 alarm will always work if the home phone is off the hook.

Test Regularly

Always test your pendant once a month. We recommend that all careline pendant users regularly test their unit at least once a month, simply by pressing their pendant and telling our operator they are performing a test call. Telecare24 also remotely test every unit once a month too. If there is a rare case that a Telecare24 alarm develops a fault, we replace it within 24 hours at no cost. This ensures our customers continue to receive the best possible personal alarm service in the UK.

A monthly test is a great idea, as more often than not when there is a fault, it tends to be the telephone line rather than the alarm unit itself. You can find some helpful information on our previous Blog article regarding priority phone line repairs for personal alarm users. It remains unclear as to why Anne couldn’t summon help when she suffered her stroke. If her personal alarm and pendant were installed and working correctly then perhaps further investigation is warranted to determine what exactly happened. Hopefully, if all careline pendant users follow the advice set out in our blog today, they will always be able to get help by simply pressing their pendant. After all, the main benefits of having a personal alarm are peace of mind and independence.

About The Author

author photo

Stewart Smith

Stewart has been involved with the telecare industry for over twenty years, developing lifeline solutions that grant peace of mind to elderly and vulnerable people and their loved ones. During this... Read More

View all posts by Stewart Smith