Community  •   Published 27/05/2016  •  Updated 12/01/2024  •  By Dr Hilary Jones

Dr Hilary Jones Discusses Personal Alarms for the Elderly

Dr Hilary Jones
For older people, living alone can be dangerous because of the increased risk of falls and injuries. People with disabilities or long-term illnesses may also be at risk. How can older people live safely while they are alone?

Technology has advanced significantly in recent years. There are many services available to help keep an eye on our elderly relatives. Many of them are very inexpensive, but incredibly reliable. So, anyone concerned about the well-being of the elderly people can have peace of mind.

Personal Alarms

Personal alarms are a progression of reminder calls that require a higher level of response for your elderly loved one. They work simply through a base unit that connects to the home phone line. The user wears a pendant that is wirelessly connected to the base unit. They can press the pendant when they need help.

an old woman wearing personal alarm

In addition to providing quick access to help, another benefit of a personal alarm system is that it allows elderly people to remain independent in their own homes.

A personal alarm system can be an alternative to having to move into a care home. Instead of leaving their home and moving to assisted living or nursing, users of a personal alarm can stay in their homes or wherever they feel most comfortable.

You can buy a simple system yourself from Amazon, but you will need to programme the box to alert someone who is willing to make themselves available. If you want to be completely sure, you should opt for a fully monitored service, where the call is routed to someone who is staffed around the clock and trained to help. When the call is answered, the operator decides which course of action is most appropriate – either contacting a loved one who has access to the key safe or the emergency services.

The market leader is Telecare24; it costs about £2.30 a week.

Dr Hilary Jones Careline Guide

Warden Response Service: If you live far from your elderly loved one and have no one to help in an emergency, you can opt for a personal alarm, but with the added option of an emergency call-out service. These are usually only available through your local government. Prices and scope of services vary widely, so be sure to check with the local government office in your area of residence for specific information.

GPS Alarms

These alarms are ideal if your loved one tends to wander due to the onset of dementia. These alarms can track the person’s exact location so they can be returned home safely. The downside to this technology is that battery life between charges is approximately a week if being used. It is also problematic that the person with dementia cannot always carry the device with them. New developments are on the way to solve some of these problems, and we will undoubtedly keep you updated on them in this blog.

Clearly, technology can play an important role in the well-being of our elderly loved ones in the future. There are a number of products and services available. So, you will need to decide which ones best meet your family’s needs.

Thank you for reading this article. Check out our blogs for more useful information like this.

About The Author

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Dr Hilary Jones

Dr Hilary Jones MBE is an English GP with over 40 years of experience practicing as a medical doctor in England. Having featured on early morning television programming since May 1989, Jones currently... Read More

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