This article covers what Telecare is and how it works so that you can make an informed decision about whether it would be useful to have in your, or your family member’s home.

What is Telecare?

Telecare is the name for the devices which are designed to help you stay independent in your home. The devices send a warning to a call centre or family member if there is a problem in the home, especially if you’re at risk. There are various devices which can help to monitor several risk areas such as illness, falls, inactivity, fire, floods, or gas leaks.

How does it work?

The most common device is a button pendant which can be worn on the wrist or around the neck. To call for help, you will need to press the button on the pendant.  

This pendant is connected to an alarm unit with a speaker function. This stays in your home – a bit like an internet hub.

When the pendant is pressed, this sends a signal to the alarm unit. The alarm unit notifies either a call centre or a family member, depending on how your Telecare system is set up which is either;

  1. connected to a professional monitoring centre that is staffed 24/7
  2. send alerts and updates directly to family members via an App (Mobile Phone or Tablet)

The professional or family member will usually speak to you through the alarm unit to check on you where you can speak back, like a telephone that’s on loudspeaker.

If the button was pressed by accident – it’s no problem, you can let them know and they will cancel the call for help.

The professionals at the call centres work differently, however they usually they like to understand why the pendant was triggered to make sure they arrange for the correct support. This is usually a visit to your home from them, a family member, emergency services etc.

When they arrive at your home, they will need access. A key safe holds a spare key which is protected by a code. The code is only shared with those who may need it. This is useful and much safer than storing a spare key under a mat or plant pot.

Good to know…

A fall alarm works similarly to a pendant, it can automatically detect if you have had a fall. This then sends a signal to the alarm unit, which then calls your call centre or family member for you.

Is this right for me or my loved one?

There are many Telecare devices, some are more suitable for some than others. This all depends on the individual needs of a person which is influenced by health, physical surroundings, and their support system.

It is strongly advised to contact social services your local council for advice on which Telecare device would be right for you or your loved one. They are the experts in looking at a person’s individual needs and putting the correct measures in place to ensure safety.

Under the Care Act, local authorities have new functions. This is to make sure that people who live in their areas:

  • receive services that prevent their care needs from becoming more serious, or delay the impact of their needs
  • can get the information and advice they need to make good decisions about care and support
  • have a range of provision of high quality, appropriate services to choose from

Find your local council here https://www.gov.uk/find-local-council to contact social services.

How much does it cost?

Advice and support from your local social services is free, however Telecare devices come with a cost.

Telecare devices are available from several different companies. It’s like buying to phone or choosing an internet provider – there are lots of companies which offer similar products and services. Telecare is like that too, therefore the cost will be different depending on who you sign up with, what device you use and the monitoring service.

AKSWB has done some research and here is a summary with weblinks. It’s important to note that we cannot recommend or promote any of the products or companies. 

Careline365: an alarm service with 24-hour monitoring that uses mobile technology rather than a landline and includes pendant alarms and fall sensors.

Helpline: a 24/7 monitored response service, which provides single and double personal alarm buttons and a GPS tracker.  

Lifeline24: a monitored alarm service with pendant and wrist alarm buttons, with an optional falls alarm.

Personal Alarm Watch: a personal alarm service that uses a discreet smartwatch design, with 24/7 monitoring and two-way emergency calls.

Taking Care: a 24-hour monitoring alarm service, which also offers fall alarms and GPS monitoring services. It is the provider for the Age UK personal alarm service. It is also the first telecare company to become a Which Trusted Trader Approved Service.

SureSafe: a personal alarm that offers a choice of a 24/7 monitored package or a version that send alerts directly to family and friends. Products include the ‘Go Anywhere’ personal alarm that isn’t dependent on a landline.

Telecare Choice: monthly and annual plans for pendant and wrist alarms, plus an alarm that uses mobile technology rather than a landline.

Telecare24: monthly and annual plans for pendant alarm, fall alarm or Buddi GPS tracker packages.

 

We would encourage you to carry out your own research or contact your local social services for advice if you’re unsure, as they may have a contract with a specific provider in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions