I’m worried about the safety of my mother in her home, do you have any suggestions?
Technology really has an important and beneficial role to play in terms of safety and security in the home.
For older or vulnerable people this can enable them to stay in their own home when they have increasing support needs.
The most well known service using technology is the call alarm which is worn as a pendant around the neck or like a watch around the wrist or as sensors in the home. Pressing the button on the alarm calls the monitoring centre and they will attempt to speak to the person through a loudspeaker and if they do not get a response will summon help.
A person is able to press the button if they need support or reassurance of any kind. It is very useful for the eventuality of falls and for someone living alone with dementia.
It provides support for the person and peace of mind for relatives or neighbours who are worried about them.
The speaker system is very loud so that even hard of hearing people can understand what is being said and the microphone is sensitive enough to hear a voice in the next room. Help can be in the form of sending carers to assist someone off the floor, calling relatives to assist them or summoning medical aid depending on the type of service provider that you choose.
Your local service will differ from national services and charges will also vary but tend to be around 50 pence per day.
The services are available 24 hours per day and 365 days of the year.
The Lifeline Alarm and Medical Pendant is specifically designed for the following users, anywhere in the UK: https://www.lifeline24.co.uk/
The battery lasts for seven years and so no need to charge, but you do need to remember to wear the alarm at all times, its no use sitting on the dressing table if you have fallen in the lounge!
Keep it very close when bathing, some can even work in the garden.
The installation is quick and easy – usually, plug in and connect to the phone line and it is working or an engineer can assist of required.
If you want to be able to summon help easily when further afield there are mobile phone devices that are quick and easy to use such as the Doro 825. Ideal for first-time users of a smartphone, the Doro Liberto is full of all the features you would expect from a smartphone without the complexity.
The Pebbell GPS tracker is an attractive pocket-sized, waterproof, which can geo-map and allow two way conversations.
Other alarms include one which will call the monitoring centre if a person has spent too long out of bed at night or if they open the front door when they should not be out alone.
The 3rings plug is a device which will text relatives to let them know if a person has not boiled the kettle by a certain time in the morning, indicating that they might be in trouble. It’s a simple, discreet plug socket that looks like any other.
Webcams can be an excellent form of security and reassurance when a person is able to understand how to use or interact with them.
Some which can be linked to laptops or tablets that are made easy to use can provide live streaming communication between the housebound person and their relatives – wherever they live in the world.
Sensors can be installed in different rooms of a house if there is deemed to be a need to monitor a person’s movements throughout the day, for example, to see if they eat and drink. This will provide a map on an app on a smart device which will let you know how much sitting, walking, sleeping and eating a person did and at what time which can give a good picture of the person’s well-being and safety. Some dementia care teams will do this for an assessment period.
Environmental sensors can often be added to the package with the monitoring centre including fire alarms which will call the brigade out, carbon monoxide and flood detectors.
Epilepsy monitors for in the bed and chair pressure sensors. Most recently a bogus caller button which can be placed discreetly near the front door and results in the call centre contacting the person through the speaker for support.
For a person with dementia, a wrist-worn fall sensor will contact the centre after a fall automatically and can even map where stumbles most frequently happen.
Any information of a medical nature on this website is given to provide a general understanding of a medical condition or conditions.
No patient/doctor relationship is to be inferred and you should seek medical advice from a qualified practitioner.
Nothing on this site should be used as a substitute for competent advice from a qualified medical practitioner.