Reflexology and Older People
Helpline’s mission has always been to help older adults who wish to remain living independently in their own homes. The pendant alarms and other services we provide are a...Read More
Panic Alarm is an overarching term that applies to any alarm used by a person to call for help when they find themselves in need of assistance. There are many types of alarm this can refer to, ranging from alarms that emit a loud sound to draw help from those nearby, to fixed location pull cords that alert a specific person when activated. The most common panic alarms for elderly people are monitored pendant alarms. These alarms are often worn around the neck or wrist of an elderly person and feature a button which can be pressed in case of a fall or other emergency in and around the home. The button is linked to a unit which connects via a telephone line to an emergency response centre, who are able to speak with the wearer via the unit to ascertain what has happened and dispatch appropriate help. The primary purpose of these kind of alarms is to enable the elderly to live independently in their own homes, safe in the knowledge that they can alert somebody outside of their home were something untoward to happen. In addition to protecting the wearer these alarms also provide peace of mind to relatives and loved ones, who can rest assured of the protection on offer 24 hours a day. Whilst the alarms are designed primarily for use by elderly people, they can also be of use to others who may be vulnerable in the home, such as the visually impaired.
This is one of the more common terms used to describe elderly care alarms. Stemming from the traditional design, which featured a large red button at the centre of a pendant or medallion. To this day the most popular alarms still feature this red button, albeit often set in a smaller and sleeker pendant than their chunky predecessors. Whilst this style has its advantages, many people find them garish, or even feel that wearing a big red button marks them as infirm. It is for this reason that more aesthetically pleasing versions are now available. A good example of this is the Onyx, which draws its inspiration from contemporary jewellery, featuring an easy press black button set in a black and silver locket shaped neck pendant or watch style wrist strap. These newer designs are intended to encourage the elderly, who may feel self-conscious wearing a red button, to opt for a more discrete and attractive option.
Elderly fall alarms differ from pendant alarms in several ways. The key difference is that they are not operated by the user. Whilst the technology can vary from alarm to alarm, their basic function is to automatically detect when the wearer has fallen and alert either an emergency response centre or a list of contacts. The intended benefit of these alarms is that should the elderly person be unable to press the button in the event of a fall, the alarm would still call for help. These kinds of alarms do have their limitations though. Sensitivity is an issue, with sharp movements sometimes being interpreted as falls if the sensitivity is set too high, or conversely some falls not being registered when it is set too low. Fall alarms also only cover one eventuality. Wearer operated pendant alarms not only provide safety in the event of a fall, they can also be used to call for help if the user has a different medical emergency or even if they have intruders or a fire in their home. Fall alarms are often seen as not providing the same psychological benefit as pendant alarms, which give the wearer both a feeling of safety in their own home and agency in ensuring they can continue to live independently. For these reasons fall alarms are best used in conjunction with, rather than instead of, pendant alarms.
The term Safety Alarm is relatively broad and can cover any of the styles of alarms discussed above. In the majority of cases it will apply to pendent alarms for use in the home, however technological innovation has given rise to a new generation of alarms which function outside the home. Alarms such as Helpline’s e-Flare operate as an all in one solution for personal safety. Featuring a GPS locator, they operate all over the world, and give the emergency response centre the exact whereabouts of the user if the panic button on them is pressed. They can also be set up to call a list of contacts by pressing a secondary button on the device. They can open up a two-way call wherever the user is. This makes them ideal for the more active elderly who still wish to enjoy the outdoors but remain safe whilst doing so. These alarms are particularly popular with people who enjoy long walks, take their dogs out every day, or enjoy activities such as golf. It is also possible to add fall alarm functionality to the e-Flare for added protection. With their protection extending outside the home, the applications of these safety alarms extend beyond protection for the elderly and could be of benefit to anyone who spends time alone outside.
If you still have any questions about the different alarms available call Helpline’s customer service team on 03458 247 999, where one of our friendly agents will be able to go through everything with you. Helpline also offer free in-home demonstrations, where one of our professional regional support team members will be able to show you all of the different options available and help you identify which alarm would be the most beneficial for you.
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