Telecare equipment allows people to remain in their homes by providing them with backup support in an emergency – the level of this support can be adapted to an individual’s specific requirements. Services can range from complex systems like monitors and detectors through to a simple alarm service for an emergency. The equipment for a standard system will usually include a base unit (which connects to your phone and power sockets) and a pendant necklace (or wrist strap) which is connected wirelessly to the base unit. When the button on the pendant is pressed it will connect to the base unit and from there to the response centre.
Telecare alarms and applications
There are many different telecare alarms and applications depending on the circumstances – and there are also plenty of new products being developed which will further broaden the scope of what comes under the term ‘telecare’ including GPS and sophisticated medical monitoring. Systems will also require some kind of keysafe with a pin access so that when help arrives access to the property can be achieved. Common telecare applications are listed below:
- Smoke alarm – if smoke is detected an alarm will sound, including a warning to the response centre.
- Heat alarm – this will detect a sudden rise in temperature either from for example a kitchen fire, and then alert the response centre.
- Carbon monoxide alarm – as with the smoke telecare alarms, when carbon monoxide is detected there will be an alarm and warning to the response centre – this is particularly useful as carbon monoxide has no smell and is highly dangerous
- Flood detector – if there is an overflow of water in say a bathroom or a kitchen, warning sensors can alert (as above)
- Pull cords – these can be positioned in various parts of the home although especially likely fall areas such a kitchen, bathroom or bedroom
- Unwanted called alert – this is basically a panic button which can be triggered if there is a burglar or other uninvited ‘guest’. The monitoring centre will also be able to pick up any voices or sound from the sensor so the police can be called if necessary
- Wandering alarms – designed for people prone to memory loss or mild dementia and warn when a person has gone a certain distance from the hub
- An epilepsy detector – this will detect a seizure (heart and breathing rate) and notify the help centre
- A fall detector – this will normally be worn round the neck or belt and can send an alert if a fall is monitored
- Passive infrared sensor – this detects movement (or the lack of it) and can trigger an alarm – the sensors can be used in conjunction will camera or video equipment