Telecare services use technology to help people live more independently at home and is especially helpful for people with long-term conditions, because it can help reassure the individual and their relatives that the individual is safe in their own home. Telecare services can also help avoid a hospital stay or put off the need for moving to sheltered or residential accommodation.
Telecare personal alarms are sometimes referred to as community alarms, these are the pendants that are worn by the user round the neck or on the wrist that when activated place a call to the alarm provider.
Hampshire County Council will only fund the provision of Telecare equipment following a community care assessment to see if you have an eligible need. If you are assessed as having an eligible need, The Council’s chosen telecare provider, Argenti, will provide you with a bespoke telecare package right for you.
You also have the option to pay for the provision of your own equipment by following the advice given under the “Paying for telecare yourself” tab below.
To discuss these options further please contact Adult Services on 0845 603 5630
How telecare works
Different alarm systems are available for your home, some of which can let a family member, friend, neighbour, nurse or warden (if you're in sheltered housing) know by phone when there's something wrong.
Personal alarms: an alert can be raised by pressing a button on your personal alarm, which you keep on you at all times
Motion sensors: automatically switch on your bathroom or hallway lights at night when you get out of bed, making falls and accidents less likely
Other sensors: such as a pressure mat on your mattress, that can tell if you've not made it back into bed, or a sensor on a door that senses if it's open or closed are useful if you have a fall, or you haven't got back into bed after going to the toilet in the night, or you've forgotten to close the outside door
Telecare that supports your good health
- activity monitors
- falls detectors
- incontinence sensors
- Epilepsy sensors
- medication management
- bed or chair occupancy sensors
Telecare that supports safety in the home
- carbon monoxide detectors
- fire or smoke alarms
- flood detectors
- gas shut off valves
- temperature extremes
- bogus caller/panic buttons
- property exit sensors.
Paying for telecare yourself
You can fund the purchase and monitoring of telecare equipment at your own expense by contacting the local authorities or providers directly for further information.
Your housing association
If you are a resident of a housing association, in the first instance speak to them to check whether they provide telecare services or monitored alarms.
Local District and Borough Councils
Contact the housing department in your local District or Borough Council to check whether they can help
Advice from Home Improvement agencies:
If you live in East Hants, Fareham, Hart, Havant, or Rushmoor
Tel: 0845 266 8757
If you live in New Forest, Test Valley
Tel: 01425 482773
If you live Basingstoke & Deane, Eastleigh, Gosport and Winchester
Contact the Housing Team in your local District or Borough Council
Other local and national providers that may provide help and advice:
Telecare Services Association - search facility for approved provides
The Housing Care website also has a list of providers
How to choose a telecare provider
You can either rent or buy alarms and sensors, but renting would make it easier to change things if you needed something different in the future.
Who can you trust?
You should only go with a firm that is registered and approved by the Telecare Services Association This means that the firm:
- is checked each year to make sure they are meeting the quality standards
- uses people who will have had a criminal record check
- gives you time to decide if the service is for you
- will explain how much it will cost
- will be clear about how you can complain if you are not happy
What is included in the service?
You should look for someone who can rent you the equipment and provide the monitoring service. Alarms and sensors look after you 24 hours every day, but they need to be connected to a staffed monitoring centre who can take action to help when an alarm is set off.
You will need family or friends who live near you so that the monitoring centre can call them to help you if you are in trouble. They will need to feel comfortable with coming out to you both day and night.
If you don’t have anyone who can do that, look for a company that offers to rent the equipment and monitor it, and send someone out if you are in difficulties.
How do helpers get into your home if there is a problem?
A popular solution is to have a coded key safe fitted to the outside of your home.
The monitoring centre holds the access code and will share this with your named person to let them to get into your house if you are in difficulties. The monitoring centre would only disclose the code in an emergency and it is easy to change the code whenever you want to.
You can often buy the key safe from the company that you get the telecare/ telehealth equipment from; and sometimes they will put it on the wall for you too. Key safes are also on sale in most DIY stores and some are police approved.
If you are worried about the cost, it’s still worth talking to someone about telecare, they will know if there is help to pay. What ever the cost it can be better for you and cheaper than moving home.