How the different kinds of telecare work
When an alarm is raised, the monitoring centre will first check with you to see if you need help. The clever bit is they know it’s you that needs help, so if you can’t talk to the centre they will know you have a problem. The monitoring centre will organise the best response for the problem that you have.
If it is a life threatening situation then the monitoring centre will phone the emergency services. Otherwise there are two types of response:
- if you have provided details of key contacts (for example neighbour, relative) the monitoring centre will get in touch with one of them
- if the Telecare provider has a mobile response service they will go out to your house. This is a more expensive service
Types of telecare for
Telecare that supports good health
used to monitor movement around the home. If they do not detect movement for a long period of time they alert the monitoring centre. For instance, an activity monitor in the kitchen can be used to see if you go in there regularly. If you don't then it could indicate you are not eating or drinking regularly
monitors your heart rate and breathing patterns and alerts both the carer and monitoring centre if a seizure is detected.
can sense a serious fall and alert the monitoring centre. If the alarm is not cancelled by the wearer then the an operator from the monitoring centre can try to talk to you and arrange appropriate help
emit an audible alarm and inform the monitoring centre
a dispenser is programmed to prompt users to take their medication at the correct times of each day. If the tablets are not removed then the monitoring centre is automatically alerted
Bed or chair occupancy sensors
alerts the monitoring centre when someone has got up from their bed or chair and not returned within a previously agreed time period. It can also be programmed to switch lights on and off when someone gets in and out of bed.
Telecare that supports safety in the home
- Carbon monoxide detectors
Fire or smoke alarms
automatically sound an alarm in the home when they detect smoke, and alert the monitoring centre. Someone from the monitoring centre can talk to you before alerting emergency services in case the cause is something as minor as burnt toast
can give early warning of sink overflows or any leaks that could become floods or make the floor slippery and become a fall hazard
- Gas shut off valves
such as a fire in an area of the house or the house has become too cold
Bogus caller/panic buttons
can be programmed to make no sound but, when pressed, the operator in the monitoring centre can listen to a situation and intervene if necessary
Property exit sensors
useful for those who can become disorientated or confused and go out at inappropriate times. Sensors detect when someone goes out and does not return within a pre-determined time period.