Telecare: The What's and Why's

21 December 2015

Telecare is at the root of all care alarms. It is the technology that makes it possible, the ideas that make it plausible. It is the be all and end all of independent living.

Well, not quite, but telecare is highly important. The groundwork for a wide range of care alarms, it should not be underestimated.

What is Telecare?

Telecare is not one thing on its own, but a range of different systems. If you have a personal alarm that triggers a phone call to your emergency contact, that’s telecare. If a sensor mat by your bed makes the call if you do not return, that’s telecare. If the phone call is made when a monitored exit is opened, that’s telecare.

Telecare is a range of alarms or sensors, anything from panic buttons to motion detectors. They are not always about making the phone call when a monitor detects abnormal behaviour, but can also include motion sensors that turn on lights when they register movement.

Telecare is about helping to prevent problems from arising. Or, at the very least, informing someone immediately if an injury, an accident or something out of the ordinary has occurred.

Who can use it?

Telecare is suitable for people struggling to hold onto their independent living. It helps them to stay in their own home for a little longer due to monitoring their condition. This could mean someone suffering from a long-term illness such as epilepsy. A sensor triggers a phone call, alerting a carer to a fit taking place and ensuring that assistance is on its way if required.

It could mean those suffering from dementia, for that same phone call is triggered when they either do not return to their beds or an exit has been accessed, helping to prevent wanderings. Or it could mean the elderly, who use a panic alarm in the event of a fall to make sure they are found and helped in a short time period.

Independent living alarms are applicable to many more situations but all have one thing in common; they need a little aid when it comes to remaining independent.

On the other side

A telecare system is designed to be used with either carers or family members acting as the emergency contact. When the monitor is triggered – either through a panic button or a sensor mat – the system sends out a pre-recorded message. Some systems will contact all of the emergency contacts, others a select number. On some occasions, the calls are put through to a call centre where assistance can be given or aid sent as required.

There are a wide range of different types of telecare systems available. It is important you take your individual circumstances and needs into consideration when choosing the right system for your home. Telecare is designed to assist with independent living, not hinder it by having the wrong system in place.