The potting shed
GPS personal alarms
edited March 2022
That is a good compromise Kili for those who always have their mobiles with them.
Unfortunately I know MIL only ever takes her mobile with her when she's going out somewhere. The rest of the time it's plugged in on the kitchen worktop and out of reach when she's in another room or in the garden.
The main advantage I could see with the satellite / GPS alarms is that they don't rely on being within range of one particular landline and they're not restricted to one particular mobile network. They seem to offer good connectivity even in the usual not-spots.
Also, if they're being worn like a watch, they're always with you. I think the one I looked at did double up as a watch so you're even more likely to wear it (not doubling up on wrist jewellery!).
Heaven is ... sitting in the garden with a G&T and a cat while watching the sun go down
I tried to get my mother interested in these years ago and was investigating different models then. She had a pendant that she never wore and had falls regularly.
I think ankle bands might be a good idea as it's out of the way and not visible. A friend in her eighties currently thinks she should be wearing one, though she is strong and healthy. She lives on her own, far from family, but says she feels like a criminal with an ankle strap.
One way forward does seem to be a mix of all the approached mentioned here - a stylish emergency watch to wear 24/7, an emergency beacon, ankle options, some kind of static detection monitor, a subscription call out service, a GPS "three words" location service ...
Not having elderly UK relatives now, I don't know where the tech has got up to, but if these approaches are not getting massive investment right now then companies are missing a big trick. They would be idiots not to see this is where the future lies.
We got my uncle a Careline one, he never took it off and it was nice and discreet and comfortable. Unfortunately he forgot he had it so had several falls where he just waited for someone to arrive. Luckily we had quite a good system of visits set up by that point so it was never
long, but not great.
'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
Just debating sneaking off for a quick nap, and got me wondering how the fall detection facility works. Would I wake from forty winks to find myself surrounded by concerned relatives and emergency services? Or would I get woken when I’d just dozed off by a telephone call to check I was ok?
Might an ankle strap be potentially dangerous, as it might interfere with walking?
I purchased my alarm from Taking Care or Care Line, they seem to use both names. Other makes available.
It does not have a fall alarm but they do one which does have that facility. Mine looks very much like a car key fob and a clip is provided should you wish to carry it around that way, on a belt carrier on trousers.
I have found the lanyard provided slightly irritating around my neck, having sensitive skin, so I am going to buy some soft cord to use instead.
I have arthritic hands so find tiny, shiny, slippery phones with diddy little buttons difficult to use. Having a fall may also mean glasses have gone flying so I would not be able to read a screen.
Having a fall often leaves elderly people shaken badly and unable to remember passwords, numbers etc. so a single press on a button is much easier to carry out.
The sound on my unit is excellent, no need to hold it close to my mouth, chest height is fine.
I am not sure an ankle band would be a good idea, most elderly people have stiff joints so would not be able to reach the alarm, especially if they were injured.
Walky talkies are fine near the house but I am not sure if their range is limited by distance, I do not think they would locate someone in an isolated place and they are quite cumbersome to carry around.
I am unclear as to why buying a nice new watch would be a help, I have a perfectly adequate wristwatch. If you mean the Fit Bit type of thing, my fingers are not nimble enough to press the button etc. I would not be surprised if someone has already designed an alarm based on that type of equipment.
It is a case of deciding exactly what your requirements are and then searching for a type that matches your needs. Obviously, fit, active, mobile younger people exploring far-flung isolated areas is very different from a possibly frail but active elderly person.
Apparently you know when you are officially old, when you stop falling over, and start having a fall.
I don’t think I need an alarm yet, but would certainly consider one if I lived alone. The Walkie talkie is fine for our current needs, but it is bulky, and easy to knock the off switch. Also doubles up for communication if I have been sent up in the loft while OH passes cables up to me!