Personal alarms give users the freedom to live independently in their own home, safe in the knowledge that if there is an accident or they have a fall, they can get help quickly. However, there are several myths surrounding personal alarms which have left many questioning how they work and how effective they are.
To help put the rumours to rest, we’ve addressed some of the most common misconceptions around personal alarms to enable potential users, and their loved ones, to understand more about their benefits.
1 - My personal alarm won't work while I'm out in the garden.
The personal alarm pendant has been created to give you peace of mind when you’re at home, and this includes when you’re out in the garden. The Age UK Personal Alarm pendant has a range of 50 metres from the base unit, and the base unit has a sensitive microphone to enable you to communicate with the operator if you need assistance. If you’re unable to hear the operator, or they don’t hear a response from you after you press your personal alarm, don’t worry – they will always send one of your named contacts to check on you to make sure everything is okay. If the situation is more serious, the operator will request the emergency services for you.
In fact, a large portion of the calls that the Age UK Personal Alarm response team receives are related to accidents which occur outside the home, which is why it’s important to wear your personal alarm at all times.
“I fell in our yard and could not get up and my wife was out. A neighbour was soon there to help. Your operator gave a follow up call to ensure everything was ok.”
Mr Henley – Personal Alarm customer
2 - Personal alarms are clunky and uncomfortable, and I feel old wearing one!
Personal alarms are designed to be as discreet and comfortable as possible and fit seamlessly in to your daily routine. How you choose to wear your personal alarm is entirely up to you; it can be worn around your neck as a pendant, or on your wrist, like a bracelet. The Age UK Personal Alarm measures just 45mm in length and weighs less than 10 grams so you’ll often forget it’s there! The safe and secure design also means you don’t need to worry about it falling off, and it’s even water resistant, so it can be worn in the bathroom or while you’re doing the washing up.
There can be stigma surrounding personal alarms, and some people see them as symbol of old age. However, a personal alarm is not there to take away your independence, it’s there to reinforce it and keep you in the comfort of your own home for longer. Age UK Personal Alarms provide peace of mind and reassurance to people of all ages.
“My mother has used this service many times since getting her alarm pendant. It’s the best thing we have bought for her since she lost some of her mobility.”
Mrs Borley – Personal Alarm customer
3 - If I press my personal alarm accidently and don’t realise, I’ll end up wasting time and resources
If you press your personal alarm by accident, all you need to do is inform the staff at the response centre that it was a mistake and that you don’t require any assistance. If you accidently pressed your alarm and don’t hear the operator, they will then try calling your landline to check whether or not you’re in need of help. If you don’t hear the phone, for example if you’re out in the garden, the operator will then ask one of your keyholders to pay you a quick visit to check all is well.
The response team expect to receive a certain number of accidental calls, and users will be asked to press the button at least once a month to check that the system is working as it should be. When it comes to responding to calls, our responders believe it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and will always conduct the necessary checks to ensure you’re safe and well if you press your alarm.
“The peace of mind the alarm affords is well worth the cost. The staff have always been friendly, efficient and concerned.”
Mr Simpson – Personal Alarm customer
4 - A key safe will leave my home vulnerable to theft
While some users initially feel uneasy about having a key safe installed outside their home, they are, in fact, extremely safe and secure. By having a key safe installed along with your personal alarm, it means that if the emergency services need to gain access to your home, they won’t have to break in and damage your doorway. What’s more, if one or both of your key holders are on holiday or unavailable, it means that someone else can still provide assistance.
The C500 KeySafe is the first and only key safe in the UK to be granted police approval as well, as it has a security rating that means it is as strong as a domestic front door. The Age UK Personal Alarm response team are the only ones who have the code to your key safe, along with your key holders and anyone else you trust to have your code, and they will never disclose your information to any other third parties.
5 – My personal alarm won’t work if I have a power cut
Age UK personal alarms are designed with a backup battery that can run for up to 36 hours, and so if you experience a power cut at home, you can rest assured that your alarm will continue to function as normal in the short term.
The Age UK Personal Alarms response team will receive a ‘mains fail’ signal from your alarm if your power stays down for more than 2 hours and will continue to receive alerts every 4 hours until power is restored. If your battery runs low before power resumes, then our response team will receive an alert and can contact your keyholder to let them know that your alarm will shortly stop functioning.
When power is restored to your home then your battery will automatically recharge, and so you do not have to worry about replacing the battery or putting it on charge after a power cut.
With an Age UK Personal Alarm, provided by PPP Taking Care Limited, friends or family can be alerted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the touch of a button. The service is quick and easy to install and you can save £60 if you order online*. Find out more about Age UK Personal Alarms.
*£60 saving when you choose the Self-Connect option ordered online.
Age UK Personal Alarms are provided by PPP Taking Care Limited. Brought to you by Age UK Trading CIC.
PPP Taking Care Limited is a company registered in England and Wales, (Number 01488490) it is a subsidiary of AXA PPP healthcare Group Limited. Registered address: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD. VAT number 243674160. PPP Taking Care is the trading name and brand of PPP Taking Care Limited. PPP Taking Care Limited works in association with Age UK Trading CIC, a commercial arm of Age UK (a charity registered in England and Wales, number 1128267).
Age UK Trading CIC is a community interest company registered in England and Wales, number 01102972. Registered office address: Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA. Age UK Trading CIC donates its net profits to Age UK