Which Is The Best Personal Alarm For Your Elderly Parents?
My grandpa stayed living at home until he was 94, and he proudly wore a pendant alarm around his neck to give both him and my family peace of mind. Personal alarms come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and it can be confusing to know which is the right one for your parent. So we’ve teamed up with Taking Care, one of the UK’s largest personal alarm providers to find out more. Read on for our guide to which is the best personal alarm for the elderly.
We’ve included some fantastic discounts on their key personal alarms too, letting your parents try them at home for six weeks for free.
What Is A Personal Alarm?
Personal alarms are small wearable alarms for the elderly that help them to stay safe and quickly access support if they fall over, feel unwell or are in distress.
Depending on the alarm model, either your parent can press the emergency button or it will be automatically triggered. Help will then be swiftly sent if required and the family contacted.
You might also have heard them called care alarms or telecare, but essentially they are one and the same.
We love finding out about products to make life easier as we get older. We’ve listed our favourite household products to help your parents stay safe and independent here.
How Can Personal Alarms Help You Care For Elderly Parents?
Let’s be honest, looking after our parents as they get older can be stressful and overwhelming. A lot of the time, we’re balancing how to help them stay independent with how to keep them safe, secure and active at home. Personal alarms are a real and valid solution to help your family achieve this.
The benefits of personal alarms include:
- Gaining faster assistance in an emergency. We often hear about older adults who don’t want to press their pendant alarm after a fall so as not to make a fuss. Taking Care’s automatic fall alarm sensors and monitoring mean that your parents need not be lying on the floor for any longer than necessary.
- Making your parents feel more secure at home. Just knowing that help is there if needed can encourage older adults to feel more confident in performing everyday activities such as bathing and light exercise.
- Reducing anxiety about falling. It sounds strange but falls are more likely to occur if someone is worried about falling. They become less active, affecting their strength and balance and going out less. Safety pendants can help older adults overcome this fear of falling.
- Giving you peace of mind. Whether you live round the corner or three hours away, a personal alarm will reassure you that they are not alone if help is needed, and you will also be contacted.
Three quarters (74%) of carers found telecare had given them peace of mind.”Carers UK
Taking Care Personal Alarms
If you’re looking for a company to help your parent stay safe at home, then Taking Care ticks all the boxes.
Not only do they work closely with Age UK and are the exclusive provider of the Age Co Personal Alarm Service, but they are the UK’s first Which? Trusted Trader approved personal alarm service. And don’t just take our word for it either – they are rated ‘excellent’ on Trust Pilot.
Since 2008, these life-saving devices have helped over 170,000 people stay safe at home, and their UK-based emergency resolution team has an average response time of just five seconds (last year they handled over one million alarm calls).
If alerted, the emergency resolution team will know:
- Who your parent is
- Where they’re calling from
- Shared medical information
- Your parent’s emergency contacts
The monitoring centre is also trained in helping people suffering from cognitive impairment and dementia.
As is the case with all personal alarms on the market, there’s a set-up cost and then a monthly payment for 24/7 monitoring and lifetime warranty on in-home alarms.
Are you struggling with medication management? Or do your parents find the blister packs hard to open? PillTime is a leading free NHS online pharmacy delivery service that makes medication so much easier to keep on top of.
What To Consider Before Buying A Personal Alarm
The title of this article is ‘which is the best personal alarm for the elderly’, and the answer is, it depends on what your parent needs.
As with any technology, there’s entry level and more advanced options to choose from.
This table showcases their range of safety alarms at a glance. You can find more detail on each 24/7 monitoring alarm below, so that you can make a considered decision.
|Range||Warranty & Repair||Water Resistant||Battery Life|
|Age Co Personal Alarm||Pendant worn around neck / wrist||Home & garden||Lifetime warranty, free repair||✓||5 years|
|Fall Alarm||Pendant worn around neck / wrist||✓||Home & garden||Lifetime warranty, free repair||✓||5 years|
|Taking Care Anywhere||Pendant worn around neck, attached to belt or key ring||✓||✓||Home & out and about||Lifetime warranty, free repair||✓||2 months|
|GPS Personal Alarm||Pendant worn around neck, attached to belt or key ring||✓||Home & out and about||12m warranty||✓||48 hours|
|Personal Alarm Watch||Around wrist||✓||Home & out and about||12m warranty||✓||48 hours|
|Landline Free Alarm||Pendant worn around neck / wrist||Home & garden||Lifetime warranty, free repair||✓||5 years|
|Dementia Tracker||Pendant worn around neck, in pocket or on key ring||✓||Home & out and about||Lifetime warranty, free repair||✓||48 hours|
Age Co Personal Alarm
The trusted Age UK alarm is a great entry-level option. Simple and reliable to use, there’s just one button on the pendant for your parent to push if needed.
They can wear the pendant as a necklace or on their wrist and it works in the home and garden (up to 75m from the alarm base unit). If they press the button, they will straightaway be able to speak to Taking Care’s emergency resolution team via the base unit’s speaker – it has a powerful speaker and microphone in case your parent was in another room.
It doesn’t need to be charged – amazingly, the pendant battery lasts for five years and comes with a low battery warning. Taking Care will also get this warning and send a replacement automatically.
The Ago Co alarms work with a landline (the alarm base unit plugs into a working telephone socket) but if your parents don’t have a home phone then there is a cost-effective landline free personal alarm option.
It costs a £69 one-off fee, and then £16.48 per month. Get one month free when you order online.
Taking Care Anywhere
This is innovation at its best – a personal alarm that works in and out of the home 24/7, so you know your parent can access support wherever they are in the UK.
This advanced elderly care gadget combines the reliability of an in-home personal alarm with fall detection and the flexibility of a GPS alarm.
The Taking Care Anywhere GPS pendant (which can be worn as a necklace, on a belt or keyring) reports GPS coordinates in an emergency (good if you’re concerned about dementia and wandering) and has a built in microphone and speaker to speak with the emergency resolution team. It also detects falls and can help if your parent isn’t able to press it.
The battery will last for two months and recharges in a matter of hours (you get a voice notification to remind you to charge it). There’s also a free back-up pendant.
It costs £70 one-off fee, and then £25.99 monthly. And right now you can get one month free when you order online.
One in three older adults (over 65) will fall over at home at least once a year, and fall pendant alarms have been shown to reduce fall related hospital admissions by 44% (now that’s the kind of stat we like).
The life-saving fall detector alarm has everything the trusted Age Co alarm offers plus a fall sensor that works automatically in the home and garden. Its intuitive design means it can eliminate false alarms triggered by your parent bending down, sitting down quickly or even banging a body part.
Cost: £69 one-off registration fee, £23.99 per month. Get one month free when you order online.
GPS Personal Alarm For The Elderly
This mobile personal GPS device offers 24-hour monitoring wherever your parent is. Great if your loved one is active and outdoors a lot. All they need to do is press the button to speak with the Taking Care team.
If your parent has dementia and is prone to wandering, then the Dementia Tracker would be more suitable for them. There’s no buttons for your parent to press, and you can easily log on to the GPS monitoring website and see where they are (and where they have been).
Costs from £16.50 per month – there’s a one-off fee of £85 for the product.
Personal Alarm Watch
This takes the smart watch to the next level. Easy to use, it’s a personal alarm linked to a mobile phone, giving your parent the freedom to stay safe and connected on the go.
As well as being able to call and voice message friends and family (it syncs with your parent’s smartphone), this nifty gadget comes with an SOS button on the side that allows your parent to automatically contact and communicate with the Taking Care team. You can also log on and view your parent’s location and even receive alerts outside of a pre-set location.
Cost: £166.66 set up fee, £19.99 monthly subscription.
What If My Parent Triggers The Alarm?
Accidental button pressing happens, don’t worry! The emergency response team will contact your parent (or you) to check they’re OK. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry – and great to know that they are there for your family all the time.
Taking Care alarms have free delivery – next working day in England and Wales, 48 hours elsewhere.
The personal alarms are relatively straightforward to set up, and if you get stuck the help team is there to talk you through it (and test it for you). Or you can get them to do it all for you with their alarm installation service. It’s an extra £99 (or £118.80 with VAT).
Paying For A Personal Alarm
94% of people who buy a Taking Care telecare alarm don’t have to pay VAT. Just show that your parent has a condition that requires regular medication or they’re registered disabled and you may be eligible. All the costs we’ve included here do not have VAT included.
It’s also possible to pay for the set up cost and have someone else pay the monthly direct debit. And you can pay annually for an extra saving.
We have personal experience in looking after loved ones as they get older, and truly know how difficult it can be to help them stay independent whilst also making sure they’re as safe as possible.
Personal alarms for the elderly are a great step in the right direction to help you all achieve this. Whilst there’s a few pendant alarms on the market, we truly believe that Taking Care’s focus on the customer, quick response time and innovation in elderly monitoring devices makes them the one to choose.