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Busting 9 common myths about personal alarms

Personal alarms provide reassurance and independence. But getting to the point where you feel comfortable asking for help can be daunting. Is it more trouble than it’s worth? Is it suitable for my individual circumstances? What kind of telecare services are there? All of those little questions can add up. 

Well, look no further for help. This week we’re busting the common myths about personal alarms. 

They’re expensive 

The price of personal alarms can vary. At Welbeing, the cost to rent an emergency pendant and alarm base unit is £15.96 per month. There’s also a one-off setup fee of £20; this covers the rental, monitoring and maintenance of your pendant and base unit. 

But you might not have to pay for this service yourself. 

Your local council may be able to provide some telecare services as part of a care plan. This means that you might be able to access these services for free. Start the process by asking for a free needs assessment

If you’re eligible for NHS Continuing Healthcare, this could cover the costs of telecare services. You can search the gov.uk website to find your local authority and see if they can help

They’re clunky and uncomfortable

We believe that a good personal alarm should be discreet; it should slip seamlessly into your daily routine. With that in mind, we’ve designed the device so that it can be worn around your neck or wrist – whatever feels comfortable. 

You can’t wear the pendant in the bath and shower

In fact, the emergency pendant is water-proof and can be worn in the shower. However, we do recommend that you take it off when you have a bath – but keep it closeby.

It won’t work outside of the house

Enjoy a spot of gardening? That’s no problem. The pendant has a typical range of 50 metres from the base unit and can still be worn outside the house in the garden.

The battery doesn’t last long

The battery in your emergency pendant is designed to last for around 5 years. Importantly, the pendant will actually identify when the battery is running low (if you have around 30 days of battery life left). Once we receive the automated notification, we’ll arrange for a free replacement to be delivered. 

It won’t work without a telephone line

Actually, you can still have a personal alarm without a phone line. We have base units (called GSM) that work using a mobile phone network. These units are supplied on an all-inclusive service charge basis which includes mobile network connection and calls. The monthly service charge for a GSM unit using the mobile telephone network is £27.73 (excluding vat). And as with the standard base unit, there is a one-off charge to set up the service.

It will slow down the wifi

Not necessarily. Your broadband or television should still work fine if it has a filter installed. This means that both TV and broadband will work if the panic alarm button is triggered. 

It won’t work in a power cut

That’s also a myth – your pendant is battery operated. What’s more, the base unit has a built-in battery back-up in case there’s a power cut.  This also means that it will continue to work for up to 24 hours without mains power.

It’s not suitable for people with poor mobility (I can’t always answer the phone)

Personal alarms are designed to make things easier at home – especially if you’re less mobile. With that in mind, pendants can actually be used to answer incoming telephone calls. All you need to do is press the panic alarm button as your base unit or telephone rings. You’ll then be able to speak to and hear the caller handsfree (via the base unit). However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t work without a telephone line

Feeling ready to speak to a member of our team? Fill out your details here and we’ll get in touch.

Alternatively, call 01323 644422 or email info@welbeing.org.uk for more advice and support. 

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