4. Care at home > Housing


5) Telecare – alarms, electronic devices

Examples of telecare equipment

Telecare is a service which is becoming more popular. Used across Scotland for disabled or vulnerable people to enable them to live independently.They are able to call for assistance in emergencies so it also offers peace of mind to many carers who do not live with the person or who may have to go out to work during the day.

The equipment and devices used usually start with a needs assessment and either a land line telephone or in some instances a mobile phone.This can then be linked to a personal alarm which is worn by the person when they are at home. It can alert a remote control center to send help or alert a neighbour or relative that there is a problem.It can be used by stroke patients who have little speech as long as they can understand how to use the equipment and the telecare center has prior knowledge when the equipment is installed, that the person has communication problems. There may be a charge payable weekly or monthly for the telecare service, usually dependent on the person’s ability to pay. If you are on a low income this may be free, check with the provider.

Other equipment and devices can also be added to the system.

  • Falls detectors
  • Gas isolation switches
  • Flood warning alarm
  • Movement sensor to turn on light when someone gets up at night
  • Monitor movements discreetly for example by using a pressure sensor mat at the bathroom door or next to the bed to alert when the person has not been moving about the house or if they have been moving around in the middle of the night.
  • Monitors which can alert a carer when someone is having an epileptic seizure at night or has been incontinent in bed.
  • Smoke detectors
  • Door sensors which alert a carer when someone attempts to exit a building. This can be useful in a large house where the person may wander if they have memory problems or where there are small children in the house. For people with mild dementia it can be set to go off after a specified time to allow a person some independence to go to a local shop but still alert a carer if the person does not return within a set time.
  • Door entry systems.
  • Temperature sensor which can send an alert if the temperature drops below a safe level or rises suddenly.
  • Vibration devices for people with sensory loss. A pocket device to alert the person when an alarm has been triggered elsewhere in the house.
  • Medicine dispensers.
  • Carbon Monoxide detectors

For more information please see: Joint Improvment Team Scotland: Telecare in Scotland