Convincing an elderly relative that it might be time for them to wear a personal alarm is difficult – understatement. Whilst we have their best intentions at heart, quite understandably, for them it can be a big fat reminder that they are getting old and worse that they are losing their independence.
However, it’s actually the complete opposite of that and it would be great if we could get the older generation to understand that personal alarms are designed to give them MORE independence, not less. A personal alarm enables the wearer to continue to be active whilst offering the simple reassurance that should something happen, help is just a call away.
I had this conversation with my 75 year old mother recently (figuratively of course as she’s far too young apparently) and one of the things she bemoaned was “they’re just so ugly”. And on this point, I couldn’t agree more. For those of us wanting to age in style, a horrible plastic button hanging around our neck on a nylon cord is not an attractive proposition.
We have spent years co-ordinating scarves, necklaces and ties with our outfits and quite frankly, personal alarm pendants don’t make good fashion accessories. If you try to hide it under your top, it feels intrusive and there’s the obvious elephant in the room – they scream “hey look at me, I’m vulnerable”.
So while we appreciate that safety should always trump fashion (mmm tell my feet that), we agree that fashion conscious older people shouldn’t have to compromise. Admittedly, with GPS tracking and fall detection, the technology has moved way beyond the big red emergency button on a cord but what about the aesthetic design?
We shopped around and while it was slim pickings, we found these 4 stylish personal alarms for the elderly.
However, hear our plea to all personal alarm companies – “Please start to create more stylish designs as it would certainly make the parental sell a lot easier”.
1. Buddi GPS Fall Detector Alarm
Looks like a smart fitness band and is perfect for the active older person who wants to appear more healthy than helpless. The alarm consists of two parts that work together; the wristband and the clip. Doubling as a fall detector, the discreet silicone wristband has a button on either side that you can press when you need help.
The clip holds the GPS technology, as well as a microphone and loudspeaker to communicate with the care team. Small and lightweight, the clip can be easily attached to clothing, a handbag, or even a key ring.
When you raise the alarm, the Buddi dials through to a TSA approved 24/7 monitoring centre. Here, the highly-trained care team will attempt to communicate with you to determine if you need help. If you are outdoors and away from home, the built-in GPS means they’ll be able to see your location to pass it on to your key contacts, or the emergency services if needed.
The Buddi is available from Telecare24 for an upfront cost of £203, with a subscription fee of £22 per month and a one off £45 set up fee.
2. CPR Guardian III
Now we’re talking – less Fitbit, more Apple Watch!
This light and stylish watch is a good personal alarm for families caring for someone with dementia, especially if they have a tendency to wander. Discreet enough to look like a Smart Watch and easy to introduce if the wearer is used to putting on a watch every day.
The CPR Guardian can pair with a family member’s (or carer’s) smartphone, enabling them to find out the wearer’s GPS location and communicate with the wearer directly through the watch. Note, this does not connect to an external monitoring centre, so it’s reliant on the family or carer responding to an emergency. The watch also comes with an SOS button that alerts the designated person directly when pressed. It costs £199.99 excluding VAT.
OK, so it’s a pendant but admittedly it’s looking a little more stylish and a lot less NHS. The SureSafeGO talking pendant is lightweight, measures 61 x 42 x 16mm, weighs only 35 grams and we’re big fans of the royal blue colour.
This alarm can be used both in and out of the home, boasts fall detection and GPS technology plus you can talk through the pendant (not the base unit) to the alarm responder.
SureSafeGO Mobile Alarm starts from £149.95. Current Special Offers: First 3 months monitoring FREE on SureSafe 24/7 Connect range. Pay Annually only £89 + £45 set-up fee. We’ve bagged a £10 discount, simply call SureSafe now on 0800 112 3201 and quote AgeSpace10.
4. Lifeline24 GO GPS
This versatile oval-shaped personal alarm comes with a stainless-steel hypoallergenic chain and a keyring attachment, so you can decide how you want to wear it. Perfect for both sexes as it can be worn around the neck, clipped onto a belt, or attached to keys.
It uses cutting edge GPS technology, has a hands free speakerphone system, is waterproof and comes with a wireless charging unit.
Simply call for help at the push of a button and the wearer will immediately be in contact with a highly trained and friendly member of their Care Team. After a quick assessment they will be able to contact friends, family, carers or the Emergency Services to ensure help is on its way.
Lifeline24 offers a wide range of personal alarms, pendants and peripheral linked devices to suit any lifestyle and need. Price Range: £12.49 monthly plan (plus a one-off setup fee of £35), £154 annual plan (includes £35 setup fee), or £224 annual fall detector plan (includes £35 setup fee).
You can call Lifeline24 on 0800 999 0400 and quote the discount code “AS10” to save £10 or follow the link to their website below.