This post isn’t one for bleating or winging about what some of us can’t get, or miss out on for our disabled or elder care families. This one I am actually very pleased with and at the same time, massively surprised about as it seems to be UK wide, but at what levels I am not quite sure.
It started at parents night at middlers special school. The alarm system man was there to show off the systems that can be used to help families who need to know what is happening through the night.
Imagine waking up by hearing a crying child who’d been kicked out of their bed. Imagine hearing a noise downstairs and then investigating to find a child with front and back doors open and four burners of the gas turned on !!!!! The potential is enormous for many parents of special needs children. Our solution was to have one adult sleep downstairs permanently.
I had asked doctors, consultants, social workers and more for solutions to it, and the only answers I could get were to lock the doors so he couldn’t get downstairs, or put new doors on so that they could be locked. I had visions of horror in the event of fire, or if something happened and the kids couldn’t get downstairs or out of the front door as the key is under my pillow.
Cutting a long story short, coming across these alarms is kind of bitter-sweet. We’ve struggled for years, when there was a solution on our doorsteps, and one that the council also provides for free here. The only charge is for things like elder care fall alerts at £1.80 a week to link up to a call centre.
The equipment is free for us in Aberdeen, and it looks free from a lot of the local authorities I’ve had a look at. I think Aberdeenshire is £4 month, but I think most people could stretch to that for peace of mind.
After persuading my mother that she needed an alert too after falling downstairs and making this mess of herself, she finally gave in to the fact that there needs to be some way of raising an alarm when I’m here as well as when I’m away. I was two rooms away and had no idea she had fallen face first from the top to the bottom of the stairs.
The picture was 2 days after falling. By 5 days, the bruising had joined up under her eyes and cheekbones. The kids said that her bruises were “growing”. Although she looks nowhere near her 77 years, she has arthritis which makes falling actually quite easy. There were no broken bones which amazed me.
She has two pendants and a wrist watch style fall alert. If she falls with the watch on, it automatically sends an alert to my wrist watch and to the care centre, just in case I don’t hear it. She can use the pendants to either just get my attention, or to go to a call centre for help if I am not here.
We have a door alarm on middlers door which is actually quite small (wandering alert). It goes to a unit which I keep beside my bed and wakes me up if his door is opened. He doesn’t know how I know that he has left his room and I can usher him back to his bedroom and safety.
In Aberdeen, they are raising awareness of the systems as too few people seem to know about them. My first question was “how much will it cost”. Sceptical as usual…. The equipment was installed within 2 weeks of my initial self referral. An assessor came out to do an assessment of what would be needed, and two fitters came a mere few days later to install all the equipment.
The service was absolutely amazing, and I don’t say that lightly.
If you know someone who could benefit from peace of mind, let them know to look for it in their area. They really are worth having and I have to say it again, I have been enormously impressed by the Aberdeen Telecare Information Service.
We’re sleeping easier and the wrecked lounge come bedroom is getting a makeover to celebrate it’s return to being solely a lounge.