3 June 2015

My ‘telecare’ alarm wristband saved my life!

Hove resident Brendon Ryan wants more vulnerable people to use Brighton & Hove City Council’s CareLink Plus telecare alarm systems – because an alarm button he wears on his wrist every day has saved his life.

Brendon, 78, has serious health issues and mobility problems. When he falls over or collapses he can’t get up.

He wears an alarm button on a wrist strap which when pressed activates a unit with a hi-tech microphone system and loud speaker that enables him to speak direct to the CareLink Plus 24-hour monitoring centre.

“I’ve collapsed 12 times in the last few months, and on one occasion I broke two bones in my leg.

“I couldn’t get up and was in intense pain but I was able to speak to CareLink Plus staff through the system and they had an ambulance here within ten minutes.

“Before I got CareLink Plus I fell over once and lay there for 15 hours until someone found me.

“There’s no doubt about it – if it wasn’t for CareLink Plus I wouldn’t be alive today. They’re an incredible team, always friendly and always helpful – I can’t speak highly enough of them.

“Sometimes I ask myself – how did people manage before CareLink Plus? I would encourage as many older or vulnerable people as possible to sign up with them.

“Knowing that someone is always there for you in a crisis gives you peace of mind and you can’t put a price on that.”

You can find out more about how Carelink Plus’s alarm systems and other ‘telecare’ devices can help keep you or the person you care for safe at a special open day on Wednesday 3 June at Brighton & Hove City Council’s Daily Living Centre in Montague House, Montague Place, Brighton BN2 1JE.

The event is being hosted by the council’s CareLink Plus service as part of the national Telehealthcare awareness day.

CareLink Plus manager Joel Caines said: “Telecare uses the latest technology to help people stay safe and independent.

“Telecare isn’t difficult to use, its designed to be used by people of all ages and offers support that is unobtrusive.

“It also gives many carers the confidence to continue with their lives, with peace of mind that the person they care for is safe at home.

“In addition to the alarm pendants, CareLink Plus offers:

  • Timed reminder prompts for daily tasks such as taking medication
  • Bogus caller alerts
  • GPS locators for people with memory problems and dementia
  • Sensors that will automatically alarm through to the 24 hour monitoring centre when you have a fall or an epileptic seizure
  • Smoke, carbon monoxide and flood detectors linked to the monitoring centre
  • Pressure sensors that let the monitoring centre know when someone doesn’t return to their bed or chair after a certain length of time, indicating they may have fallen.

"These devices, when activated, trigger alarms at our monitoring centre and connect you to highly trained staff who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“For some people they can literally be a life-saver.

“Telecare is fantastic for anyone who has mobility problems, a health condition, a disability or who simply feels vulnerable.

“More than 5,000 vulnerable people in the city already have Carelink Plus services. It’s great news not just for them but also for their families and carers.”

Expert staff will be on hand at the event on June 3 to talk about the wide range of telecare services that are available. There will also be talks focusing on carers, mental health and reducing risks at home.

For further information about the council’s Carelink Plus service please:

  • Email CareLinkPlus@brighton-hove.gov.uk
  • Phone 01273 673105 or 0300 123 3301
  • If you experience hearing or speech difficulties you can contact CareLink Plus by text on 07908 823134.