Our relatives are the most important people around us. They are the people we know the most, the people we see the most and the people we rely on the most. It is a difficult and devastating image to watch relatives become ill, vulnerable or age and it's our duty to look after them as they struggle through these times. We are all living longer and more and more people are finding themselves in a situation where they need care or, undoubtedly, will need care and this is something that can’t be ignored.
Thinking about caring for relatives isn’t something that comes up until the event happens but it isn’t something we should just push to the back of our minds. There are a lot of factors to consider and difficult conversations to be had, such as wills and care homes, and they must be talked about delicately. Looking ahead with a bit of forward planning will make life much easier, not just for us but for our relatives too, and if we go about it in a calm and considerate way then it won't be so traumatic when the day comes to put care into place.
The modern world is full of costs and when you are retired, ill or disabled the topic of affordability is a major concern. The population of the UK is getting older and it is paramount that we as a nation and as a society are in a situation where care is accessible and affordable for those who a vulnerable and life reliant on care. Government focus on care seems to be dwindling and with councils losing significant funding it is leaving so many people in a situation unable to afford or access the right care. This predicament has forced many elderly or disabled people to leave their homes to go live with family members, to go into sheltered housing or care homes because it is too dangerous for them to be left alone.
Look Elsewhere for Care
Our hopeful look to the government or local councils for assistance with vulnerable relatives is something that is becoming a lost cause. The elderly and disabled in England have been told that cuts and extra charges to social care services are being enforced. The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) has stated that the spending on care this year in England would cost over £20 billion; which is a notable increase in spending from previous years an emphasis on the growing amount of care that is required.
The ADASS surveyed over 150 councils in England and found that even though the Budget announced an injection of a £1 billion for care, councils would need to make cuts of £800 million. Not only will councils see difficulties but; Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, predicted the difficulties in the social care sector would have a knock-on impact on the NHS, which relies on care services to get the elderly and vulnerable out of the hospital.
This growing pandemic of social care cuts is making it harder for people, nearly 700 000 of those reliant on council care are the elderly, to access care and get the help needed. 37.5 % of the elderly in need of care in England is helped by family and friends and with this figure likely to grow over the coming years it is important for us to find the best care solutions for our relatives.
Caring for Our Relatives
When it comes down to choosing a care option for our relatives, there are many factors to consider in choosing the right one.
Care options to think about for our relatives are:
- Stay at Home – Having relatives stay in their own home is a comfortable solution for them. They are many options with this to not only bring loved one’s peace of mind, such as pendant alarms and carers, but it is also a less intrusive way for our relatives to come to terms with the difficult truth… that they need help.
- Live with Family – When we worry too much and find that our elderly relatives can’t cope on their own it is only natural that we would want them closer to us so that we can keep them in a loving environment.
- Care Homes – It may be the case that our elderly relatives need daily support with their day to day living, with such things as eating, washing and dressing. Care homes might be the best solution for constant care and being in an environment where help is always available.
- Sheltered Housing – These are sometimes called retirement homes. These consist of private accommodation units, smaller and easier to manage than a full house, with shared facilities and a warden.
Looking after an elderly relative can have financial and emotional challenges that get placed on you and it is important to remember to also look after yourself. Many people find caring for a relative a burden and don’t always realise the help and tools available, such useful help is Carers Trust and the NHS Guide to Care and Support.
What is the Best Option
When the questions come up regarding care and where our relatives want to be; the answer will quickly be that they stay in their own home. They retain their independence, they are not up-rooted from the home that they love and we can feel that they retain their dignity and are in a comfortable environment that they are familiar to.
Allowing our relatives to stay independent within their own home is the most likely best solution and there are so many options to help them even further. A fantastic service is the meals on wheels service, that brings fully prepared meals to the doorstep and fulfills great peace of mind knowing that our relatives have access to meals.
One of the most troublesome issues that we as loved one’s face when leaving our elderly and vulnerable relatives alone in their own home is, ‘What happens if they need help?’
Luckily there is an answer, personal alarms. Personal alarms are a perfect solution for our elderly relatives to live on their own with access to help with the push of a button. Not to mention the unprecedented peace of mind it provides loved ones knowing those that they care about can access a lifeline when in need of help.
Thankfully, there are services, such as Lifeline24, offering personal alarms so that our relatives and ourselves can have the peace of mind for them to stay independent in their own home and have a lifeline to the outside world if they need help.
A personal alarm is the perfect solution for elderly or disabled people living on their own as they allow those who use the alarm to call for assistance if they have an accident or a fall in their home.
They are ideal for helping the elderly and vulnerable to feel safe as they remain independent for longer. They work by alerting a 24-hour monitoring centre, who have emergency contact details of friends, family or neighbours available so they can contact them on the user of the alarms behalf to go and help. The monitoring centre can also contact the emergency services if they are required.
Personal alarms are specifically designed to be used in and around a person’s home. The user of the alarm can have the pendant button, which works in tandem with the base unit, on their person at all times and the pendants are waterproof meaning they can be used in the bath or shower which is where most falls and accidents happen.
A personal alarm is simply a simple call button that requires a small push and a then call is automatically sent out via a base unit, that is plugged directly into the telephone landline, when the user of the alarm needs help. At night time, the pendant can be easily worn comfortably on the user’s wrist or can sit next to their bed in reach if needed.
The Lifeline Vi Alarm & MyAmie Pendant
Our personal alarms for the elderly are inexpensive and include no hidden extra charges. After setting up fees you can choose a monthly or yearly plan which is affordable for the 24/7 support we give all year round.
Lifeline personal alarms come in two parts; A base unit that you plug directly into your phone line and a MyAmie Pendant button that can be worn around the wrist or the neck. They are ideal for the elderly, disabled, chronically ill- with diseases such as cancer, diabetes and dementia, or people who just need a little bit of reassurance to remain independent at home.
The alarms have been proven to be effective and they are simple to use. If the user of the alarm needs help, they activate the pendant button they are wearing. An alarm call is then automatically sent out through the base unit and received almost immediately by our 24-hour care team.
The care team then try to communicate with the alarm user by speaking to them over the base unit's loudspeaker function and they then arrange help in the form of family, friends, neighbours or the emergency services to go out to the user of the alarm. The user of the alarm then has the confidence and peace of mind that every time they push the pendant button for help; someone will come.
Lifeline personal alarms for elderly people, provide peace of mind to you and your relatives; without you needing to move into an, often un-affordable, care home or buy into expensive care services. We believe that the elderly and disabled should be able to stay in their homes as long as possible and that their home care should be affordable to their loved ones.
Lifeline24’s service would not be what it is without the MyAmie pendant button. This small and discreet pendant is worn on a wrist strap, neck cord or on a belt clip. It functions on the European Social Alarm Frequency (869MHz) which means that it does not interfere with medical equipment such as a pace maker.
The MyAmie pendant button has fantastic features:
- Range - The pendant button has a huge range of up to 100m which allows the user of the alarm to go about their day to day activities as normal and they can even be out in the garden where the pendant will still work.
- Waterproof - The pendant can be used in the bath or shower- the places where falls are most likely to occur, which means the user of the personal alarm can wear the pendant button at all times.
- Battery Life - You don’t need to replace batteries or worry about the batteries going flat. The life on the MyAmie pendant is seven years and information from the pendant is automatically sent to the care team regularly so they will automatically know when to send you a brand-new replacement.
If you are interested in personal alarms for elderly people you can find more information, videos and customer testimonials on the Lifeline24 website. You can also Tweet us your thoughts on care home prices @Lifeline24 or write to us in the comments below.
A Final Thought on Caring For Relatives With A Pendant Alarm
With countless cuts and not enough care from the government or councils to keep up with the demand it is falling on family to look after their relatives. Luckily, with such services as a personal alarm; there is that monumental opportunity for our relatives to remain in their own home and be comfortable and safe knowing that help is a push of a button away so that they can continue their day to day activities even gardening.
These devices and services are a lifeline in the growing need for care in a population that is getting older for longer. It can be difficult to come to decisions about caring for our relatives and allowing them to keep their independence is always something that will be one of the top priorities when decided on types of care. Personal alarms certainly do that job, and the peace of mind knowing that even though your relatives might be alone in their home a lifeline is there bringing your relatives one button away from the help they need.
"Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated to include up-to-date facts regarding current issues."