The TSA's telecare definition is:- Telecare is support and assistance provided at a distance using information and communication technology. It is the continuous, automatic and remote monitoring of users by means of sensors to enable them to continue living in their own home, while minimising risks such as a fall, gas and flood detection and relate to other real time emergencies and lifestyle changes over time.
How Telecare can help you
Telecare offers individuals, their families and carers, security and peace of mind, through services that enables people to stay independent in their own home for as long as possible. One of the simplest forms of telecare is a personal alarm. This alarm consists of a button- often in the form of a pendant worn around the neck, or on the wrist, and a base unit that works with your telephone system. Your base unit will receive a signal from your pendant and will be linked to a monitoring centre. When you push your pendant, your call will go via your telephone line to the monitoring centre, which is staffed by trained operators who will answer your alarm call on any day of the year, 24 hours a day. Many centres (135 across the UK) are now accredited to the nationally recognised Telecare Services Association (TSA) Telecare Code of Practice, which includes stringent standards for call handling response times. The base unit is a two way device, enabling you to talk to the staff the monitoring centre, and for them to talk to you. The staff at the monitoring centres are trained to quickly assess the problem and organise the most appropriate assistance for you. If it’s a false alarm don’t worry, they will be glad to hear that all is well.
Telecare therefore combines equipment in your home with a 24/7 monitoring service. A telecare user may activate their own alarm if they use a pendant. For those individuals who need more specialist help to remain in their own home, passive monitoring equipment is available. This enhanced form of telecare enables usual behaviour patterns to be monitored, and for changes outside of normal behavioural patterns (for example not getting out of bed at the usual time or leaving the house late at night) to instigate an appropriate action. Telecare monitoring covers a wide range of needs, and is intended to support people and enable them to continue living in their own home, independently or with the assistance of carers, for as long as possible. It also supports carers and families by providing additional help and support with caring responsibilities and all-important peace of mind.
It is because of this reassurance that there are now an estimated 1.7 million telecare users in the UK.