One never knows when their elderly loved one needs emergency services. As a result, this situation causes anxiety for both parties. Fortunately, there exists a product made exactly for this case – a personal alarm. Personal alarms are small, wearable gadgets that allow the elderly to contact emergency services when they are in distress. In this article, our experts collected the best personal alarms for the elderly in the UK.
Most personal alarms are in pendant or wristwatch form. Additionally, they have a single, huge SOS button that is easy to access. When the elderly need help, they can press this button to alert anyone around them or a remote emergency medical team. While these gadgets are rudimentary in nature, there are still features that you need to know so you can get the best one for your loved ones.
Buying Guide: The Best Personal Alarms for the Elderly in the UK
If you want to look out for your elderly loved ones, you must get the best personal alarm in the UK. However, doing so should not break the bank. It should give you the best features for your money.
Our experts listed the features you need to watch for in an elderly personal alarm:
Personal Alarm Form
The first thing you should know about a personal alarm is its form. Most personal alarms on the market are in either pendant or wristwatch form. Therefore, you need to ask your loved one what they prefer between the two before buying a personal alarm.
Some like the watch style because it is not intrusive. You can still walk and move without any restrictions. However, a personal alarm in wristwatch form is a little uncomfortable to wear for longer periods.
On the other hand, pendant-style personal alarms can be a little distracting at times. For example, if you are going to take a bath, a pendant-style personal alarm can be obstructive when taking your clothes off. However, it does not cause any discomfort after long periods of wear.
Included Base Unit and Range
Most personal alarms include a base unit. This unit is important as it is the one responsible for transmitting SOS signals whenever needed. You need to be within its range so that emergency help can be notified. For most personal alarms, a range of 100 meters is acceptable. With this range, the user can work on their garden without going out of range. However, some personal alarms have a range of 200 meters or more.
The base unit also houses a speaker and microphone, so you can easily communicate with the emergency response team.
Set-up Fee and Monthly Fees
Since personal alarms need access to the emergency response team, you need to pay for this service as well. This service costs around £16.50 to £39.99. So, you need to shop around for the best deal.
Additionally, the base unit needs to be set up before you can use it, which is also not free. However, this cost is only a one-time fee. The personal alarms on our list have set-up fees ranging from £35.00 to £253.10.
Our experts advise that you choose to pay annually instead of monthly. Doing so will save you a lot of money. For instance, some personal alarm providers give you three months of free service if you choose to pay annually.
Automatic Fall Detection
The largest demographic that uses personal alarms is the elderly, who often fall accidentally. In such cases, they are not able to move; not even their arms and legs. Therefore, they cannot go to the included base unit and call for help.
In rare instances, the elderly cannot move at all. The automatic fall detection feature is perfect in this case. When the personal alarm detects a fall, it automatically notifies the provider’s emergency team. Then, the emergency team calls the user. If they do not respond, the representative will call the user’s emergency contact and ask them to check on the user.
Your elderly loved one must wear a personal alarm at all times because we never know when an emergency will happen. Even when taking a shower or bath, they should still wear a personal alarm nonetheless. In fact, most falls happen inside the bathroom because the floor is slippery.
Therefore, the personal alarm that you choose should be waterproof. Do not worry, most personal alarms on the market are waterproof. However, you should check whether it can still be worn while taking a shower.
Value for the Money
After learning about the monthly recurring fees, you need to take note of the features the personal alarm has. Our experts recommend that you tabulate everything down. For instance, you can add columns on whether the personal alarm has automatic fall detection, is waterproof, etc. If they do, put a checkmark next to that personal alarm.
Then, check these features against the monthly fee you need to pay. Once you pick the best three candidates, search for reviews regarding their emergency hotline team. If the reviews are stellar, that is great. Otherwise, drop the personal alarm from the list.
Lastly, do not forget to consider the set-up fees. As we mentioned, some set-up fees can go for £253.10, which is honestly too much for some.
Other important features
Like in any other market, brands tend to one-up each other. They do this by adding more features to their products that they assume consumers will love. Some of such features are built-in microphones and speakers, GPS, GPS safe zones, and emergency response team response time.
Not all personal alarm wearables have a built-in microphone and speaker. They rely on the included base unit whenever communication between the emergency response team and the user is needed. However, some have this feature built in, which is incredibly useful.
Moreover, only a few personal alarms have GPS already built-in. Emergency teams use GPS to accurately locate the user in distress. This is especially useful if the user is lost.
Lastly, you need to check the response time of the provider’s emergency team. You can do so by checking the feedback from users. Some take more time, while others take only seconds before picking up. Our experts added a personal alarm provider that has a response time of only 9 seconds.
Best Personal Alarms for Elderly
After our tests and research, our experts concluded that these products are the best personal alarms for the elderly.
Website: SureSafe (personalalarms.org)
Price: from £35.00 to £189.95
Set-up Fee: £35.00 (for FallSafe and FallAlert)
Monthly Fee: From £11.99 to £21.99 (for the 24/7 monitoring feature)
SureSafe has been the number one provider of personal alarms in the UK. They specialise in user-friendly personal alarms that allow your elderly loved one to live independently in their homes. SureSafe believes you deserve great value for your money. For this reason, they work closely with expert manufacturers to produce the best possible products.
Customers trust their ageing fathers or mothers with SureSafe. As a matter of fact, they have sold tens of thousands of personal alarms since their launch in 2013. Furthermore, SureSafe made strides in developing their wearable technology. Despite these improvements in their products, SureSafe still offers affordable personal alarms that come with a lifetime warranty.
SureSafe offers a wide array of personal alarms for the ageing. The SureSafeGO 24/7 Connect is their flagship personal alarm, which is in pendant style. At only £149.95, you get a plethora of features such as automatic fall detection, GPS tracking, 24/7 monitoring, etc. Since it features 24/7 monitoring, you would need to pay a monthly fee of £18.99.
SureSafe also sells accessories for their personal arms. If your loved one does not want either pendant or watch style, they can instead opt for the belt clip form. You can buy it from SureSafe for £37.50. Furthermore, you can get an extra wristband or pendant SOS buttons for only £39.95.
With SureSafe, you can be sure that your elderly loved one is safe.
2. Taking Care
Website: Taking Care
Set-up Fee: From £69.99 to £253.10 (excluding VAT)
Monthly Fee: From £16.50 to £39.99 (excluding VAT)
Personal alarms from Taking Care have been taking care of more than 200,000 people, making them feel safer at home and out and about. Taking Care calls personal alarms “care alarms” because they provide a way to call for immediate medical assistance for people you care about.
At the touch of a button, their 24/7 emergency resolution team will arrange help from your designated contacts or related emergency services.
Taking Care offers nine care alarm packages with wearable options and features that suit your needs. Their care alarms can be worn as a necklace or as a wristwatch. You can choose a suitable personal alarm for your loved one based on their current circumstances. For instance, if they work in the home and garden, Taking Care has specialized personal alarms for this usage scenario, such as their Classic Personal Alarm.
Furthermore, Taking Care offers gadgets for smart home monitoring, such as the Taking Care Sense. This smart gadget learns patterns of activity in the home. In case it detects an unexpected occurrence inside the home, it immediately alerts Taking Care. An expert representative from Taking Care will check on your loved ones. If they do not respond, Taking Care will notify the designated person to check on the household.
If you are ready to take the plunge, you can join their life-saving elderly alarm service today. Taking Care offers a risk-free home trial with 30 days to test their services.
3. SECOM CareTech
Website: SECOM CareTech
Set-up Fee: £99.50 including VAT
Monthly Fee: £17.89 for Care Hub, £23.14 for Care Hub Plus, and £19.53 for Care Go
SECOM CareTech is one of the oldest personal alarm providers on this list. They have more than 30 years of experience in providing security solutions. SECOM operates in 12 countries and protects thousands of people every day.
They offer personal alarms that are expertly designed for those who need an extra push in life and help you live independently for longer. SECOM CareTech caters to people like the elderly, the disabled, or those with medical conditions.
What sets SECOM apart from other personal alarm providers is that it is operated by a professional security service. Therefore, the specialists who work at their monitoring centres are the UK’s best-trained security specialists. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
SECOM CareTech made your decision easier as they only offer three personal alarm packages: the Care Hub, the Care Hub Plus, and the Care Go.
The Care Hub package includes a pendant alarm and a base unit. Currently, it is their best seller, as it gives the freedom to move around freely and the added security of the base unit. Like other personal alarms, users can notify and alarm family members at the press of a button. Doing so will send an SOS signal to SECOM’s monitoring centre.
If you want a more sophisticated personal alarm, the Care Hub Plus may interest you. It is physically similar to the Care Hub but features a fall detector.
Lastly, if a user usually goes out and about, they can use the Care Go. It is a discrete personal alarm that has GPS. This technology allows family members and the monitoring team to locate exactly where a user is in case of an emergency.
SECOM is fully accredited and a registered member of TSA. This accreditation guarantees that the quality of their personal alarms follows the international code of practice.
Set-up Fee: £40
Monthly Fee: £15.99 for the Careline Pendant Alarm, £17.99 for the Careline Fall Alarm, £19.99 for the Careline SmartLife Personal Alarm, and £20.99 for the Careline SOS GPS Alarm
Another option for the best personal alarms is Careline. If you need a personal alarm with fully packed features in a snap, Careline has got your back, as they provide free next day delivery. This service is especially important to users just coming out of the hospital or living alone.
Aside from wearable personal alarms, Careline also provides security products that can integrate with their services. You can get security products such as key safes and smoke detectors.
Careline offers only four personal alarm products: the Careline Pendant Alarm, the Careline Fall Alarm, the Careline SmartLife Personal Alarm, and the Careline SOS GPS Alarm. These personal alarms cost from £15.99 to £20.99. Our experts commend Careline for these low prices.
For the base package (Careline Pendant Alarm), you get the Careline Alarm Base Unit and a waterproof pendant. The included pendant is long-range and can alert anyone from 100 meters away. Additionally, the user can either wear it around their neck or their wrist, depending on their preference. This feature is perfect because not all people want to wear it around the neck or the other way around. Moreover, users can enjoy 24/7 monitoring and a lifetime warranty with the Careline Pendant Alarm.
If you need the automatic fall detection feature, go for the Careline Fall Alarm instead.
The Careline SmartLife Personal Alarm is Careline’s most popular offering. It has all the features of previous offerings and more. What are its added functionalities? It can connect four times as fast as a standard monitoring system, has a longer 600-meter range, a 24-hour backup battery, and end-to-end encryption. However, the included personal alarm does not have GPS location tracking.
If you need this feature, our experts advise that you go for the Careline SOS GPS Alarm for only £1 more per month.
Recurring Fee: £13.99 per month for the Pendant Alarm plan, £16.99 per month for the Fall Alarm plan, and £249.99 per year for the GO! GPS Alarm plan
Telecare24 has been giving peace of mind to thousands of people and their families. Their personal alarms and careline team help them live independently and confidently. After all, providing peace of mind to their users and loved ones is their core mission. Due to this, Telecare24 is the UK’s leading care line service.
Their careline team is available 24/7; it does not matter what time of day or night you ping them. Whenever you need the careline team the most, they will be communicating with you in just seconds. In fact, it only takes 9 seconds before a careline representative responds. This response time is faster than that of most other UK personal alarm providers. This difference in time could mean saving a life or not.
Customers have been praising the Telecare24 careline team. Aside from the fast response time, most customers commend the careline responder’s kind and helpful voice, even in the middle of the night.
Telecare24’s most popular offering is the pendant alarm plan, which includes a base unit and a pendant alarm. This pendant can be worn like a watch or lanyard. Moreover, it is waterproof, so users can wear it in the bath or shower. The range is also adequate at 100 meters. Thus, the wearable alarm can be used at home and in the garden. Lastly, it has an uber long battery life of 18 to 24 months.
If you go with this plan right now, Telecare24 offers £10 off, which is available only this month. Furthermore, if you choose to pay annually, you get three months free.
Want to add the automatic fall detection feature? Then, go for the fall alarm plan. Want GPS location detection? Then, go for the GO! GPS Alarm plan.
6. Taking Care Out-and-About Personal Alarm Watch
Website: Taking Care
Set-up Fee: £99.99 (excluding VAT)
Monthly Fee: From £17.70 a month or £191.16 for 1 year (excluding VAT)
Our experts decided to put Taking Care’s Out-and-About Personal Alarm Watch as a separate item because of how good it is. This personal alarm watch works similarly to a modern smartwatch. But how good is it in actual usage? The personal alarm’s watch face houses the display and a huge accessible button, which functions like the SOS button on other personal alarms.
Besides the typical personal alarm features, what else does this watch have? Like most smartwatches, it is pre-fitted with a SIM card inside, which allows the watch to get the highest level of mobile coverage. The watch switches between networks to find the strongest signal, guaranteeing that you are connected when you need help.
The Out-and-About personal alarm watch also has a built-in GPS. It updates your coordinates every 4 minutes so the Taking Care team can accurately identify your location in case you are lost or cannot speak. Additionally, the user’s loved ones can add GPS safe zones so they can be alerted via SMS or email when the user moves out of these safe zones. Loved ones can also securely view the user’s GPS location.
Like a smartwatch, the personal alarm watch can monitor the user’s daily activity. It tracks the number of steps the user has taken daily, so they can stay healthy and active.
Furthermore, it has a built-in microphone and speaker, so you can talk to the emergency resolution team straight from the watch. The Out-and-About Personal Alarm Watch has access to Taking Care’s world-class emergency resolution team.
Personal alarms give independence to the elderly and peace of mind to their loved ones. Especially when the world experiences a pandemic, it is an astounding idea to get your loved ones a personal alarm. A personal alarm is a perfect gift for the holidays or birthdays. Our list of personal alarms for the elderly in the UK contains only the best on the market. So, why wait? Get your loved ones a personal alarm today.