Tag Archives: lifeline alarm

Personal Alarm Button to reduce bed-blocking crisis

Personal alarm button can reduce bed-blocking crisis in NHSLast month the Telegraph reported on “NHS bed-blocking rising 42% in a year”.

This “impacts on A&E as hospitals struggle to find beds for incoming patients. Days lost to delayed transfers of care totalled 193,680 in November. This is the third highest number on record, and 26 per cent higher than the figure for November 2015.

A personal Alarm Button helps.Tunstall alarm and personal alarm button

So this is where we assist. As Community Alarm providers we make a difference. Occupational Therapists can discharge elderly patients sooner knowing they have a personal alarm button to wear in their home. With their button worn around their neck or wrist, they are able to call for help. (See how the Contact Care Personal Alarm works.)

Thus the discharged patient is not ‘alone’ at home.

So, at Contact Care we endeavour to get our lifelines installed in the home promptly. We respond to the urgency, maybe that very day or the next morning. Therefore getting a patient safely discharged from hospital, contently back in their own home and another bed freed up.

Kat Navarro

Contact Care Personal Alarm Button, reducing Bed-Blocking

Home Adaptations for Independent Living

Home adaptations for independence in older age, pendant alarmAdapting the home for an older person

Adaptations may become necessary as you grow older. If you think you need some home adaptations, contact your local council and ask for an assessment by an occupational therapist (OT).  The assessment is free.

Don’t forget to hold of Contact Care to get a lifeline alarm!

Here in Norfolk, most of the District Council offer a Handyperson Service if you are over 65 and wish to make minor repairs or adaptations to your home. The  Handyperson Service provides subsidised rates including up to two hours free labour on a means-tested benefit. For further information read Contact Care’s article on Independent Living in Norfolk and the Handyman Service)

Small home adaptations that can help are:

  • installing grab rails in a bathroom or by the front door
  • adding a bath seat or electric bath lift
  • fitting a second banister on a staircase

Also consider equipping yourself with:

  • riser-recliner chair (much less strain on arms and wrists)
  • alternatively (and cheaper) you can raise your armchair higher from the ground
  • walking frame (no shame, they really help)
  • trolley (excellent for carrying your cup of tea and cake through to the lounge)
  • perching stools in your kitchen or shower (great for use at the sink, ironing etc.)
  • lifeline alarm (it’s there with, you just in case..)
  • kitchen aids like kettle tippers, easy-open can openers, adapted cutlery

Larger home adaptations:

  • installing a downstairs bathroom
  • fitting a stairlift
  • widening doorways
  • lowering worktops in the kitchen
  • installing outdoor stair rails or a ramp

Here you may want to ask your local council about grants. Most Councils offer a Disabled Facilities Grant (means tested) towards the cost of making changes to your home. They may also be able to put you in touch with other grants funds available.

Kat Navarro

Contact Care Telecare Service: supporting Independent Living

Christmas Gift ideas for your elderly parents this year

present-2Wondering what to get your elderly parents for Christmas? If they’ve already got enough scarves and warm socks and they’ve told you they really don’t need anything… try looking around their home from a different perspective and see if there’s not something you can DO for them.

Try donning a pair of imaginary glasses, not Rose-Tinted but a pair of Elderly Lenses, and put yourself in their shoes as you move around your parents’ home and garden. Here’s some pointers:

START AT THE ENTRANCE. If there’s a step to either the front or back door, is there a sturdy handrail? Are the steps even? Turn your attention to outside lights. Is there good lighting outside the door?

Then come inside the door, when mum or dad locks the door at night, is the key left in the lock? This will mean no-one can unlock the door from outside if your parent is inside and needs help. If not in the lock, are the keys nearby in case they have to get out quickly? A handy solution can be a simple hook (either in the nearby wall or a suction hook on the door) for the keys to hang on. And don’t forget the doormat – is it a trip hazard?

REDUCE SLIPS AND TRIPS. On the subject of mats, check all the mats and rugs around the house. Are they curling up and causing a trip hazard? Replace them. Do they need a rubber liner underneath to stop them slipping? Cast your eyes around for potential trip hazards – wires or objects on the floor and see if they can be moved. Then turn your attention to footwear. Sloppy slippers, open-backed slippers, worn-out slippers, big-fluffy-loose-fitting slippers should all go.

BRIGHTEN THE PLACE UP. Pay attention to lighting inside too. As they get older and eyesight deteriorates, your parents may benefit from more powerful overhead light fixtures, as well as task lights carefully placed near work surfaces such as kitchen counters. Make sure that the ambient lighting is glare-free and at a consistent level from one room to the next to avoid eye strain.

VISIT THE BATHROOM. Mum or Dad might say they really don’t need grab rails in the bathroom. But when they are there, you do just use them without giving it a thought. If you do slip in the bathroom you tend to go down with a bump. So avoid it. Non-slip mat? Bath seat? Raised toilet seat?

GET TECHNOLOGICAL. There is no need to be completely tech savvy, but there are some useful gadgets. Do they receive lots of cold calls making them get up to answer the phone all the time? These can be screened and blocked. How about a daily skype or facetime? Not only does it keep you in touch but you can also see how they are looking.

Yes, you can have your Little Red Button with you in the bath!

Woman stuck in bath for four days ‘saved by waitress’

This was the BBC headline on Monday. Jeremy Vine picked up the story on Tuesday on BBC Radio 2. After speaking live to the concerned waitress Sonia, and asking after Doreen, Jeremy went on to take some calls on the subject.
A lady from Sussex phoned in to say her mum had got stuck in the bath once. She explained how she had rung and rung through the morning but got no reply so asked one of her mum’s neighbours to let themselves in and check. “They found she had got stuck in the bath, couldn’t get out and was absolutely frozen and terrified.” The lady continued “Where was the lifeline? Of course she had taken it off because you are not supposed to wear it in the bath.”

Keep your little red button with you in the bath!

 And this is where I want to draw you attention – to that little red button and the bath. NO, the button does not like to be submerged in water for a long time but yes, it is showerproof. Which means it doesn’t mind a quick dunking in water. So if you are bathing, our advice is put your alarm button on the edge of the bath, right next to you. If it falls in, just fish it out again and it will be fine. If you are showering, you can wear it the whole time in the shower

It is designed to be with you through all your daily tasks in your home and garden. The button can be worn either around your neck or on a wrist strap. You choose, depending on which works best for you, and which is easiest for you to wear through the day. At night pop it by your bed, ready to put back on in the morning.little red button is showerproof

Kat Navarro

Contact Care: Little red button