Peace of mind thanks to personal alarm

Recent research has revealed that personal alarms have a profound impact on people’s lives, allowing those who purchase one to be able to continue living at home alone for longer and providing peace of mind for both themselves and their family.

The research, carried out by Silver Chain and Curtin University over a 12 month period, studied a sample of 200 people who use a personal alarm compared with a sample of 65 people who do not.

The aim was to determine why people do and do not buy alarms, how often people experience an emergency situation and what benefits, if any, are achieved through wearing and using a personal alarm.

Personal alarms are designed to enable older people and people living with disabilities to live independently by enabling them to gain fast assistance in instances such as during a medical emergency or after suffering from a fall.

Silver Chain Research Officer, Kristen De San Miguel, said the research shows that the average person who purchases an alarm is likely to be female, aged over 80 years and be living at home alone.

During the course of the 12 month study 38 percent of those who had an alarm and 41 percent of those who did not experienced an emergency situation such as a fall, breathing difficulties, chest pains or other medical emergency in which an alarm could have been used to summon help.

“Apart from providing fast access to assistance in an emergency, over 70% of alarm users reported that the alarm gave them and their family a feeling of security and peace of mind and it allowed them to continue living independently at home,” Kristen said.

“Wearing an alarm also reduces the person’s anxiety about falling and not being able to get up with almost half of those with an alarm saying it had a very large impact.

“These are significant findings as our organisation and the services we provide are all about helping people to remain living in their home and community.

Alarm users were asked if after having the alarm for one year if they think their expectations and the benefits they were hoping to achieve from having an alarm were met and 95 percent said their expectations were met.

“I was very pleased and relieved to get fast help after a fall. Having continuing contact with somebody on the phone until the ambulance arrived was a huge comfort in a stressful situation,” one client commented.

“This research project has helped enhance the organisation’s understanding of the adoption and appropriate use of personal alarm technology by older Australians,” Alarms Support Manager, Kiah Lee, said.

“We intend to use this research to inform the development of our alarm products to achieve maximum benefit for both our clients and the community at large.”