The Ultimate Elderly Alarm Guide to Protect Australians

From falls to household fires, emergencies can strike at any time. For older Australians living alone who may be struggling with mobility issues, reaching for a phone to dial triple zero (000) may not always be possible. Without another method to raise the alarm, help simply may not arrive in time.

A personal emergency response system, also known as an elderly alarm or seniors pendant is an excellent tool to ensure senior Australians won’t be left alone if the unthinkable happens—but before you choose a personal emergency response system, read through our ultimate elderly alarm guide which is filled with valuable information to help you choose a device that provides the best level of protection for your elderly parent or relative.

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How Do Personal Alarms for the Elderly Work?

For Seniors For Seniors Who Are at Risk of Falls

Falls are a major risk for seniors. In fact, one in three older Australians are likely to have experienced a fall in the last 12 months, and of these, one in five required hospitalisation. Falls are also most likely to occur at home when no one is around to help.

An elderly alarm, which can be conveniently worn around the neck and activated with the touch of a button, provides a way to immediately call for help in an emergency. Even if the wearer is rendered unconscious and can’t press the button themselves, an alarm pendant equipped with fall detection technology will automatically detect the fall and immediately call for help.

Household fires are another major risk for older Australians, with nearly 50% of household fire fatalities aged 65 and over. In the case of a fire in the home, an elderly alarm can be equally as effective at providing a way to quickly and easily request emergency assistance.

Silent Sentinel® - The Elderly Alarm Pendant

At Calamity, we choose the Silent Sentinel® alarm pendant for its superior technology, ease of use and reliability.

Specifically designed to support older Australians, Silent Sentinel® is the most advanced monitor on the market featuring cutting-edge digital fall detection and monitoring technology.

When the pendant button is pressed or a fall is detected, a signal is immediately sent to Calamity’s round-the-clock Australian monitoring team, where our highly-trained operators will answer the call and speak through the in-built two-way speaker to check if the wearer is ok, or if they need assistance.

If assistance is needed or the operator doesn’t receive a response, the operator can immediately dispatch an ambulance or contact another nominated responder, and provide them with all the necessary information to ensure help arrives in the shortest possible time.

Independence When You Want It,
Help When You Need It

The value of maintaining independence into older age should never be underestimated. Continuing to live independently into older age can slow the progression of memory loss, provide an improved sense of self determination and help to maintain social connections. It’s also often significantly more affordable than moving into aged care.

A seniors pendant allows you to continue to enjoy all the benefits of independent living, while knowing help is always within easy reach if you ever need it.

How Can Personal Alarms Help You Care
for Elderly Parents?

With more than one quarter of older Australians living alone, elderly alarms have proven to be a valuable tool for countless families who want to support their elderly parents to continue to live independently for as long as possible.

The speed at which someone receives medical attention can make a major difference to their quality of life following an incident. In fact, it’s been shown that getting help following an immobilising fall improves the chance of survival by 80%, while also increasing the likelihood of being able to return to living independently.

Elderly alarm devices can drastically reduce the critical time period between needing and receiving help, ensuring the best possible chance of recovery and a positive outcome for your loved one.

an elder needs emergency assistance

Do Personal Alarms Really Work?

Without a doubt, elderly alarms save lives. However, your choice of device and monitoring agency will dictate how effective and reliable the alarm is.

There are plenty of elderly alarm devices advertised as providing excellent protection, while lacking crucially important features like automatic fall detection and 24/7 monitoring.

At Calamity, we would only ever recommend an alarm which has been tried, tested and proven to perform flawlessly in an emergency.

Pacemaker heart medicine

Can My Relative Still Use a Personal Alarm if They Have a Pacemaker?

Medical devices such as pacemakers can be susceptible to electromagnetic radiation (EMR) emitted from battery powered devices that utilise radio frequency (such as mobile phones) when kept within close proximity.

While the amount of radiation emitted by an elderly alarm is very low and unlikely to affect the operation of a pacemaker, the pacemaker manufacturer may recommend the alarm be worn at least 15 cm away from the pacemaker to safeguard against any possible interference.

If your relative is fitted with a pacemaker, they can still safely use the Silent Sentinel® elderly alarm simply by wearing it as a bracelet around their wrist or clipping it onto their clothing.

an elder help with walikng

How to Choose a Fall Alarm for the Elderly

Before choosing a fall alarm for the elderly, check that it includes the following features:

  • an easy-to-press alert button
  • automatic fall detection
  • 24/7 monitoring
  • high-quality two-way communication
  • waterproof (to allow for use in the bath or shower)
  • a long range to cover the entire home and garden, and
  • a long-lasting battery.

What Should I Consider Before Purchasing a Personal Alarm?

Personal Alarms with
Fall Detection Capabilities

Automatic fall detection is the single most important feature for ensuring a call for help will always be made, even if the wearer is rendered unconscious or incapacitated.

If one of our devices ever detects a fall (such as a sudden movement followed by no movement), the device automatically calls our team of highly-trained operators who are ready and able to assist at any time, day or night.

This advanced technology could be the thing that ensures help will be on the way within a matter of minutes, rather than hours or even days.

Senior Woman Holding Alarm Button
calamity silent sentinel

Affordability and Cost of Elderly Alarm Devices

Affordability is always an important factor, however you shouldn’t base your decision solely on cost. Cheaper alarms which are advertised as having “no monitoring fees” are often entirely unmonitored, or monitored by a sub-standard security agency that’s following outdated practices.

Unmonitored alarms work on the premise that if the alarm is activated, the device will send a recorded message or SMS to a list of trusted contacts, however there’s a serious flaw—if none of the contacts are available when the alarm is activated, it will go completely ignored until they next check their phone.

Professional monitoring facilities such as Calamity’s maintain medical history and have direct links to ambulance and first-responders. Whereas automated messages to friends and family are not as reliable when seconds count. 

For a small cost, professionally monitored systems are a much safer option, and will buy you the peace of mind you can’t get with other options.

What is the Best Medical
Alert System
for Seniors?

At Calamity, we choose the Silent Sentinel® elderly alarm pendant for its superior fall detection technology and unfailing reliability. However, what really sets it apart is the fact that it’s monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year by Calamity—Australia’s highest-rated security monitoring provider.

Australian owned and operated, our A Graded and Five Diamond Certified monitoring centre is staffed round-the-clock by our very own team of licensed operators who are meticulously trained to respond to any type of emergency in real-time.

With direct links to emergency services, our operators will quickly assess the situation and immediately activate an emergency response, such as dispatching an ambulance as well as contacting the wearer’s nominated family or friends.

Find out more about Calamity or contact us to enquire about the Silent Sentinel® elderly alarm.

Smiling elderly couple using laptop near coffee cups on table