The latest data from Age UK Personal Alarms reveals that a large number of customers rely on their neighbours in an emergency. Nearly a quarter (23%) of all Personal Alarms customers have named one of their neighbours as a keyholder, who can be contacted when they are in need of help.
A Personal Alarm can connect the user to a 24/7 response centre at the touch of a button if support is required. The operator will then alert the chosen keyholder.
A fifth of Age UK Personal Alarms customers (20%) are most likely to turn to their daughters for support in an emergency, making them a slightly more popular choice than sons (17%). Fourteen per cent of customers nominated friends living close by to be a keyholder, while only 5% opted for their grandchildren.
The data also uncovered some more unusual choices of keyholders. Nineteen Age UK Personal Alarm users named their local reverend as a first port of call, seventeen their landlord, thirteen their vicar and three their accountant.
Gordon Morris, Managing Director of Age UK Personal Alarms, said: "Our data shows a high level of trust and support amongst neighbours which is very encouraging. Neighbourly assistance can be crucial to our Personal Alarms service as alarm users need at least one keyholder who can check on them and provide access to the property if necessary. It's great to see that those in later life can really rely on the people living closest to them should they need any help."
With the Age UK Personal Alarm Service people can get help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It works by connecting a customer to a dedicated Response Centre which is staffed round the clock. Already more than 45,000 people use an Age UK Personal Alarm and benefit from knowing that they can get immediate assistance. It helps older people who live on their own retain their independence, and it also gives family, friends and neighbours peace of mind about their loved ones.
The Age UK alarm system operates a two-way speech link to enable the person who has raised the alarm to talk to an operator within seconds. The operator can then contact the chosen keyholder - most often a friend, neighbour or relative - who can visit and offer assistance. If there is no contact available, or if the situation is more serious, the emergency services will be contacted. The alarm is lightweight and can be worn around the neck or on the wrist. It is waterproof so can be worn in the bathroom, kitchen and garden.
The Age UK Personal Alarm costs from £49 plus £44 per quarter. This includes full maintenance and replacement. If you or a third person would like more information visit www.ageuk.org.uk/alarm or call 0800 169 6565.
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