24/7 Monitored VS Autodialer Alarms
Which Personal Alarm Prioritises Your Safety?
Do you or a family member need a personal alarm? It’s important to consider which type of alarm is the right choice.
When it comes to personal alarms in Australia, there’s a range of products that can help you feel safer, more independent and provide emergency assistance when you need it.
In this article, we compare the two main personal alarm options: generic autodialers – automated systems that call a list of pre-selected contacts; versus 24/7 monitored services – guaranteed to be answered by trained professionals.
What is an Autodialer Alarm System?
An autodialer, also known as a non-monitored personal alarm, is a wearable device that, when activated, will automatically call a list of contacts until someone answers. This could be a dedicated device, or an app on your smartwatch or phone. You may be able to set this list up to have emergency services like Triple Zero as well as family or friends as your contacts.
How do Autodialer Personal Alarms Work?
If the emergency button is pressed, the alarm will ring each person listed for a limited time before moving on to the next. It may also send a generic text to your contacts stating that you need help. However, autodialer alarm calls or text messages do not deliver specific event information or medical background to contacts or emergency services.
If the first contact does not answer, it can typically call up to five contacts until someone picks up. Consider the risk to your safety; if your contacts receive a call in the middle of the night, when they are at work or just not able to get to their phone, there is no guarantee they will respond quickly when you need help.
If a contact’s voicemail picks up the call, the autodialer could be delayed in calling the next contact as it waits for the voicemail to disconnect. Or it may register that the call was answered. When time is of the essence, the autodialer process can become lengthy as you wait for someone to respond.
Why Choose a Fully-Monitored Personal Alarm System?There are plenty of reasons why 24/7 fully-monitored personal alarms are the first choice for seniors, people living with a disability, those with compromised immune systems or chronic health conditions:
- A simple button push will activate the device, placing a call through to a dedicated 24/7 response centre.
- This service guarantees a quick response by an emergency response professional, any time of the day or night – so you never have to worry about no one answering your signal for help.
- A trained professional will be able to quickly assess the situation and call for help on your behalf providing Triple Zero with relevant medical information.
- The service will keep in contact with you until help has arrived, providing a reassuring, comforting voice at the end of the phone line – no one wants to feel alone when they are scared, ill or injured.
- There’s a range of monitored alarms available to suit your lifestyle and abilities, so you have the freedom of choice.
- Many monitored alarm services are available through NDIS, Home Care Packages, and other government funding, such as Personal Alarms Victoria and Personal Alarms SA.
- Some services offer a ‘daily check in’ service, where the client pushes their button once a day to let the response team know all is well. If the check-in is not activated, the response team will get in touch to make sure you’re okay. If they can’t reach you to confirm your wellbeing, they will get in touch with one of your contacts or Triple Zero to conduct a welfare check.
Questions to Ask When Considering a Monitored Service
- Is your response centre based in Australia?
- Do you have a guaranteed timeframe for answering calls?
- Do you keep medical details securely on file? Quality providers will do this to ensure an individualised response tailored to your specific needs; and to share when relevant with Triple Zero so they attend to your care appropriately.
- Are you not-for-profit? A not-for-profit service will be more likely to focus on delivering their duty of care – placing people above profit and ensuring the right solution is provided to each individual.
- Do you offer a ‘daily call’ to check on clients?
The below table highlights some of the key differences between monitored and autodialer alarms.
Are Autodialers a Genuine Alternative to Monitored Services?
Not really, no. They are two very different solutions, and comparing them is akin to comparing apples to fruit juice.
Autodialer medical alert systems may appear less expensive initially, but it can be a bit like a placebo. Will it deliver the care or peace of mind to protect your wellbeing and safety? If calls go unattended for too long, your contacts don’t know what to do in an emergency, or you don’t have enough contacts willing to be on your autodialer, then it becomes a false economy.
With a fully-monitored response service, you can rely on the right person responding quickly to your signal for help. It’s the personal alarm service that makes a genuine difference for your health and safety.