Navigating the Myths: Dispelling Misconceptions about Personal Alarms

Personal alarms have revolutionised the way people maintain their safety and independence. These useful devices offer a lifeline in an emergency by sending an alert to a response centre or personal contacts.

Despite their many benefits, there are several misconceptions and myths surrounding alarms. In this article, we will debunk common myths and shed light on the difference between monitored and non-monitored alarms, so you can make informed decisions about your safety.

Myth 1: Personal Alarms Are Only for the Elderly

Personal alarms are suitable for anyone who values safety and quick access to assistance. People who live alone, hikers, joggers and people with chronic conditions can all benefit from a personal alarm.

Myth 2: Personal Alarms Are Expensive

There are different types of personal alarms at various prices, making them accessible to most budgets. In Australia, there are also several government-funded programs that can subsidise personal alarms for eligible people.

Myth 3: Personal Alarms Are Inconvenient

Modern personal alarms are small and lightweight so you can carry them discreetly wherever you go. Most alarms are also waterproof, which means you can wear them in the shower, bath or even the swimming pool.

Myth 4: Personal Alarms Are Unnecessary with a Smartphone

While smartphones are very handy, personal alarms provide dedicated and quick access to help without needing to go through apps. Additionally, medical alarms are specifically designed for emergencies, offering features like falls detection and 24/7 monitoring.

Myth 5: Personal Alarms Infringe On Your Privacy

Personal alarms are only activated when you press the button or if a fall is detected by the sensors. The monitoring centre does not continuously track or record your activities or location.

Monitored vs. Non-Monitored Alarms: What’s the Difference?

Monitored and non-monitored (also known as autodial) alarms serve distinct purposes. Monitored alarms connect to a 24/7 emergency response centre, where trained professionals can quickly assess your situation and dispatch help if necessary.

Non-monitored alarms only call or message a preset list of contacts, such as your family or friends. This means you’re relying on your contacts to pick up the call and provide help.

Benefits of Monitored Alarms

Monitored alarms offer 24/7 reliable safety. They connect you to trained staff who assess your situation and provide the details of the incident to emergency services who can prioritise the call and tailor their response. Your relevant health data is also kept securely in the system, so even if you can’t communicate, the monitor can provide critical information about your medical history to emergency services.

Benefits of Non-Monitored Alarms

Non-monitored alarms provide a direct line to your support network by contacting them first in an emergency. You can also program 000 as one of the contacts. They are a good option if you prefer involving family or friends in your safety plan. These alarms can also be more budget-friendly in terms of monthly fees.

Which is better – Monitored or Non-Monitored Alarms?

Both types have their advantages and disadvantages. Your individual situation will determine which alarm is better for you. Monitored alarms offer fast professional assistance 24/7, and are suitable for people who need reliable care, or those without a good support network. They are particularly beneficial for people who live alone and those who are at risk of falls or other health-related incidents.

Non-monitored alarms are suitable for people who are at low risk and who trust that their personal network will be available to help in an emergency, day and night.

Funding for Personal Alarms

In Australia, there are various funding options to help subsidise the cost for eligible people. Options include Federal Government programs like Home Care Packages (HCP), Commonwealth Home Support Programme (CHSP) and the NDIS. There are also state and territory government programs like PAV in Victoria and PASA in South Australia. If you don’t qualify for government funding you can purchase an alarm privately.  Make sure to choosea reputable provider and prioritise your safety and security.

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