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An elderly personal alarm with automatic fall detection can detect a fall and call for help without you needing to push the button. This is vital is you are unconscious or immobile following a sudden illness or a fall. The call will automatically go through to either your nominated contacts or a SureSafe operator, depending on which service you have chosen. You will be able to get the help you need fast, even if you are unable to press the button.

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Your Essential Guide to Emergency Home Care for the Elderly

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

While no-one wants to face an emergency, they are sometimes inevitable. Older people, in particular, are more at risk of experiencing health emergencies. That might be because of long-term health conditions, unexpected medical crises or just the decreased balance and strength that comes with age. In fact, falls alone are a serious risk. UK government guidance says that 30% of those aged 65 or older will experience a fall once or more in a year.

Given these facts, emergency home care for the elderly can be essential. It ensures that after an unexpected health crisis occurs, an older person will be able to return home safely as they rest.

Of course, health emergencies aren’t the only reason why a senior might need emergency care at home. It’s just as important in many different scenarios.

In this post, we’ll discuss what emergency home care is, why an older person could require it and how to get it.

What is emergency home care for the elderly?

Emergency home care can refer to several different types of care. Just like non-emergency care, it could be personal care with aspects like bathing, or help with cleaning, cooking and managing a house. The key aspect is simply that it needs to be arranged quickly.

How do you know if a senior needs emergency care at home? If they can’t independently care for their own basic needs such as meals and hygiene, including getting dressed or going to the toilet, it’s time to get help fast.

Why might a senior need emergency care at home?

We’ve already discussed that an older person might need access to this form of care service after a health crisis. If they sustain an injury that doesn’t require them to stay in hospital, they might suddenly need help at home with tasks they could previously do independently.

Similarly, an older person leaving hospital after an unexpected stay might need care arranged quickly so they have help as they recover.

These are both situations where an older person needs care that they hadn’t required before. However, an older person might also need emergency care just to maintain the same level of care they usually receive. That typically happens when the usual carer experiences their own emergency, causing a gap in care.

How to get emergency home care for the elderly

How to get emergency care at home for the elderly depends on which context you need it in. On our blog, we often talk about the importance of requesting a care needs assessment from your local council if you need care. Of course, that process isn’t primarily designed for emergencies, so we need to go into some more details.

When an older person is being discharged from hospital in a frail or weakened state, the hospital will do their own care needs assessment to decide what care the senior will need after they’ve left. Sometimes that means the hospital will take the lead in arranging emergency home care services. However, if families need help with care that isn’t included in a care package arranged by the hospital, they might want to seek out their own privately arranged emergency care at home.

What if an older person wasn’t admitted to hospital, but they still suddenly need help because of an accident such as a fall? NHS guidance on reablement care advises that people in this situation speak to their GP or their local authority’s adult social care services.

Other options for care help include the Royal Voluntary Service or personal care services from Age UK.

All this being said, families may still need help faster than other services can provide it. They might also just need an emergency, short-term replacement for an older person’s usual carer. In this case, you might seek out private emergency home care for the elderly. This type of care service often promises to deliver care within 24 hours of contact.

How can you find such a service? You can use Google or the NHS lists of homecare providers. However you find your homecare agency, be sure to check the Care Quality Commission website for ratings before you hire them.

Preparing for and preventing emergencies

While some emergencies just can’t be avoided, there are still steps that seniors and families can take to try to minimise risk.

For example, home adaptations such as grab bars in bathrooms can help an older person avoid a fall. Preparing for cold weather and staying warm can help prevent falls on ice or sudden health crises in seniors with lung conditions. And helping an older person transition away from driving is always crucial if they’re not safe on the road.

If an elderly person does have a fall, it’s important to prevent them from experiencing a “long lie,” which is a period of one hour or more lying on the floor. That’s because a “long lie” is associated with significantly worse health outcomes.

Automatic fall detection alarms ensure a “long lie” doesn’t occur. They sense that their wearer has fallen and immediately call for help, even if the wearer is unconscious and can’t press a button. Similarly, a one-touch alarm allows an older person to call for help with just the touch of a button, which is important if they suddenly feel ill and can’t get to a phone. An alarm in the form of a talking pendant even allows them to speak to someone directly through the alarm. That means they can hear words of assurance and comfort instantly while someone’s on their way to help.

How SureSafe protects elderly people before, during and after emergencies

A personal alarm for the elderly provides peace of mind for older people both before and during a crisis. What’s more, it’s also great for elderly people who are just recovering from an emergency and are weaker or less steady than usual.

In fact, a personal alarm can also help during a gap in care. If an older person’s usual carer is suddenly taken ill, a personal alarm can provide reassurance and some protection while emergency care is arranged.

SureSafe’s personal alarms offer all the functions we’ve discussed and more. They’re highly rated, affordable and easy to use. If you’d like to chat with our experts about what alarm is right for you or an older loved one, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at 0800 112 3201. Alternatively, you can use our live chat or request a call back.

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