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Assistive technology

Assistive technology can provide peace of mind for you and your carers and is able to provide assistance whenever it's needed, 24 hours a day.

It can provide much needed reassurance if you are worried about you or someone else feeling safe at home, falling or becoming forgetful, for example.

There are 2 types of assistive technology available which can be used either independently or as combined assistance. They are community alarms and telecare.

Community alarms

Community alarm systems have a pendant or wristband you wear which connects wirelessly to a base unit in your home. A few units may still connect to a telephone line but newer units connect to your router or via a mobile data connection instead.

If you need help because you have difficulties in your home such as being at risk of falling, or if you're unwell or have another emergency, you can press a button on the pendant, wristband or base unit that connects you to specially trained staff at a monitoring centre. They can give advice, reassurance, or contact nominated people such as family and friends, falls recovery or medical help when needed.

If you don't need to connect to a monitoring centre, such as if you have a carer in the same building, the alert can be received by the carer through a pager type device instead.

 Alarms should be tested regularly to make sure they are still connecting calls successfully to the monitoring centre. You can do this by simply pressing the button and making a test call.


Telecare equipment can be used throughout your home to support you and your carers where you have an identified health or social need. The telecare device is linked to your community alarm and automatically raises an alert when help is needed.

Examples of some of the telecare equipment are bed and chair occupancy sensors, falls detectors, property exit sensors, and smoke or carbon monoxide detectors.

Accessing assistive technology

To use a community alarm or telecare, you'll need a nearby mains socket for the lifeline unit. Most sensors are wireless and battery powered.

The base unit and any telecare equipment will be provided and installed for you, with a full explanation on how it works.

Assistive technology can form part of a care and support package or can be arranged privately. If you already have a care and support package in place, speak to your adult care worker.

From 1 April 2024, Medequip Connect will provide the assistive technology service for all our funded clients across Derbyshire. To access a funded service from Medequip Connect, you'll need to be Care Act eligible. Those who have a care package from us can access a funded service. Those who are Care Act eligible, but have no package of care can still be part funded, and therefore access the service at a reduced rate.

If you have a care package already, please contact your allocated worker or contact Call Derbyshire.

If you haven't got a care package, please contact Call Derbyshire tel: 01629 533190 if you'd like to ask for a Care Act assessment if you feel that you have care and support, or preventative support needs.

To arrange privately, you can contact Medequip Connect, tel: 01706 572460. Packages start from £4.71 per week.

The following local providers can also be contacted to access assistive technology privately:

Some of these providers also offer additional services, such as an in-person response service.

Other organisations offering assistive technology

There are many national companies that also offer community alarms and telecare. The Elderly Accommodation Counsel has information on these products and services and lists all providers in any given area, both local and national. They have a section on community alarms.

Other technology to help you live independently

A community alarm and telecare package can help you to maintain your independence at home. Other kinds of technology could support you too, including devices that you already own or have in your home.

Voice controlled technology products (such as the Amazon Alexa, Amazon Echo and Google Nest) can be used to support your independence. You can connect your mobile phone to some devices and phone or message anyone hands-free, which could help in an emergency.

If you already own a smartphone or smartwatch, these may already have features installed. Or you can buy apps that allow you to contact or locate friends or family easily and quickly.

There are also many options available purchase privately and can provide an alternative to a traditional community alarm pendant device. Examples include:

  • assistance buttons or keys to attach to a mobile phone you already own, like the Doro assistance key
  • customisable devices and watches that you can wear outside of the home, like the YourStride watch
  • voice operated technology devices to help you make calls and send and receive messages, such as the RealSAM Phone

Many organisations will also provide free, general advice about the alternatives available to you. The following organisations are a good place to start if you're looking for information and want to see what options are available to you: