Duress Alarms in Aged Care: Ensuring Safety and Peace of Mind

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Imagine the feeling of knowing that help is just a click away, even when you’re alone and facing an emergency. For carers in the aged care industry, this lifeline comes in the form of duress alarms. Designed to provide a sense of security and support, duress alarms, often referred to as panic buttons or personal alarms, have become an invaluable tool for carers who work with elderly individuals in a variety of settings.

Choose From A Variety Of Duress Alarms

Understanding Duress Alarms in Aged Care

Duress alarms in healthcare are small, discreet devices that can be worn as pendants around the neck or attached to a belt loop. These alarms act as a lifeline for carers, enabling them to call for help in case of an emergency. The importance of duress alarms in aged care cannot be overstated, as carers often face situations where they may require immediate assistance. Whether it’s an accident or a fall that leaves them in need of aid, or dealing with clients who may become verbally or physically abusive, duress alarms provide a crucial means of communication and support.

The Growing Need for Duress Alarms

duress alarm employed in an aged care setting

The demand for duress alarms in aged care is on the rise, and for good reason. According to recent statistics, community and personal service workers in Australia experienced a high number of serious work-related injuries between 2019 and 2020. As the number of people requiring healthcare services continues to increase, with an estimated 3.5 million clients expected by 2050 in Australia alone, the need for staff duress alarms becomes even more evident.

 

Australia's Older Population

Australia’s population is ageing due to increasing life expectancy and declining fertility rates. Both the number of people at the older ages is growing and older people are representing an increasing share of the total population (CEPAR 2021).

  • At 30 June 2020, there were an estimated 4.2 million older Australians (aged 65 and over) with older people comprising 16% of the total Australian population (ABS 2020b).
  • The number of older Australians has increased from 1.0 million (8.3% of the total population) in 1970 and 2.1 million (12%) in 1995 (Figure 1.1) (ABS 2019).
  • The number and percentage of older Australians is expected to continue to grow. By 2066, it is projected that older people in Australia will make up between 21% and 23% of the total population (ABS 2018).
  • For those aged 85 and over, the proportion has increased from 0.5% (63,200) in 1970, to 1.1% (190,400) in 1995, to 2.1% at 30 June 2020 (528,000). The proportion is expected to continue to rise to between 3.6% and 4.4% in 2066 (ABS 2018, 2020a).

 

Source:  Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)

Lone Workers in Healthcare

While the nature of care often involves working with others, there are numerous situations in which carers may find themselves working alone. Care workers in various roles, such as social workers, paramedics, nurses, and aged care workers, may spend a significant portion of their workday without direct supervision. This isolation can put them at risk and make them vulnerable to accidents, falls, or verbal and physical abuse.

Lone healthcare worker with an elderly male patient in a solo work setting

Enhancing Safety for Carers Across Australia & New Zealand

Personal safety is a top priority for carers in the healthcare industry, as it enables them to focus on providing quality care to their clients. Staff duress systems have proven to be effective in improving the safety and well-being of carers in Australia and New Zealand.

The Benefits of Duress Alarms in Aged Care

Duress alarms play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of carers in the aged care industry. Let’s explore some of the key benefits they offer:

Immediate Access to Help

The primary function of a duress alarm is to provide carers with immediate access to help in case of an emergency. With just a simple press of a button, carers can alert their support team or emergency services, ensuring that assistance arrives promptly.

Fall Detection

Many duress alarms are equipped with fall detection technology, which can automatically trigger an alert if the wearer experiences a fall. This feature is especially valuable for older individuals who may be at a higher risk of falls and may not be able to call for help themselves.

GPS Tracking

Duress alarms often come with GPS tracking capabilities, allowing carers and emergency services to pinpoint the exact location of the wearer. This feature is particularly useful in situations where the carer may be working in unfamiliar or remote areas, ensuring that help can be directed to the right place

Peace of Mind

Knowing that a duress alarm is always within reach provides carers and their loved ones with peace of mind. It alleviates concerns about their safety and enables them to focus on their caregiving responsibilities without unnecessary worry.

Abuse Detterent

Duress alarms often come with GPS tracking capabilities, allowing carers and emergency services to pinpoint the exact location of the wearer. This feature is particularly useful in situations where the carer may be working in unfamiliar or remote areas, ensuring that help can be directed to the right place

Support Independant Living

Duress alarms empower carers to continue their work independently, reducing the need for constant supervision. This independence not only benefits the carers themselves but also allows them to provide a higher level of care and support to their clients.

Choosing the Right Duress Alarm

When selecting a duress alarm for aged care, there are a few key factors to consider:

Ease of Use

Your duress alarm should be childs play! Ensure that the alarm you choose is simple and intuitive to use, especially during stressful situations. Look for one-button options and devices with clear instructions that can be easily understood and operated by carers of all ages.

Durability and Water Resistance

Since carers may work in various environments, it’s important to choose a duress alarm that is durable and water-resistant. This ensures that the device can withstand everyday wear and tear, including exposure to water or moisture.

Battery Life

Consider the battery life of the duress alarm, as longer battery life means less frequent charging and greater reliability. Look for alarms with active battery life of at least 24 hours to ensure that they can last an entire workday.

Additional Features

Evaluate the additional features offered by different duress alarms. This may include fall detection, GPS tracking, two-way communication with a support team, and the ability to customize settings according to individual needs.

Conclusion

Duress alarms have become an essential tool in ensuring the safety and well-being of carers in the aged care industry. With their immediate access to help, fall detection capabilities, and GPS tracking, these alarms provide carers with the confidence and peace of mind they need to perform their duties effectively. By choosing the right duress alarm, carers can enhance their safety and independence, while also providing a higher level of care to their clients. With the growing need for aged care services and the increasing number of older Australians, duress alarms will continue to play a vital role in creating a safer and more secure environment for carers and their clients.

Where To Buy A Duress Alarm?

Are you thinking of buying a personal alarm for yourself or your loved ones?

My Security Store specialise in unique, quality security-related products and ship them directly from our warehouse in Queensland, Australia.

My Security Store provides small duress alarms, personal attack alarms and lightweight self-defence tools that may be carried around on a keychain or in a pocket by your family members.