Blog

16 Jan 23

The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Alarms

MePACS Team | MePACS Products & Services

When you’re out and about, whether it’s shopping, meeting friends, or enjoying a holiday, the thought of a medical emergency isn’t always top of mind. Having a personal mobile alarm however, can make all the difference when you need a fast emergency response.

A personal alarm for the home, typically featuring a small pendant with a help button, is a familiar concept to many. Similarly, a mobile personal alarm functions as a portable version of this device, allowing you to carry it with you wherever you go. Its compact and lightweight design is both discreet and convenient whether you’re running errands or traveling around Australia.

In this guide, we share all the essential details about the mobile alarm, including features, benefits and funding options. Keep reading to learn more!

 

What is a Mobile Alarm?

A mobile alarm is a portable safety device designed to provide fast assistance in case of emergencies, especially for seniors and individuals with medical conditions. It features a compact and lightweight design, allowing users to carry it with them wherever they go.

The alarm is activated with a simple button press which sends an emergency signal for help. Most mobile alarms are connected to the 4G cellular network, which means they can work anywhere in Australia where there’s good cellular reception.

 


The two types of Mobile Alarms

There are two main types of mobile personal alarms systems – Auto- dial and Fully Monitored. Both types have similar devices and features, including falls detection, GPS location and 2-ways voice communication directly through the alarm.

The key difference is in who responds to the emergency alert once the help button was activated.

Auto-Dial (Non Monitored):


  Fully monitored:


An auto-dial mobile alarm has a list of a pre-programmed contacts, such as family, friends or neighbours, who are relied upon to answer once the alarm is activated. Depending on the device, the pre-programmed list can include up to 10 contacts.

When the help button is pressed, the alarm will call the first contact on the list. If that contact doesn’t answer, the alarm will call the second contact on the list, and so forth.

If the contacts are busy or not immediately unavailable, the user can lose valuable time waiting for help.

 

A fully monitored mobile alarm is connected to an emergency response service which operates 24/7, 365 days a year. Every alert from the alarm is promptly answered by a professionally trained response team that is experienced with handling emergencies.

The emergency responder quickly assesses the situation and gets the appropriate help, whether that is a family member or a neighbour, or an ambulance.

The responder also provides relevant details to emergency services so that they can tailor and prioritise their response as needed.

Read our detailed comparison between monitored and auto-dial alarms here →

 


Mobile Alarm features and benefits

Mobile Alarm devices offer several important features and benefits:

  • Falls Detection: Advanced sensors can detect falls automatically and trigger alerts even if the user is unable to press the alarm button, ensuring prompt assistance in case of accidents.
  • Two-Way Communication: Mobile Alarm devices include built-in speakers and microphone, enabling users to communicate directly through the alarm without needing to get to a phone.
  • GPS Location: Some models incorporate GPS technology, allowing emergency responders to pinpoint the user’s location in case of an emergency, especially useful for individuals who may wander or have cognitive impairments.
  • Water resistance: Mobile Alarm devices are often water resistant, allowing users to use them even if it’s raining.
  • Easy to Use: Designed with simplicity in mind, these devices are user-friendly and accessible to people of all ages and abilities. With just a press of a button, users can quickly summon help in the event of a medical emergency, fall, or other urgent situations.
Learn more about the features and benefit of the MePACS Mobile alarm here →

 


Funding options for Mobile Alarms in Australia

There are a range of government funding options tailored to support Australians. Among these are Home Care Packages (HCP) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). There are also state funded personal alert programs such as Personal Alert VIC and Personal Alert SA, for which MePACS is an approved provider.

Government funding for any program is subject to various eligibility criteria, so it’s important to understand the requirements. By leveraging these funding options, however,  individuals can access the necessary resources to afford personal alarm systems, which are invaluable for getting help in medical emergencies or after a fall.

Home Care Packages for Seniors (65+)

Home Care Packages provide comprehensive support, including financial aid, to help seniors live in their own homes for as long as they can. These packages cover a wide array of services and equipment to give seniors access to the support they need to maintain their independence and quality of life. Please note that there are a fixed number of HCP’s available each year so there can be a potential waiting period. 

The services offered through the HCP include domestic assistance, personal care, meal preparation, nursing and much more, and can be tailored to each person’s individual requirements. Importantly, essential safety devices such as personal alarm systems can be funded through HCP.

Funding for a personal alarm through HCP is done through a Home Care Provider. Once you’ve been assessed and approved for HCP, your Home are Provider can organise the alarm for you.

To find out if you’re eligible for a HCP, check out the eligibility criteria here, or apply for an online assessment. You can also call My Aged Care on 1800 200 422 to schedule an assessment.

Learn more about Home Care Packages here →

 

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)

The NDIS offers funding and support to Australians under the age of 65 who have a permanent and significant disability. The scheme aims to provide participants with the necessary funding to access services and supports that will assist them in achieving their goals and living their best lives.This includes covering the cost of essential assistive technology, including personal alarm systems, to enhance safety and independence. 

Personal alarms have a specific funding codes within the NDIA and funding can be used from the Consumables budget for low-risk, low-cost Assistive Technology, or from ‘Core supports’. The funding will depend on the setup of the participants plan and available funds.

Learn more about MePACS alarms for NDIS participants here →

 


What is the best Mobile Alarm for me?

The choice between a Mobile Alarms will ultimately depends on individual preferences and specific care needs.

Monitored personal alarms are connected to a monitoring centre staffed by trained professionals who can respond to alerts and dispatch assistance as needed. These alarms offer the advantage of 24/7 monitoring and immediate response in emergencies, providing peace of mind to users and their loved ones. Monitored alarms are particularly beneficial for individuals who live alone, have underlying medical conditions and have greater support needs.

On the other hand, auto-dial personal alarms are programmed to automatically call designated contacts, such as family members or caregivers, when activated. These alarms don’t have ongoing monitoring fees so can be cheaper in the long run. They are suitable for individuals who have a reliable support network and low care needs. It’s important to note that Auto-dial alarms are not recommended by Choice Australia.

Ultimately, the best personal alarm depends on the user’s individual circumstances, including level of independence, mobility, health and support network. It’s essential to consider these factors carefully if you’re looking for genuine safety and peace of mind.


Where to buy a Mobile Alarm?

Auto-dial personal alarms are often sold online through various providers. Once purchased, the devise is posted out and you need to set it up yourself.

The MePACS Mobile Alarm can only be purchased directly through MePACS. Our emergency response centre, customer care and technical support teams are all Australian and based in Victoria. Because we have a strong commitment to duty of care, we conduct a free and professional assessment of your individual situation and care needs to help determine which personal alarm is right for you. MePACS does not have lock-in contracts so you can cancel the service anytime without penalties.

HCP and NDIS funded personal alarms are organised through Home Care Providers or NDIS Case Managers.


If you, or someone you know, can benefit from a monitored personal alarm, contact us for a chat on 1800 685 329 or Join Now.