AAA giveaway! Step right up folks, and win a prize…

An emergency response centre celebrated 10 years of providing support to older people last Friday, but two lucky AAA readers get the presents!

Telecare and telehealth specialists Tunstall Healthcare threw a party on Friday to celebrate ten years of providing peace of mind to frail older people and their loved ones through 24-hour emergency telephone support.

To celebrate ten years of operation, Tunstall are giving away two packages of five ‘Key Safes’ to lucky Australian Ageing Agenda readers, which effectively give ‘coded access’ to any normal door.

Above: A Key Safe made by Tunstall Healthcare. Two packs of five will be given away to AAA readers.

According to Tunstall’s Sally Gleaves, “The rock solid Key Safe securely holds up to five keys, only allowing those with the secret code access to its contents. When used in conjunction with Tunstall’s personal alarm, the Key Safe can provide emergency services with quick access to the home.”

To enter, click here to email Tunstall, telling them in 25 words or less how your facility or aged care service will use the Key Safes. 

24 Hour Party People

The ten-year anniversary party for the 24-hour response centre had four guests of honour; employees who have worked in the response centre since it was launched.

These included Roxanne Cox, who was presented with the inaugural Enid Potter Award for making a difference to the lives of others.

According to Tunstall learning and development officer, Narelle Hopper, the award was named after the late Enid Potter, a long-term client who became friends with Tunstall response centre operators, and passed away recently.

“Friday night was lovely; it was so nice of the company to put that on for us,” Ms Hopper said. “We went over the last ten years in speeches about where we’ve come from and who we came to be, and mentioned some old employees no longer with us.”

Ms Hopper was recently promoted to her current position after joining the fledgling response centre in 2001, its first year of operation. She said it has come a long way since then, in terms of both the number of clients and the number of different monitoring packages offered, which now include custom-made devices tailored to individual situations.

“It’s a very rewarding job, and a lovely place to work just knowing that you get to come to work and help people,” she said.

“We get to be there to support people during emergency situations, things like medical emergencies, or something as simple as when a client’s had a fall and they’re not necessarily hurt, they just need someone to help them up – we call a responder or the emergency services.

“The responder could be a family member or a neighbour, or a staff member in an aged care facility or a respite home. Also, retirement villages have on-site managers that might assist in different situations.

“I guess probably some of the harder calls are from people having trouble breathing or having heart attacks – they’re the most stressful. People tend to panic in those situations and we’re there to reassure them and let them know help is coming.

“We are a liaison between the ambulance and the client – we ask all the questions that the ambulance officers would ask the client. I think it speeds it up – it probably makes it easier for them to dispatch [the ambulance] as well. When we call 000, we’re calm and we’ve already asked the questions they need the answers to.”

Ms Hopper said that commonly, the centre’s frail, elderly clients are hesitant to call an ambulance because they are not sure their complaint is serious enough, or are afraid if they call an ambulance, they will have more chance of being taken to hospital.

Emergency response centre services are widely available and often recommended by community nurses for frail elderly clients, as well as being widely used in residential care. The client uses an electronic pendant to call the call centre operators, who organise the right kind of help and stay on the phone until it arrives.

Tags: 24-hour-care, 24-hour-monitoring, 24-hour-response-centre, aged-care, ageing, community-care, emergency-response, giveaway, key-safe, retirement, retirement-community, retirement-living, tunstall-healthcare, tunstall-response-centre,

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