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Managing at home
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Telecare and help alarms

A Telecare service consists of equipment and services that support your safety and independence in your own home (including sheltered or extra care housing). The equipment can sense risks such as smoke, floods and gas, can remind you to take pills and even call for help if you fall. A help centre can be contacted automatically if any of these problems occur in your home.

Some Telecare services include a GPS location device that can be used outdoors to assist you if there is an emergency. It can tell where you are and alert the response centre if you leave an area that is familiar to you.

Find out about Telecare services available from the Adult Social Care Team

Below are some examples of Telecare Equipment that can be provided by Leeds Community Equipment Service following an assessment:

  • Activates through a button press to summon help in the event of an emergency. Worn either around the neck, on the wrist or on a clothing clip. A waterproof pendant option is also available making it suitable to be worn whilst bathing.
  • Pillow Switch. Soft and very easy to press with safety pin attachment to fix it to a pillow so it can be activated by the user with a simple head movement if they need assistance.
  • Internal Carer Alert. Stand-alone internal monitoring equipment that receives instant alerts from a range of Telecare equipment. A portable device designed to be used on site to support carers.
  • Smoke alarm. Alerts the response on activation following the detection of fire or excessive smoke
  • Heat Detector. Alerts the response centre on activation following a rapid rise in temperature of a short period of time. Designed to be installed in the kitchen area where smoke detection is not appropriate.
  • Gas Detector Alerts the response centre on detection of low levels of natural gas if a gas appliance has been turned on but not ignited.
  • Flood Detector Alerts the Response Centre to the detection of water on the floor to provide an early warning to a potential flood Mounted on the skirting board next to the sink / bath to be monitored.
  • Low Temperature Sensor. Alerts the response centre on activation should the temperature in the property drop below a pre-set level.
  • Memo Minder This piece of equipment consists of a small PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor) and a voice announcer which plays a single pre-recorded message when the PIR beam is crossed. The message is recorded by talking into the device and can therefore be recorded by a familiar voice to remind a user of something.
  • Pill dispenser. This alerts the customer by beeping when it is time to take medication. It provides the correct does of medication to the customer at the correct time each day. If medication is not taken out of the dispenser by turning the dispenser over within an allocated time the device will stop beeping and the medication will become inaccessible in order to reduce the risk of overdose. This device needs to be filled by either a carer/ family member or a pharmacist.

For more information about the types of Telecare Equipment available from Leeds Community Equipment Service please contact Adult Social Care.


There are many other private companies that provide Telecare related services.

View a list of independent Telecare service providers on the Leeds Directory

The UK's telephone network has been delivered through an analogue network for decades and will be upgraded to a digital solution by December 2025. 

The new system is called 'Voice over Internet Protocol' (VoIP). You may also hear this referred to as a digital landline or 'Digital Voice', the name of BT's new home phone service. 

Moving to a digital landline does mean that you will need an internet connection to make and receive calls. If you already have a broadband connection, then the new digital landline system will use this.

If you don't have broadband, your network provider, will supply you with a connection to support the new digital landline system. You shouldn't pay extra for this if you don't choose to take up a broadband service. 

If you are considering a new telecare package you should check with your supplier how they are preparing for the introduction of VoIP and make sure that the product you chose. 

Moving to an internet based phone service may be worrying for a number of reasons but Age UK has a produced some useful information and advice on the process. 

Changes to landline telephones |

Last updated: 6/10/2024

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