West Berkshire Council

Community Alarms and Telecare

Telecare, monitoring and response services to help support vulnerable people at home

Some of the terms on this page might be new or confusing to you - if you're not sure what telecare means, or how it can help you, take a look at our pdf icon Telecare Monitoring and Response leaflet [2Mb], or there's more information further down the page.

Getting help

As a first step, we need to work out what kind of help you need and would be most appropriate. We do this through an assessment - you can arrange your assessment online, or read more about how we assess people's needs. Some of the options that might be suitable for you could include using various types of technology (explained below) to help you.

Once we've worked out the most appropriate type of help for you, we'll be able to work out if you're eligible for financial help to pay for the services you need.
Depending on your circumstances, we'll either:

  • pay for the help you need on your behalf
  • pay part of the cost, with you paying the rest
  • give advice about suppliers you can use to pay for what you need yourself

If it's decided that we'll pay or part-pay for a service for you, we use Forestcare.

Alternatively, our West Berkshire Directory lists a sample of telecare and assistive technology providers in our area if you need to make your own arrangements.

Help from the NHS

If you receive continuing health care or have an intermediate care package through the NHS, they may pay for a telecare, telehealth or assistive technology service for you.
The NHS - Carer's Guide has more information, and NHS Choices has more on telecare and telehealth.

About Telecare

Telecare is a service that provides sensors and monitors (eg technology that can detect motion or a fall).  It's often linked to a community alarm system that triggers a warning at a control centre.  This means that an alarm is responded to within a certain time.
These options need either a family member/friend or a response service to be able to respond when contacted by the control centre.

Examples of telecare equipment can include:

  • care alarms and sensors
  • fall detectors
  • wandering devices
  • smoke alarms
  • flood detectors
  • CO (Carbon Monoxide) detectors
  • heat/cold sensors

About Assistive Technology (also known as Technology Enabled Care - TEC)

Assistive Technology (AT) consists of 'stand alone' pieces of equipment (these aren't connected to a monitoring/response service) designed to prompt and assist you with your everyday activities which have become difficult. The alert call will go directly to your designated carer.

Examples of AT include:

  • simple mobile phones
  • bath plugs that reduce the risk of scalding and flooding
  • remote control for electrical items in the home
  • automatic pill dispensers
  • gas shut off device

Falls Prevention

There are Assistive Technology devices that can be recommended to support older or vulnerable people who are at risk of trips and falls.

About Telehealth

Telehealth typically involves electronic sensors or equipment that monitors vital health signs from home, or while on the move. This can mean fewer unplanned hospital or GP visits and can significantly improve an individual's health and quality of life.
If you think telehealth would be beneficial to you, please speak to your GP.

Telehealth can monitor things such as:

  • temperature (through digital thermometers)
  • weight (through scales)
  • blood pressure (through a cuff)
  • oxygen (through a reader)
  • pulse (through a reader)

Who To Contact

Our contact centre for Adult Social Care (formerly our 'Access for All' team)

01635 503050