Alarms for elderly

Is it possible to get free personal alarms for the elderly? (UK)

3 min read |

Are you wondering where to get free personal alarms for the elderly?

Having a personal alarm system installed can be a lifeline for older people living alone.

It can also provide peace of mind for family caregivers that their loved one can contact them in an emergency.

This article will cover where to get free personal alarms for the elderly in the UK.

Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover:

  • A personal alarm is a product you can get to support your loved one’s independent living. 
  • They aren’t always available for free, but there might be ways to get money off your purchase. 
  • You could get a personal alarm for free as part of your care needs assessment through the local authority. 
  • Get in touch with your local council directly to find out what they can offer and advice on alarms.
What is a free personal alarm for the elderly

What is a free personal alarm for the elderly?

A personal alarm for elderly people is a portable device that can be used to alert caregivers in the event of an emergency. 

There are a number of different designs and technologies that elderly people and their families can use. 

You’ll find alarms for elderly in the form of pendants and watches which can blend into everyday wear.  

There are also other clip-on devices in a range of styles to promote usability for the individual.

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What is the main purpose of free personal alarms for elderly?

Some councils offer free personal alarms – so you might be wondering where to get free personal alarms for the elderly UK? 

Certain councils in England give out free personal alarms for the elderly people who need them most. 

This could include geographically isolated or vulnerable older adults who have a variety of care needs. 

Also those who might find themselves in an emergency situation, such as a fall, where they need to quickly and easily call for help. 

What is the main purpose of free personal alarms for elderly

Is it possible to get free personal alarms for the elderly? (UK)

To find out where to get free personal alarms for the elderly (UK), the first port of call should be the council. 

They are the local authority and can provide relevant information for the area in which your loved one lives. 

Local councils have different offerings in terms of schemes and funding, plus what is available and for whom. 

Even if there isn’t an option for free personal alarms, there may be ways to save or claim money back.

Who can get a free personal alarm

Who can get a free personal alarm?

Eligibility for free personal alarms for the elderly in the UK may come down to a set of care criteria. 

This could be based on what care needs an individual has, such as any diagnoses that impact their health. 

And which could mean they are more at risk of finding themselves in an emergency situation and needing to use an alarm.

People with a disability

If the person using the alarm is registered as disabled, either physically or mentally, they may qualify for a free alarm. 

Alternatively, they may be able to use money from a disability benefit or VAT relief to pay for it.

Can you get a free personal alarm for elderly through Attendance Allowance?

The money you get from your Attendance Allowance payments does not have to be spent on home care visits

This is money you can use to pay for products or services that help you live as independently as possible. 

While it might not be possible to get a free personal alarm, the monthly payment could cover the cost of it.

For more information about how to claim Attendance Allowance, or Attendance Allowance pitfalls, read our articles.

Alarm for elderly

Assisted living or sheltered housing

If the alarm user lives in a council run sheltered housing or assisted living facility, they may already have a personal alarm.  

This is because this type of housing usually comes with an inbuilt alarm system for residents to use. 

Though it may not be free, the charge will be included in the overall cost of this later life living and care option. 

Want to know more? We answer the question ‘can I buy a retirement property for my parents?

Who should have a personal alarm

Who should have a personal alarm?

There’s no set answer to who should have a personal alarm – you’re free to make that decision as an individual or as a family. 

However there are some care or daily living contexts which could mean a fall alarm is a more sensible option. 

My loved one can’t (or won’t) use a mobile phone

No matter how much we encourage our loved ones to embrace modern mobile technology, some older people just aren’t interested.

Even the best phones for hard of hearing or dementia friendly phones can cause confusion for elderly loved ones. 

So if it’s just that you’re worried about their ability to contact you in an emergency, an alarm could be a solution. 

personal alarms

My loved one is frail and at risk of falling

Having an elderly loved one with mobility issues that could lead to a fall can be a constant worry. 

If this describes your situation, a personal alarm could be a useful addition to their care plan. 

While a personal alarm can’t prevent falls in elderly loved ones, some alarms have technology that monitors movement. 

Plus, if a fall does happen, they can quickly and easily alert you via a manual or automatic panic button. 

My loved one lives alone, but wants to maintain their independence.

Supporting your loved one to continue living independently can have a positive impact on their later life needs. 

While they enjoy their autonomy, living alone can be a cause of anxiety for some people, should anything happen. 

So even if they don’t have many care needs, setting up a personal alarm system means it can be used in an emergency.  

And starting to use one early in the care journey means that your loved one will be comfortable using it later on.

Worried about your loved one having a fall?

How to prevent falls in older people

Does my loved one need it?

No one wants to use them, but knowing your loved one has a personal alarm available can give everyone peace of mind. 

This assurance is essential in helping older people maintain their independence and not feel infantilised by emerging care needs. 

Especially if an elderly family member is living alone, having a wearable alarm gives that extra layer of security. 

As they would be able to contact you themselves or through a third party switchboard just by sending an alert.

Where to buy a personal alarm

There are a number of online retailers which sell different types of personal alarms for elderly people. 

If you wish to purchase an alarm for elderly living alone, take a look at our article which shares the best buys. 

And if you found this guide useful then you might like to check out these guides on:


Assisted living

Not sure where to start when looking for care?

If you’re noticing that mum or dad has increasing care needs, you might want to start thinking about finding support.

Whether they need a bit of extra help around the house or support with personal care tasks, you can find a nearby carer with Sweet Pea.

Start by simply entering in a few details about your loved one to get matched with available carers. 

Just click below.