A simple household adaption is proving a vital lifeline for elderly and vulnerable people who want to be secure in their own homes, knowing help will be called if they need it.
It may seem like an unlikely lifesaver, but a common household plug could mean the difference between life and death.
This invention is the brainchild of entrepreneur Steve Purdham who drew inspiration from his own mother’s poor health after she was unable to leave her bed due to compression fractures in her back.
“My mum was too proud to use her phone or her personal alarm,” Steve explained. “She didn’t want to bother anybody. This caused me great concern as I wondered how on earth I would know if anything happened to her.
“My mum is in her 80s and lives independently in her own home. One morning the fractures in her back left her unable to get out of bed. The phone and emergency call button were in reach but mum failed to raise the alarm.
“The 3rings plug was there to let us know that something wasn’t right with an alert being sent to let us know the kettle hadn’t been turned on that morning.”
Not-for-profit health and wellbeing company, Westfield Health, is supplying this new piece of technology known as the 3rings plug which detects when an elderly or sick relative is using a common household appliance, like a kettle, which signals that they are safe.
When the concerned uses an appliance attached to the plug to turn on the kettle, switch on the radio or perhaps turn on the TV, the 3rings plug sends a message via text, email or phone to friends and relatives. On the other hand, if the appliance is not activated then friends and family are alerted that a loved one may need checked up on.
Steve says the 3rings plug is “extremely easy to use”. It doesn’t have to be fitted or connected to a phone line or broadband and works the same way as wi-fi does from mobile phone technology.
The plug is also said to be unobtrusive as it fits into any existing plug instead of being worn by the user and ‘safer’ than a personal alarm as it does not rely on judgement of an emergency situation.
The design appealed to St Luke’s Hospice in Sheffield who are now using the plug in patient wards and with more orders on the way, Steve is very optimistic about the future of the plug and its ability to save lives.
For more information on the 3 rings plug, visit www.westfieldhealth.com/3rings/ or contact 0114 250 2000.