AN alarm service which has helped save countless lives over the years has celebrated its 25th birthday.
The Adur Community Alarm and Telecare Service has been described as a “lifeline” by residents.
Rene Hall, of Test Road, Sompting, joined the scheme seven years ago and wears the alarm round her neck all the time in case she needs to activate it.
The 101-year-old is one of the oldest community alarm customers living in her own home.
Rene said: “It is very useful as you have got it at the back of your mind all the time that it is there if you need it.
“I have used it many times over the years – it is a lifeline.”
She added: “I would be in hospital if I had not got it as I would struggle to stay here.
“At my age you do need extra help. People say go into a home but I would hate people telling me what to do.
“With this it is an added thing. It is like somebody else helping you.
“I think it is very good for somebody on their own.”
Another satisfied customer is 102-year-old Pat Unwin, of Elm Grove, Lancing, who has lived in a council-managed leasehold sheltered scheme since 1987.
Both women were presented with flowers by the chairman of Adur District Council, Brian Boggis, as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations.
The community alarm service was set up in 1986, with Adur District Council the first council in the area to take up the innovative idea and helped fund the project.
Now, almost 1,200 people use the scheme, which provides assistance in an emergency 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, via a telephone link to the control centre in Chichester.
Thanks to developing technology, alongside the alarm worn around the neck more sophisticated sensors have been created, such as fall and flood detectors, medication dispensers and bed or chair sensors.
Sue Hart, Adur’s supported housing manager, said: “Our service continues to offer excellent value for money and means people can go on living in their own homes with reassurance and peace of mind for them and their families, knowing help is only the click of a button away.”
Residents on benefits who use the scheme pay £2.15 a week while other residents pay £4.10 a week. For more information, call 01273 263390 or email firstname.lastname@example.org