We have produced this guide to help you understand your responsibilities if you are thinking of becoming a key-holding assistant for someone with an emergency care alarm.
Care alarm service
Our care alarm service is run by Sovereign Housing Association. The page explains about the responsibilities of key holders and key safes.
How it works
A care alarm allows people to live independently in their own homes while providing peace of mind that if there is an emergency they can get help quickly.
Anyone with a care alarm can send a call through to us simply by pressing the pendant trigger or the red button on the care alarm itself. Our fully trained operators will take the call, assess the situation and get appropriate help.
The role of the key-holding assistant is to provide help to the person with the care alarm if they contact us.
This means that we might have to phone you at any time during the day or night. When we call you will we will ask you to either check the wellbeing of the person or give them practical help, for example, letting them into their home if they have locked themselves out.
If the caller can tell us that they need the emergency services (for example, if they have fallen and hurt themselves or if there is a disturbance at their property), our operators will call 999 immediately.
We will only ask you to check on the person if we do not get a response from them either through their alarm or on the phone.
As a rule, we always ask for two nominated key holders when we install an emergency alarm for someone.
This means that we have a better chance of getting help to a person if, for any reason, one of the key holders is unavailable (for example, if they are on holiday). It also means that the responsibility can be shared between two or preferably more people, and should help make sure that there is always someone available.
If you are happy to be nominated as key-holding assistant, we will keep your name, address and contact phone numbers on our computer database. We will only use this information if we need to call and ask for your help.
All the information we hold on our systems is stored confidentially under the Data Protection Act. We will not give your details to anyone else for marketing or any other associated purposes.