Betty's story

Betty, aged 95, lives alone in Beechdale. Her next of kin live approximately 10 mins away. Betty has a care alarm installed, along with a linked smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector for safety. In addition, a keysafe for access in emergencies.  When Betty was referred for the service it was highlighted that there was a potential falls risk and the family do not live close by.

On Sunday 6 November at 10.46am a pendant alarm call was received from Betty. When the call handler tried to communicate with Betty there was initially no response, but then some muffled background noises could be heard.

Not knowing if Betty was hurt the normal protocol would be to contact the family and ask them to attend to see what the issue was. However, with the family not close by it was decided to send a staff member as the home is not far from the Nottingham on Call office.

On arrival Josef, the Assistive Technology Officer, entered the property via the key-safe while shouting out for her to let her know who he was. He made his way upstairs and found Betty quite anxious and distressed on the floor. She was talking into her home phone thinking that we were speaking with her via that.

Josef spoke with her for a few minutes to figure out what had happened and if she was injured at all. Betty stated she had fallen after using the commode and lost her balance, but she was not injured.

After speaking for a few minutes Betty seemed to calm down so Josef was able to then help her back onto her feet and then to her stair lift. 

It was originally planned to use the falls lifting equipment but due to the limited space and the Betty stating she would be able to weight bear Josef gave her a helping hand and the walked her to the stairlift.

She then went downstairs to which Josef helped her to her sofa to relax. They chatted for a few minutes to make sure Betty was ok. As Josef was leaving he spoke with the neighbour who does her gardens and informed him what had happened. He then went into her property to sit with her until Betty’s son Alan arrived.

At 12.11pm a further pendant alarm call come through. This time it was Betty’s son Alan. He wanted to let us know that he had arrived on site and that he wanted to pass on his thanks for the support we had provided to his mother. 

This story highlights the value of the Nottingham on Call service in supporting potentially vulnerable people as well as their next of kin.

When an alert comes through we will try to establish quickly what the situation is and what help might be required. Usually, the next of kin are contacted so they attend to provide the right support. 

On this occasion it was decided we would attend as the extra time for the family to attend might make a difference in the outcome. 

It is known that the longer a person is on the floor following a fall the more likely that they will be injured and required an ambulance and possible a hospital admission. 

So a good outcome of Betty getting early help to get safely up from the floor and made comfortable so no need for an ambulance to be called.