A Guide to Careline Alarms in 2023

Wondering what a careline alarm is, who can use one, or how it works? Our guide aims to give you those answers and more.

Need more information? Request a free info pack or give us a call on 0800 180 85 45 and we’ll be happy to help.

What is a careline alarm?

A careline alarm is simply a set of equipment that lets you easily call for help when you need it – for example when you become hurt and need emergency care.

The first part of a careline alarm is the pendant – an SOS button that you can press in an emergency. The pendant is small, lightweight, and is usually worn on your wrist or on a lanyard around your neck. Some alarms can automatically detect when you take a fall and raise the alert for you – these are known as fall alarms.

The other part is the base unit. This monitors your pendant and then calls for help. Depending on the type of careline alarm that you choose, your alarm can either notify a carer or loved one – or it can contact a care team who have access to the emergency services if needed.

What is a careline service?

Simply put, a careline service provides you with the assurance that you can get help whenever you need it – instead of relying on a carer, friend, or loved one.

Taking out a plan with a careline service, such as Careline24, means that when you press the button or take a fall, a professional care team will answer your call and get you the help that you need as quickly as possible.

The emergency responder circle
An elderly man sitting down with a walking stick

Who are careline alarms for?

Careline alarms are ideal for vulnerable people who want to retain their independence both at home and outdoors.

While the vast majority of careline users are older, these devices are used by people of all age groups in various situations, including:

  • People living alone
  • Less abled people and those living with a disability
  • People who are prone to falling over
  • Anyone with unpredictable health problems

Help in under 10 seconds

We understand that time is of the essence when you’re in need of immediate medical assistance. At Careline24 we’re dedicated to answering your call rapidly, to ensure you get the help you need as quickly as possible. We’re proud to have an average response time of fewer than 10 seconds, which is backed up by audited statistics, resulting in a faster response than most other UK providers.

So, from the time you press your pendant to an operator being assigned to your emergency, you’ll have peace of mind that help is on its way.

Caregiver showing support

How do careline alarms work?

feeling unwell image

Call for help

Simply press the button on your pendant alarm or press the button on the base unit to call for help.

If you fall over and you are wearing a fall alarm, the device will automatically raise the alert for you.

Call centre man

We answer quickly

Once the careline alarm is triggered, a call will go through to one of our highly trained operators at the alarm response centre.

You’ll be able to communicate with the operator through the loudspeaker on your base unit. Upon answering, they’ll already have your details, saving valuable time.


Situation assessed

We will then assess your situation to determine what kind of help you need. We can either notify one of your approved contacts, or we can contact the emergency services.

If for any reason we cannot make contact with you to check that you are okay, we will call the emergency services right away.

Support provided

By your side

During times of stress, it’s important to remain as calm as possible. Whenever possible, our team will continue speaking to you until help arrives, keeping you calm and reducing the risk of further injury.

Once we know you are in safe hands and are being taken care of, we will end the call.

Woman in the garden

Do careline alarms work outdoors?

Depending on the equipment that you choose, careline alarms usually work up to 100-200 metres away from the base unit. That’s usually enough for most homes and gardens.

I’ve also heard of personal alarms, telecare alarms, and lifeline alarms. What is the difference?

In our case, they all mean the same thing!

Careline alarms have been given many different names over the years. Among the most common are personal alarms, telecare alarms, and lifeline alarms. Others names include SOS buttons, help alarms, panic buttons, and alert devices.

On top of that, the actual monitoring can be referred to as a careline service, a lifeline service, a telecare service, or even just ‘telecare’.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How long will my new careline alarm take to arrive?

    All of our parcels are dispatched via Royal Mail’s Tracked 24 service. That means if you place your order by 1pm on a Monday, you can expect your careline alarm to arrive on Tuesday – meaning you can get up and running with our careline service in under 24hrs. Any orders placed after 1pm should arrive just one working day later.

  • What does the initial £40 set-up fee cover?

    This non-refundable fee enables us to set up your careline alarm and compile all of your medical and emergency contact information.

  • Why do I have to pay a £30 restocking fee when I cancel?

    The £30 restocking fee is to cover the cost of shipping of the returned equipment, the de-programming and refurbishment of the rented units, the closing of the account with our external monitoring centre and also for the administration costs included in all of those processes.

    Unlike many of our competitors, we don’t tie our customers in for a full 12 months. This means you can cancel at any time and receive a pro-rata refund based on the number of days remaining on the account. The £30 restocking fee will then be deducted from this amount.

  • Do I have to pay extra if I press my pendant to contact you?

    The simple answer is no, as everything is included in your plan. We do not charge you any extra if you activate your alarm.

    The following information may be helpful concerning call costs:

    If you press your pendant, the careline alarm will contact our control centre using an 0844 number via your telephone line. These numbers are recommended by OFCOM for contacting organisations such as Careline24.  Your telephone service provider may charge you for these calls. Please check your phone providers tariff or visit OFCOM for further details. We do not apply any levy on these call costs.

  • How do I pay for my careline alarm service?

    Ordering your careline alarm is super easy and we have a number of payment options available:

    1. Direct Debit: This is the safest and simplest way to pay for your alarm. You won’t pay anything on the day of purchase and we will write to you when your Direct Debit is set up to take payment. We will still dispatch your unit for next working day delivery.
    2. Credit / Debit: The quickest way to pay. You can use your card using our secure online payment service, which is processed immediately and gets your order on the way! 
    3. PayPal: Our latest method of payment. You can order your careline alarm with one click through the PayPal’s secure payment system.
  • Can I purchase a careline alarm without paying VAT?

    If you have a long term medical condition, HMRC allow you to purchase our careline alarm VAT free. Examples of qualifying conditions include  Arthritis, COPD, Diabetes, Parkinson’s, Deafness / Hard of Hearing, Partial Sight or Stroke.

    To order your careline alarm VAT free, select your plan and complete the VAT exemption section at our checkout. There’s nothing else for you to do.

    Under HMRC rules, please note that a keysafe will always have VAT applied, regardless of your VAT exemption status.

  • Who can use our careline service?

    The service we offer is ideal for anyone who may live alone at home who wants to stay independent.

    A careline alarm is especially helpful if you have a long term medical condition such as arthritis, angina, diabetes or a have had a stroke.

    Our Fall Plan is particularly helpful if you have become a little unsteady on your feet and may be susceptible to a fall.

    A Pendant alarm also offers peace of mind for people who have family who live some distance away or for individuals who may be vulnerable and need assistance occasionally.

  • What do I get for my monthly or annual fee?

    Whichever plan you choose  you will receive everything you need. This includes:

    • Careline24 alarm base unit and connecting cables.
    • Waterproof pendant with wearing kit ( lanyard and wrist band).
    • Fall sensor (Fall Plan only)
    • Access to our 24/7 careline monitoring team.
  • How do I wear my careline pendant?

    Most personal alarms can be worn around the wrist, like a watch, or around the neck on a lanyard.

    Please note. The wearable fall sensor you get with our Fall Alarm plan is wrist-worn only.

    At Careline24, we want to ensure you are as safe as possible, so our fall sensors are wrist-worn only. A wrist-worn fall detector is more accurate and accessible than a neck-worn fall detector in an emergency.

    Our Pendant Alarm can be either neck-worn or wrist-worn only. Please note, you can change your Pendant Alarm wearing option at any time should you want to.

  • How is the careline alarm unit installed?

    The alarm unit can be located virtually anywhere in your home. You will need a telephone line with a modern phone socket and a mains power point close by. Careline24 uses the existing telephone line – you do not need another installed.

  • Can I install the careline alarm unit myself?

    Yes. We try to make everything simple when it comes to installing the equipment. The Careline24 base unit simply needs to be plugged into your existing telephone socket and also needs to be plugged into the mains for power. It really is that simple.

    If you don’t feel confident about anything, you can always give us a call and we will guide you through the whole process.

  • How many key holders do I need to have?

    Ideally, we would suggest you have one key holder who lives within 20 minutes of your home.

    We appreciate that this is not always possible. If you do not have a trusted friend or relative living close by, all we ask is that you have a key safe installed. This will allow authorised people to access to your home in the event of an emergency.

  • How is the careline alarm unit activated?

    There are two ways to activate the Careline24 personal alarm unit and get help from the Careline alarm centre:

    1. By pressing the red button on the base unit.
    2. By pressing the button on your pendant or wrist band.
    3. If you have a fall sensor, this will automatically activate the alarm if you fall. You can also use it as a normal pendant.

  • What happens when I press the button on my pendant?

    When you press the button on your Careline unit or pendant, it connects you to our care team. Our operator will have your details on the screen, which include your name, address, doctor, key holder and next of kin information as well as any relevant medical details.

    We will speak to you via the powerful loudspeaker and microphone in the base unit to establish your situation and decide the best course of action.

    If possible we will stay on the line with you until help arrives. If we call the emergency services, your next of kin will be also be informed. No call will be cancelled until the operator is sure the call has been dealt with appropriately.

  • What happens if I cannot hear you or speak to you?

    Don’t worry, if we have received a call and do not get a response, we will telephone you back immediately. If you do not respond to that call, the operator will have all the information they need to know where to send help and will ask one of your nominated key holders to visit you and check you are safe and well. If you have no local contacts we will call the emergency services. No call will be cancelled until the operator is sure the call has been dealt with appropriately.

  • Can I talk through my pendant?

    Even though you cannot speak through the pendant, the powerful microphone in the base unit is extremely sensitive and will enable you to converse normally with our Operator.


  • Do I wear my pendant in bed?

    Yes –  you can wear your pendant in bed.

  • Can I order an extra pendant?

    Yes, you can. This is an excellent idea if you have someone else living in your home who may also benefit from using a Careline24 personal alarm or you would like another one handy placed in another location in the home. There is no extra monthly fee for the additional pendant. If there is a second user in the home you just need to provide us with their details.

    Additional pendants are available at the checkout when you purchase your alarm for a one-off price of just £49. 

    If you are an existing customer and require an additional pendant, then please call 0800 180 85 45 and we can arrange for one to be delivered to you.

  • Can I wear my pendant in the bath?

    The pendant we supply is waterproof. However, we generally suggest you put your pendant at low level in the bathroom so you can reach it if you fall or get stuck in the bath. The pendant is fine to wear in the shower or bath but should not be fully submerged under water.

  • What happens if I press my careline alarm unit or pendant accidentally?

    If you press either button by mistake just tell the operator when they speak to you that it is an accidental call and they will cancel it. The operator will be pleased that you are safe.

  • Do I need to check that my pendant is working?

    Yes. Ideally, you should activate your pendant at least once a month and make a test call to our team. It gives you the reassurance that your alarm is working and lets us know its fine too.

  • Will my careline alarm unit work if there is a power cut?

    Yes. Your Careline unit will still work as it has a battery back up which will power the unit for approximately 48 hours.

  • What happens if my equipment develops a fault?

    Generally, it is rare for our units to develop a fault. In the unlikely event that an issue occurs our team will aim to quickly resolve any fault, replacing your unit if the fault cannot be fixed remotely.

    The pendant has batteries which will last for approximately 18-24 months and has an excellent reputation for reliability.

Find out why thousands of families around the UK trust us to look after their relatives.

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