Exploring patterns of personal alarm system use and impacts on outcomes

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Objectives: To describe the patterns of personal emergency response systems (PERS) use in a statewide cohort of older Australians. Methods: PERS data from clients enrolled in the Personal Alarm Victoria program between January 2014 and June 2017 were analysed. Alarm activation reasons were extracted, and a medical record audit was performed for a sub-cohort of patients admitted to a local hospital following an alarm event. Descriptive statistics were used. Results: There were 42,180 clients enrolled during the study (mean age 80 years, 80% female, 93% living alone). An ambulance attended 44% of the fall-related events and 81% of events coded as unwell. Activation reasons were distributed equally between a fall and feeling unwell, and a repeating pattern of activation reasons was observed. In our sub-cohort (n = 92), the majority of admissions (86%) followed an alarm activation coded as unwell. Conclusion: We demonstrated recurring patterns associated with the reasons for alarm use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-260
Number of pages9
JournalAustralasian Journal on Ageing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


  • aging
  • emergencies
  • falls
  • personal emergency response systems

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