For retired schoolteacher Rosemary Phillips looking after her elderly mum has been tough for the last seven years.
But thanks to the 3rings Plug, a device designed to help people keep check on their elderly relatives, she has recently discovered a newfound peace of mind – and some relief from the stress of it all.
Now 86, Rosemary’s mum Eileen had suffered bouts of depression since her husband died 20 years ago. Rosemary, who lives a 10-minute drive from her mum in Carlisle, said: “To a large extent mum has just given up on life. It’s very sad but life has become something of an existence for her. She is physically okay but tends to just sit in her chair most of the day.”
In May this year when 64-year-old Rosemary decided she needed a holiday, carers were put in place to keep an eye on her while she was away.
And at the same time, Rosemary’s brother Steve decided to see if there was any way technology could help too – and they decided to give the 3rings plug a try.
Now, when Eileen gets up to make her morning cup of tea, the moment she switches the kettle on, an alert is sent to Rosemary’s mobile phone. Her two brothers: Steve, who lives in Cheshire, and Anthony in Hartlepool, also get the alerts. If by 11am Eileen hasn’t used the kettle they each receive a ‘red alert’ warning – telling them their mum hasn’t been active that morning.
Rosemary says: “Mum doesn’t even know it’s there to be honest. She doesn’t really need to. It’s so simple but you wouldn’t believe the difference it’s made to my life. It’s given me such peace of mind. Getting mum some carers in place plus the addition of the 3rings plug has taken such a lot of worry off my mind. I was really stressed before and now a lot of that stress has been taken away.
“Thankfully we’ve only had the red alert once and it turned out to be a false alarm. It turned out mum had ran out of milk so she hadn’t made a brew that morning! My son, who also gets the alerts, dashed round to check on her to find she was fine.
“The 3rings plug is such a fantastic invention – I would recommend it to anyone who has an elderly parent living by themselves. Once you’ve put your personal settings in on the app on your phone there’s nothing you or your mum or dad have to do. Just wait for that alert each day and the reassurance that they are okay. Like all the best inventions it’s really simple, and you’re left thinking, ‘I wish I’d thought of that!”
“The 3rings Plug certainly doesn’t replace face to face contact with mum – I still regularly pop round to see that she is okay. But it just provides me with that extra bit of reassurance, which is invaluable. I don’t know what I’d do without it now.”