First experiences with a 3rings Plug

Steve Williams is the co-owner of the Bolton office of the Home Instead Senior Care network. This is a brief insight into his first experiences when he tried the 3rings Plug with his 83 year old Mum, Ivy.

Ivy lives, on her own, just over 20 miles away in Stockport and like most people of her generation is fiercely independent. She has Steve and his two sisters who between them are in daily touch with mum and visit her every day at some point.
Steve introduced the 3rings Plug to his mum and together they decided that the best appliance to use to know his mum was OK each day was the kettle as she always uses the kettle each morning between 8.00am and 11.00am.

So armed with this information, Steve set about installing the 3rings plug. Installation was straightforward, quick and simple. There was a little hitch during the installation where the plug said it couldn’t install but a quick retry resulted in the problem sorting itself out without further difficulty.

In setting up the plug, with the times to monitor mum and the details of who to send messages to, Steve found that this process was very easy and intuitive.
“One of the big things that mum really liked about the plug, and was key to her accepting it, was that it is very unobtrusive and doesn’t interrupt anything already in place.”
Steve finds the daily notification reassuring and useful as he gets the ‘All’s OK’ message each day at 11am.

Additionally, he also found the Pattern of Active Life (PAL) activity tracker very useful. For example, one night knowing his mum was going to be out late, he could discretely see that she had arrived home safely and had used the kettle.
All was well for many weeks but then on January 2nd, Steve received his first alert as his mum had not used the kettle. A quick call to check found that everything was OK but his mum felt reassured that he knew about it and had called to check.
Steve then realized that in getting his first alert he had to take responsibility for the Alert

and tell 3rings everything was OK. Despite being unfamiliar with the process, it turned out to be fairly straightforward and 3rings was quickly showing the big green tick, the sign that says everything is OK at Mum’s house.

Once installed and setup 3rings just goes about its business checking Mum is OK each morning and sending the family the daily message, ‘All is OK’. The messaging is now just part of the safety net to help look after mum.

Apart from a small technical glitch caused by a mobile signal issue one day, operation of the plug has been very smooth over the first few months.

The last red alert was recently received on the 14th March, but Steve knew that his mum was going out early that morning. So he was able to go in to the Activity Tracker to see that she had used the kettle before the 8.00 monitoring start time. This provided him with reassurance that she had gone out early with his sister and was ok.

Steve comments: “Overall, I’ve really like using the 3 Rings Plug. When asked, I’ve said it doesn’t do everything, but it does something very useful. Our family have more than daily contact with mum and this is just another way of monitoring that important early morning period. My mum is reassured by it because she knows that if for any reason she doesn’t use the device we are on to it by 11.00 am.”

Steve continued “As a family member, having been road testing this for a few months, I wouldn’t want to be without it now.”

Leaving the last word to his Mum, Ivy said, “It’s very helpful to know that this is in place, I think it’s great. I don’t have to do anything with it for it to work and that suits me and Charlie very well” (Charlie’s mum’s cat!)

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More than half of British adults with elderly relatives (58%) agree that they are worried about their parents or an elderly relative, yet over a third (34%) agree that they find it difficult to discuss concerns about health and safety with them according to a new national opinion poll1 of over 2,000 British adults commissioned by 3rings – the smart plug that helps people make sure older parents are okay.

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