19 – Emergency Call System

Fact sheet no. 19

If you are afraid that you won–™t be able to get help after a fall or an accident in your home, installing an emergency call system can be a good solution.

Which home emergency call systems are available?

  1. The emergency call system can be connected with an existing TAE box (telephone connection box). If not available, the TAE box can be installed by an emergency call system provider for a one-time fee. Other providers arrange companies that perform this installation.
  2. There are units available that work without a standard telephone line.
  3. Emergency call system providers have developed solutions that can be used by a mobile phone as an emergency call system.

Further information about TAE independent systems and their costs can be inquired directly with a home emergency call system provider.

How does a standard home emergency call system work?

An in-house emergency call system consists of a receiver/transmitter unit, the base station and a hand-held transmitter, the so-called “radio finger.” The radio finger can be worn like a pendant on a chain around the neck or like a wristwatch around the wrist. In case of emergency (e.g. fall, illness, helplessness) a button on the radio finger is pressed, or an alarm can be triggered by pressing the red button on the base station. The emergency call centre is automatically dialled. An emergency call centre employee establishes the first contact to the person requiring assistance over the speaker of the base station.

Therefore, the user does not have to dial a phone number or pick up the handset from the phone. Necessary actions are then discussed and agreed (notify neighbours/relatives, send ambulance…), and set in motion by the central office. Medical help will be sent immediately should the caller not be able to communicate.

What services are offered?

Service providers offer a basic package and an additional package.

The basic package includes:

  • Assisting with the application (possible reimbursement by care fund/ social welfare)
  • Providing  an  operational  unit  (including  maintenance,  repair  and  provision  of  a replacement unit in case of malfunction)
  • Connecting the device to a central call station reachable all day (24 hours)
  • Instructions for handling the unit and initiating aid procedures

The additional package includes the following services:

  • Receipt of house and apartment keys (to quickly and cost-effectively open the door in case of emergency)
  • Use of a daily button for daily reporting

Additional services such as a second radio finger, a smoke detector, or arranging for personal care services are provided.

How much does it cost?

The basic package most providers offer includes a monthly fee for rent and services listed above in the amount of € 18 to € 20 and a one-time connection fee of approx. € 10.

Most providers charge an extra fee of approx. € 22 to € 25 for the additional package (leaving a key).

Who covers the costs?

  • If a care degree is assigned, the nursing care insurance covers the costs for the basic package when the person in need of care lives alone or is alone most of the day. An application must be submitted to the nursing care fund.
  • If there is no assigned care degree, the person in need of assistance must pay for the services themselves. Individuals entitled to Social Security benefits who have no assigned care level may be reimbursed by social welfare if a doctor establishes that a home emergency call system is required.
  • If required, the costs or a portion of the costs for the additional package may be assumed by the nursing care insurance or by social welfare.

The home emergency call system qualifies as a “technical care aid” exempt from co- payment; other benefits provided by the insurance plan are not reduced.

How to apply for a home emergency call system?

  1. Contact one/several suppliers (information and consultation)
  2. Application to care insurance/social security for assumption of cost
  3. Order installation of the device (in urgent cases, the application and the installation of the device should be made in paralle)

Terms of the contract

The contract is concluded for an indeterminate period, short-term contracts are also possible. The contract can be cancelled at due date or without notice when there are proper grounds.