Panic buttons for Buffelsfontein elderly

2019-02-06 06:01
The newly-installed panic buttons at Buffelsfontein Retirement Village.Photo:KAILIN DANIELS

The newly-installed panic buttons at Buffelsfontein Retirement Village.Photo:KAILIN DANIELS

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A TOTAL of 420 panic buttons were successfully installed at the Buffelsfontein Retirement Village in Walmer recently to aid residents in alerting Atlas Security of future intrusions.

This comes after break-ins at the village last year.

All residents were issued with a panic button to wear. The panic button is linked to the resident’s unit and cellphone and Atlas will be notified as soon as the panic button has been activated.

“After ABCA (Algoa Bay Council for the Aged) management met Atlas Security and decided to implement the panic buttons, we held workshops for all the residents. They received their panic buttons during a two-day handover and training session,” said Christa Terblanche, public relations officer for ABCA.

ABCA has signed for a monthly contract of 420 remotes at R22 each, resulting in a monthly fee of R9 240.

“It is monitored 24 hours to ensure the safety of the residents.

“The workshops were held to explain to the residents how and when to use the panic buttons. We had five incidents where residents accidentally pressed the panic buttons – so the workshops are important. The ABCA night manager will also be able to monitor the alarms. The system also includes a “gate keeper” which will remove the need for tags and replace gate access with a phone-in system,” Terblanche said.

One of the residents, who fell victim to an intrusion at the village, has lived in fear ever since.“I was one of the first people at the village who were robbed and I was so scared.

“I live in a constant fear that it can happen again. At night, I’m so scared to even go to the toilet,” she said.

The resident was confronted in her unit by an intruder who took her cellphone, DStv, television and money from her wallet. After the incident, she had extra burglar bars installed.

“I’m so happy to finally get some assurance that help will be on the way as soon as I press the panic button,” she said.

ABCA will run a campaign again this year for donations to cover the costs for next year’s panic buttons.

“We received donations last year, which covered the costs for this year’s panic buttons, with the help of the public.

“We hope to do so again this year,” Terblanche added.

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