Safer systems in the home: How a plug and a box changed my life

I am a well-controlled type 1 diabetic, but there are certain situations where even well-controlled diabetics can find themselves in tricky situations. One of these is during pregnancy and the period afterwards. Changing insulin requirements and pressures to keep low blood sugars during pregnancy and breastfeeding can dramatically increase the risk of hypoglycaemia.

I was the only adult living in my house when I was adjusting my insulin levels post pregnancy. As I had a baby who was utterly dependent on me, I was concerned that if something happened to me, she would be alone in the house. If I were unconscious, I would be unable to raise an alarm to indicate that we needed help. I wanted to see if there was a digital health system that could improve our safety. A push button alarm system was of no use if I was unconscious, so I started to make enquiries. This was harder than I imagined.

I rang the council to see if they could suggest any support. They said that I did not qualify as a ‘vulnerable adult’ as I did not have a history of severe hypoglycaemia and loss of consciousness. I didn’t want to wait and build up a history before getting support. One severe hypoglycemic episode could be fatal and put my daughter at risk. I continued my enquiries. After half a dozen phone calls a lady eventually recommended ‘3 rings’. This was the advice that I needed.

‘3 rings’ provided me with an affordable and simple solution to my predicament. They sent me a plug which I could pop onto my kettle. If I had not made a cup of tea by a specific time in the morning, an alert would get sent via text or email to my family. I also am lucky enough to have incredible neighbours. I asked them if they could intervene if they heard prolonged crying from my daughter.

Steve (the CEO of 3 rings) has given the most amazing personalised service to suit my individual requirements. Since the plug has been installed, a few added extra safety devices have been added to the system. I currently have a couple of additional motion detectors to detect inactivity. My daughter also has a ‘help box.’ If she opens the lid or presses a button in the container an alert will get sent out to my family indicating that there may be a need of further assistance.

It’s amazing what difference a ‘plug that cares’ and a ‘help box’ has made to my peace of mind. I would highly recommend this system to anyone who lives alone (with potential vulnerabilities) or with young dependents. A massive thanks to Steve, his team and my network of neighbours, family and friends for helping me to feel safer in my home.