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ITV interviews Taking Care's Andy Ridpath about the Digital Switchover

When ITV got in touch to discuss how older adults may be left behind by technology, we were happy to help.

March 12, 2024

Andy on ITV Tonight

When ITV Tonight got in touch with us to discuss how older adults are at risk of being left behind by technology, we were happy to help.

Andy Ridpath, Head of Customer Experience, discussed with ITV Tonight how older adults are being impacted by the Digital Switchover and how Taking Care are actively supporting customers with fully digital personal alarms and guidance. As the first personal alarm provider to complete full testing of their product range ahead of the Digital Switchover, we were able to share our experiences and insights.

Watch the ITV programme

How older adults face digital exclusion

In the ITV Tonight programme “Online Britain: Who's Getting Left Behind?”, journalist and broadcaster Datshiane Navanayagam reported on those left behind as services move online in the digital world.

The programme investigated our increasing dependence on smartphones and digital services, and examined the obstacles faced by those unable to use or access technology. Older or vulnerable adults can sometimes find using online services more difficult and rely on life-saving services such as personal alarms, some of which still use the traditional analogue telephone lines to make an alarm call.

Apps and smartphones are increasingly becoming an essential part of everyday life. Yet it’s estimated that more than 10 million adults in the UK lack the basic skills to access the internet, and around 40% of over 75s don’t use it at all.

ITV Tonight

The Digital Switchover concerns many older adults who are unsure what this means for their telephone landline. Some people use personal alarms that connect to a telephone landline and worry that their personal alarm service may not work after the upgrade. Andy was able to explain what is happening and advised people what they should do if they have a personal alarm:

For anyone out there living with a personal alarm, they do need to make themselves known to their telecom provider. If they make themselves known, the analogue connection can be retained and that means that their personal alarm device will continue to work in the way that it does currently.

Andy Ridpath
Head of Customer Experience, TakingCare Personal Alarm

Current customers who have a personal alarm that connects to the traditional analogue phone line should retain their analogue line and not be upgraded to a digital one. This is the recommendation after the major telephone providers signed the Government's Public Switched Telephone Network charter. If you are a Taking Care customer who has already been upgraded to a digital phone line, we recommend you upgrade to a digital personal alarm.

Digital personal alarm
A digital personal alarm from Taking Care

Digital personal alarms are unaffected by the switchover because they do not use a telephone landline. Instead, digital personal alarms have a roaming multi-network SIM that will automatically switch to the strongest available mobile network.

In some instances, your analogue personal alarm may work on a digital phone line, but this should be considered an interim measure.

Digital Switchover resources and guidance

Read our articles and guides to find out more about the digital switchover and what it means for personal alarms.

Digital Switchover

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

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Ways to support independent living

Independent living products brochure

Learn how personal alarms and home monitoring solutions can keep you or your loved ones safe and independent at home.

Download brochure

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