A Day In The Life of... a Progress Lifeline Installer
A day in the life of...
a Progress Lifeline Installer
My name is Lisa and I’ve been working for Progress Lifeline as a Telecare Installer for almost 3 years. I have previously worked in customer services for most of my working career but felt ready for a new direction with more focus on helping people in a practical and customer-facing role. The Installer role at Progress Lifeline really appealed to me.
Progress Lifeline offers Technology Enabled Care services (TECs) including personal pendant alarms, Telecare equipment, remote monitoring and emergency home response for independent living in Lancashire. The service is ideal for people who are elderly and concerned about falling, people with conditions such as epilepsy, and people living with dementia but anyone who feels like they would benefit from a personal pendant alarm and 24 hour remote home monitoring can have the Progress Lifeline service. You can find more information about Telecare for people with a chronic or acute medical conditions here.
Each day as an Installer for the Progress Lifeline service is different and varied. I may be assigned three or four installations across Lancashire which can mean a lot of travelling. I also visit properties to check and test equipment and I complete urgent installations, which are normally requested due to hospital discharge where the Progress Lifeline Telecare equipment is necessary for the customer to safely return home from hospital.
My workload is mostly assigned to me electronically although I also collect referral paperwork from the office. Whilst at the office I will check my van and stock levels to ensure I have enough equipment to complete all installations or visits for the week. I ensure I have a wide selection of sensors to ensure that I have the correct equipment to assist the customer to live safely and independently.
A Typical Day
On a typical day I arrive at the customer’s property and introduce myself, showing my ID. The customer will already have been advised of the appointment time but frequently I will also call ahead to let them know I am on my way. Depending on the reason behind the installation visit, the customer may have family in attendance. Many of the customers I go to have requested the service for peace of mind and confidence as they may have had a recent fall, other customers have complex needs for the Telecare equipment and some will also have memory loss or are living with dementia.
In order for the install to go ahead, I must ensure the customer has a phone line and power point. I then complete a full assessment for both the customer and their property, checking for any hazards and assessing the customer for the most appropriate Telecare sensors. This could include property exit sensors, flood sensors, medication dispensers, smoke, heat or carbon monoxide detectors which can be installed to assist with concerns raised by the customer, family member or their case worker.
At the installation, most of the activity is then electronic; programming equipment and updating systems in real time so that the customer’s equipment, such as the red button personal pendant alarm and the Telecare sensors, are active and ready to use when I leave.
It has happened that customers have fallen on the same day as the install took place, allowing them to press their personal pendant alarm and get help from our Monitoring centre immediately.
I record medical information including illnesses, disabilities, allergies and any relevant medication. And then I take contact details for the customer’s doctor and/or carer details, which are essential for the operators at the Monitoring centre to manage the call in the event of an activation. I also record details of the customer’s family, friends and/or neighbours as they may be contacted by our Monitoring centre to respond if an activation occurs.
Once the equipment has been installed, I test everything to ensure it has been programmed correctly and connects to the Monitoring centre. I also ensure the customer understands how it works and thoroughly explain the Progress Lifeline system and Telecare equipment to the customer and their family, as well as leaving full instructions in our Progress Lifeline welcome pack and Telecare guide.
Some customers are worried about pressing their pendants in error or in the middle of the night but I always reassure them that someone at the Monitoring centre will respond at any time of the day or night, and will not mind at all if a pendant or Telecare sensor is accidentally activated.
If a customer requires a keysafe (a small wall-mounted metal box with a secure combination lock housing the door key), I will locate this on an external wall, using a masonry drill and securing it. This enables the emergency services, named family members, or our own Emergency Home Responders, to access the property in the event of an emergency without having to force the door.
The day can be so busy that I may have no time for my lunch, but I will try and make time before my next appointment!
My job is a very rewarding role as it helps hundreds of people remain at home living independently with help from the Telecare equipment.
Extra Training and Benefits
The training we receive as installers is very thorough and I enjoy all elements of the role. As many of our customers are elderly, and some have hearing impairments or are profoundly deaf, last year it was suggested that a further advantage to the Progress Lifeline service would be to have someone qualified in British Sign Language (BSL) to be able to communicate more effectively with Progress Lifeline customers and to help break down the barriers that many people with hearing impairments may feel when wanting to access Technology Enabled Care services (TECs), such as Progress Lifeline.
I have been fortunate to have completed Level 1 British Sign Language training and, along with another installer, am working towards Level 2, so that I will be a qualified interpreter and be able to use sign language to provide a more effective service to Progress Lifeline customers.
Lisa was patient, clear, easy to understand and didn't rush. She gave me confidence I could operate the system easily when on my own. Thank you. Now it's my turn. Progress Lifeline Customer, October 2017