A special telephone device with remote control allows elderly and disabled to summon assistance when they cannot get to the telephone.

In case of an emergency, press the red button. The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE) can call for help when you cannot get to a telephone in an urgent situation.

Elderly and disabled currently subscribe to this personal emergency response system called "Tele Help at Home" (Televoithia Sto Spiti). This service which operates around the clock, is capable of reaching out to as many as 50,000 people from around the country.

How does it work?

A "smart" telephone device is installed in the, subscriber's home. It looks like a regular telephone but has a large red, lighted button. The telephonl also comes with a small remote control device that has a small red button. It can be worn around the neck or wrist or placed in a pocket.

In the case of an emergency, the subscriber may summon OTE' s emergency response operators by pressing the red button on the telephone device or the red button on the remote control. The remote control activates the system up to 120 metres from the telephone device.

In just a few seconds, an operator will call on the subscriber over the speaker phone. The operator will
ask the nature of the problem and whom to contact for assistance (spouse, children, neighbour, friend police, fire department, ambulance, etc). Help is dispatched immediately.

How much does it cost?

Installation is free of charge, as is the telephone and remote control device, which is on loan to the subscriber. This means that when the client no longer wishes to subscribe to the Telephone Help At Home service, he must return the telephone and remote control to OTE.

The client, however, is charged a service fee of 11.73 euros per month. There is also a charge (0.18 euros) for each telephone call to the emergency response centre. There is an additional charge if operators are asked to call a mobile telephone number or to place an international call in the case of an emergency.

Note: Many elderly and disabled people are provided this service at no charge. They participate in special programmes offered by the health ministry and the Hellenic Red Cross.

How to subscribe?

An application is submitted to a local OTE branch or at an OTE Shop. One may also call 134 to apply for the service or submit an application on the internet (http://www.ote.shop.gr/):

It takes a few days to process the application, to create a computer file for the subscriber that contains all pertinent information and to cross-check telephone numbers of the people to contact in the case of an emergency. OTE employees will then install the device in the client's home and show the new subscriber how to use it.

Note: The special telephone device can be installed on the same telephone line as a regular phone. But, as it can be used as a regular telephone, many people choose to only have this "smart" phone in their home.

Non-Greek speakers

Foreigners living in Greece may also choose to subscribe to this emergency assistance-at-home service, as operators speak English and French.

What happens if there is a power failure?

In the case of a power failure, an operator will contact the subscriber on the "smart" phone to ask if he requires assistance. The operator's voice is heard over the speaker phone.

An additional feature

The "smart" phone can be connected to special sensor devices installed in the home to detect a gas leak, fire, an earthquake and even a break-in.

Info box

The emergency response calling centre is located at OTE's branch office in Athens (102-108 Triti Septemvriou St), tel 210 823 4244.

This service is not only available to the elderly, disabled and those suffering from serious illnesses. Anyone, anywhere in Greece, can subscribe.

For more information contact 134 or visit your local OTE branch.

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