How phone line changes could affect carers

12th June 24

For those of us looking after someone, our phonelines may not just be used for phone calls – we may have devices that help with supporting the person we care for, such as a fall monitor, lifeline or personal alarm.

Changes are being made to how phone lines work – and being ready for the changes is important as these types of devices will be affected.

Old style analogue phonelines are being replaced with new digital technology which uses a broadband internet connection to give you your phone line (these are called ‘VoIP’ phones).

BT have announced they are delaying the switch-off of their old type of phone lines until early in 2027. That means we have more time to get ready, but it is worth acting now. Make sure you understanding how these changes may affect you and devices you use, how you can be ready.

If you use your phone line for caring devices

If you or the person you look after are using a phoneline for assistive technology – this might be a fall monitor, lifeline or personal alarm – you should get in touch with the people who provide this service for you. They should be able to help and let you know:

  • Their plans for the service you use when the landline changes happen.
  • When they expect the changes to happen.
  • What will happen with the device(s) you use. They should tell you if they will need to be upgraded or replaced, and of anything you need to do as part of the change over.

Emergency calls

Phone callThe new VoIP phones rely on having both internet connection through your broadband router and a source of power. This means they will not normally work in a power cut.

If you rely on your landline and don’t have a mobile phone you would use as a back-up if needed, you should tell your phone provider.

They should make sure you have a way to contact the emergency services during any power cut. There are different ways they may do this. It could be by giving you battery back-up so your landline would work in a power cut, or a simple mobile phone that you can use in an emergency.

See more on the changes to phone lines

You can see more information and advice on how to be ready: