An app has been launched in County Durham to offer a little extra peace of mind to residents who have elderly or vulnerable relatives.

3rings, a mobile phone and PC app, tells people when their relative is using an electrical device such as a kettle, TV or washing machine. By doing this, 3rings reassures people that their relative is up and well.

Durham County Council is offering the 3rings app via its Care Connect Service.

Care Connect manager Linda Ogilvie said, “The app is a really simple, affordable way of offering people that little extra reassurance if their relative is older or vulnerable.”

“It will send live updates to your phone or PC to let you know when your relative is settling down to watch the TV, putting the kettle on for a cuppa or heating something in the microwave.”

“So if your dad usually uses the kettle between 7.00 am and 9.00 am, the app will send an alert letting you know whether or not this has happened, meaning you can rest assured that your loved one is up, active and well.”

To use the service, people need to buy a plug, which is placed between an appliance and the socket. This plug connects to the app and relays information to family and friends.

The plug can be bought with a one or two-year subscription. As the plug contains a sim card similar to those used in mobile phones, no internet connection is necessary.

Up to ten people can receive alerts at the same time and the system is straightforward to set up.

Care Connect offers a number of other devices aimed at helping people stay independent in their homes. Their products include gadgets that can raise the alarm if someone falls, remind people to take their medication and create alerts when the telephone rings.

To find out more about the 3rings app and other Care Connect services, please go to, telephone 03000 262 195 or email   

(The featured image shows Care Connect staff Gillian Nicholson and Joanne Carr with the 3rings plug.)

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