Best Bed Alarms for Preventing Falls

Bed alarms for the elderly for fall prevention and anti-wandering
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Carergivers, more than anyone, really need a good nights sleeps. If however, they are constantly worried at night that a senior who needs round the clock assistance, might get out of their bed, become disoriented, fall, or even wander off, this can become a terrible worry and lead to many restless nights.

Falling out of bed, for seniors that have impaired mobility, or for dementia sufferers who can easily get confused or disoriented, for the carer, it can become a real nightmare. This is why they need assistance with monitoring their loved one. Complications through falls and broken bones are worrying, but can be prevented.

A bed alarm can be the answer to many a carers concerns. These devices can assist in monitoring the patient remotely. This allows the caregiver to be notified once the patient attempts to get out of bed. With this device the carer is able to be active before a serious injury occurs.

In this guide, we will cover the different types of bed alarms that are available and the factors you should consider before purchasing one. Finally, we will cover some of the best bed alarms that can help to keep an eye on your loved ones so you can be confident of their safety.

Contents

Best Bed Alarms for Seniors Comparison Chart

Here’s a handy reference list of our reviewed bed alarms. Further below is a more comprehensive comparison and review guide.

Secure MAG-3 Magnet Pull Cord Alarm Motion Sensor by Smart Caregiver Bed Pressure Alarm Mat by Smart Caregiver Bed Pressure Alarm Mat With Call Button by Smart Caregiver
Image
Bed Alarm Type Pull-cord Passive infrared sensor Pressure pad Pressure pad
Corded/Cordless? Corded Cordless Cordless Cordless
Range N/A 300 ft 300 ft 100 ft
Powered By Batteries Batteries, AC adaptor (not included) Batteries, AC adaptor (not included) Batteries, AC adaptor (not included)
Pad dimensions N/A N/A 10" x 30" 20" x 30"
Adjustable Volume 3 levels 3 levels Yes Yes
Selectable Tones 2 tones No No No
Low Battery Indicator Yes Yes Yes Yes
Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

What is a Bed Alarm?

Bed alarms for seniors for fall prevention

Bed alarms are electronic devices that are used to detect when a patient has left their bed and will alert the caregiver by usually emitting a sound, allowing them to monitor the patient remotely, to ensure their safety.

These devices are particularly suited to monitor users with impaired mobility to help prevent falls as well as for anyone suffering with dementia in order to reduce the risk of them wandering off unsupervised during the night.

The most common types of bed alarms include:

  • Pressure sensor mat alarm – This consists of a thin mat that has built-in pressure sensors which is placed under the fitted sheet which the patient lies on. The mat is able to detect changes in pressure and can sense when the patient has left their bed. Once the device has been activated, it will emit an alarm alerting the caregiver. Usually, the alarm will stop as soon as the pressure mat senses that the patient has returned back to their bed. They can come in wired or wireless options. Pressure mats are usually constructed from vinyl that is easy to clean and which is waterproof making them suitable for incontinent sufferers.
  • Passive Infrared sensor (PIR) alarm – A PIR alarm operates when it detects motion within a room. As soon as the patient walks through the infrared beam, the device will trigger an alarm alerting the caregiver. The alarm can be placed in range of different locations, including by the side of the patient’s bed, so it can detect when they are leaving it, as well as by the doorway so that the caregiver can be alerted when they have left the bedroom.
  • Pull-cord sensor alarm – This type of alarm features a pull-cord that clips onto the patient’s clothing. As the user moves, the clip will detach itself causing the alarm to activate, warning the caregiver that the patient is attempting to leave their bed.

Benefits of a Bed Alarm

A bed alarm can offer a range of benefits for both the caregiver and the patient. Some of the main benefits of using a bed alarm include:

Helps to Reduce Falls

Impaired mobility, pre-existing health conditions such as Parkinson’s and impaired vision can all be contributory factors that cause someone to be unsteady on their feet. The effects of a fall can be particularly serious for seniors. It can lead to broken bones, hip fractures, head injuries and it can also impact the individual’s emotional wellbeing and knock their confidence.

This is why it is important that measures should be implemented to reduce the risk of falls around the home. A bed alarm can alert the caregiver in case the patient has not returned back to their bed within a set period of time. This allows them to check-up on the patient in case they have suffered a fall and are unable to get up.

Prevents Wandering

Certain conditions such as dementia can cause a patient to be become confused or disoriented. They may get out of their bed and wander off at night. If this occurs, they may become lost, causing them to feel anxious and frightened as well as increasing the risk of possible injuries.

The use of bed alarms can alert the caregiver as soon as the patient attempts to leave their bed or bedroom. This allows the caregiver to provide the individual with the required assistance as soon as they need it.

Assists the Caregiver

Looking after a loved one can be a stressful job for the caregiver especially if they require around the clock supervision and assistance. A caregiver may worry at night that if they are in a deep sleep and not realize the patient requires their assistance, this may be an accident waiting to happen.

With a bed alarm, the caregiver can sleep in the knowledge that they will be alerted if the patient gets out of bed during the night and can offer their assistance if required.

It also means they do not need to share the same bedroom so each party can have their own privacy. This also allows the caregiver some free time to themselves to get on with other chores around the home without worrying and knowing that the patient is safe in bed.

Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Bed Alarm

While bed alarms can prove very useful devices for both the caregiver and patient, it can be confusing knowing what the most appropriate alarm to go for is. Should you purchase a pressure sensor mat alarm, or should you opt instead for a passive Infrared sensor (PIR) alarm, alternatively, is a pull-cord sensor alarm better suited for your needs?

Before deciding on a bed alarm, you should first consider some of these important buying factors:

Wired or Wireless

While wired bed alarms are usually the most cost effective option, they do have some drawbacks. One major drawback is they need to be placed in the same room as the patient, if the alarm goes off it could prove distressing and may startle them. Another drawback is there is an increased chance that the user could trip over the cords especially if they get up in a dark bedroom in the middle of the night.

With Wired bed alarms however, the alarm can be kept in the same bedroom as the caregiver so they are less likely to miss any alerts and it also means the patient won’t be inconvenienced with sudden loud noises. The alarm can also be used throughout the home by the caregiver so they can monitor their loved one from wherever they are and not be restricted to just one room.

Range

An important factor to consider if you’re thinking of opting for a wireless bed alarm is the operational range. The range will determine how far the remote receiver can be used from the actual bed alarm.

The range of a wireless bed alarm can be anywhere between 150 ft – 400 ft depending on the model. If you want to use the receiver in other areas of the home, choose one with a longer range so that the patient can be monitored wherever you are.

Alert and Volume Control

Most bed alarms will emit an audible alert, additionally some will also vibrate and/or light.

The audible alert should be loud enough so that it can be heard by the caregiver without causing undue distress to the patient. Ensure that you choose one that has a volume control so the sound intensity can be adjusted as required. This is particularly important if the patient suffers with dementia as loud noises could overwhelm them and prove distressing.

Power Source

Most bed alarms are battery operated. Some models however can also be powered by an optional AC adapter.

A bed alarm that can be powered by both batteries as well as AC adapter is preferable over one that is solely powered by batteries. This will ensure that the alarm is always operational whenever you need it, and in case there is a power outage the device will be able to run off batteries.

Fabric Type

If you’re looking for a pressure mat alarm, choose one that is both waterproof and easy to clean.

Vinyl is the preferred material used for pressure mats, it is both durable and soft, making it comfortable for the user to lie on. Many mats also feature an antimicrobial coating which is suitable for incontinence sufferers as it can help to reduce the spread of germs and infections.

Best Bed Alarm Reviews

Secure MAG-3 Magnet Pull Cord Bed Alarm

Key Features

  • Pull-cord magnet alarm
  • 3 selectable volume levels (70, 80, 90 dB)
  • 2 available tones (pulsating or continuous beep)
  • Battery-powered (3 x AAA (included))
  • Low battery-indicator
  • Casing made of break-resistant ABS plastic
  • Tamper-resistant cover
  • Auto reset button

The MAG-3 pull cord bed alarm by Secure is a good option to consider if you’re looking for a price effective way to keep an eye on your loved-one during the night.

The simple to use alarm features a pull string with a circular magnet. The alligator clip on the alarm attaches easily to the patients clothing and the device itself can be attached to the bed frame using a Velcro strap.

Once the user attempts to get out of bed, the magnet will pull away from the device causing the alarm to activate. The alarm is loud enough so it can easily be heard from surrounding areas near the patient’s bedroom so it’s unlikely to be missed even if the caregiver is sleeping. To silence the alarm, the magnet just needs to be replaced back.

The volume can be adjusted in 3 different levels including 70, 80, or 90 dB. The alarm features two selectable alert tones to choose from, a pulsating beep or a continuous beep.

The magnet is strong enough to prevent false alarms so if the patient is simply turning over in bed, the alarm is unlikely to activate. Due to the device featuring a magnet, it is unsuitable for anyone with a pacemaker or those fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

The bed alarm is powered by three “AAA” batteries (included). A low-battery alert will light-up and an alarm will go off when the batteries need replacing.

While this pull-cord should be suitable for most types of users, if the user gets easily confused, they may attempt to remove the device causing false alarms. In these situations, a pressure mat or passive Infrared sensor alarm may be more suitable.

Cordless Motion Sensor by Smart Caregiver

Key Features

  • Motion sensor and receiver
  • 3 selectable volume levels (Low, medium, high)
  • Monitor range 300 ft
  • Receiver battery-operated (3 x C (not included))
  • Motion sensor battery-operated (3 x AA (not included))
  • Low battery-indicator
  • Can be powered with an optional AC adaptor

The cordless motion sensor alarm by Smart Caregiver is perfect if you want to be notified when your loved one leaves their bedroom or simply when they get out of bed.

The bed alarm is extremely easy to set-up. The cordless motion sensor can be placed anywhere within the patients room. If you want to be alerted when they leave their bedroom, mount it above the doorway. Alternatively, place it near to their bed so you know when they get up in the middle of the night.

The alarm is activated once the patient trips the infrared beam on the motion sensor. When this occurs, the caregiver will be alerted through the cordless remote receiver meaning they won’t be inconvenienced with any loud noises in their bedroom. The alarm unit has a choice of 3 volume levels including low, medium and high.

The portable receiver has a 300 ft range meaning the patient can be monitored from a distance. This allows the caregiver to monitor them while they carry on with their chores around the home without needing to be in close proximity to their bedroom all the time.

Both the motion senor and receiver are powered by batteries, an optional AC adaptor can be purchased separately.

Additional motion sensors can be purchased (up to 6) which can be installed throughout the home. This means you can keep a close eye on your loved one wherever they are and whatever time of the day it is.

Cordless Bed Pressure Alarm Mat by Smart Caregiver

Key Features

  • 10″ x 30″ Pressure Bed Pad
  • Wireless monitor
  • Monitor range 300 ft
  • 3 volume controls (low, medium, high)
  • Battery operated (3 x C)
  • Low battery-indicator
  • Can be powered with an optional AC adaptor
  • 3 volume controls (low, medium, high)

The pressure alarm mat from Smart Caregiver is an excellent solution if you’re looking for a bed alarm to help prevent/reduce falls or stop users suffering from dementia from wandering off.

The pressure mat is simple to install, it just needs to be placed underneath the fitted sheet on the patient’s bed. As soon as the patient attempts to vacate the bed, the mat will send an audible and visual alert (blinking red light) to the wireless monitor warning the caregiver.

The monitor has a volume control, the audible intensity can be adjusted from 70 dB up to 80 dB.

Both the pressure mat and monitor are wireless. This means the patient won’t run the risk of tripping over any cables and due to the fact the monitor has a 300 ft range the caregiver can use the monitor throughout the home.

The monitor is battery powered (3 x C (not included)), an optional AC adaptor can be purchased separately allowing it to be powered by mains electricity instead. The mat has a self-contained battery which cannot be replaced, the mat therefore needs to be replaced every 12 months (pressure mats can be purchased separately).

The pressure mat measures 10″ x 30″ and is constructed from soft but durable vinyl and has a foam interior so it won’t affect the users comfort while lying in bed. The mat is easy-to-clean and has an impervious layer making it suitable for incontinence sufferers.

Cordless Bed Pressure Alarm Mat (20" x 30" pad w/Call Button) by Smart Caregiver

Key Features

  • 20″ x 30″ Pressure Bed Pad
  • Wireless monitor
  • Wireless call button
  • Monitor range 100 ft
  • 3 volume controls (low, medium, high)
  • Battery operated (3 x C)
  • Low battery-indicator
  • Can be powered with an optional AC adaptor
  • 3 volume controls (low, medium, high)

A larger sized pressure mat is better suited for lighter individuals as it is able to sense changes in pressure/weight more accurately. This pressure pad measures 20x 30″ and it is suitable for individuals that are lighter than 120 lbs.

The pressure mat also made by Smart Caregiver is similar to the previous one just reviewed, the only difference however apart from the larger mat size, is it also comes with a patient call button and the wireless range on the monitor is 100 ft instead of 300 ft.

The wireless call button that comes with the pressure mat, allows a patient to call for help by simply pressing down on the device. Once this happens, it will send a wireless signal to the cordless monitor alerting the caregiver. This means the user can ask for assistance without even needing to get out of bed thus reducing the risk of any falls.

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Jackie

Jackie

Jackie is a passionate advocate for keeping people with all types of mobility problems active. After suffering complications after a knee replacement she knew that she wanted to remain as active as before her numerous operations. Her passion is to advise others on how to be able to lead a fulfilling and independent life no matter what disability they may have.

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