Caregivers who live with seniors to offer long-term care know that even though they share a roof it is not always easy to know when a senior might need help. A bed alarm can notify a caregiver if the elderly person has attempted to leave their bed unexpectedly, whether it is because they need something and cannot call out or because they tend to wander or it acts as a bed-wetting alarm. In many cases, having an alarm system set up with the alarm in the room can even give the senior pause and cause them to wait for their caregiver instead of continuing to get up when they should not. These are some of the best-recommended bed alarm systems on the market today.
Smart Caregiver makes a range of products designed to help both the elderly and their caregivers. This bed alarm with sensor pad is one of their higher reviewed products. The pad can be placed under the fitted sheet in the area beneath the person’s back or buttocks and will sound an alert on the attached alarm if they get up and remove pressure from the pad. The alarm includes a prominent reset button that can be pressed to silence it. An alert will also sound if the pad is disconnected or if it needs replacement batteries, so one does not have to worry about technical failure. The pad is protected for incontinence and the manufacturer advises it should last one year, though shorter term pads are available by contacting the seller. As far as basic alarm systems go this is a good one to start with.
Smart Caregiver also makes a cordless kit where the alarm can be placed outside of the patient’s room. As with the basic pad and alarm system, the sensor pad should be placed under the fitted sheet in the area of the senior’s back or buttocks. Since this pad is cordless it should be easy to work with and not be obtrusive. The alarm is portable and can be taken up to 100 feet away from the pad while still retaining signal. It can be turned off and on and the volume can be adjusted as desired. It is designed to be powered by batteries or a separate AC adapter can also be purchased. A chair pad can also be purchased with this system for use by seniors who should not walk unattended. It is recommended that the system is replaced every year due to the battery in the bed pad not being replaceable.
This set by Secure includes both a chair pad and a bed pad sensor so that it can be used in multiple places. The alarm can be moved from one to the other by simply unplugging from one and plugging into the other. The alarm is triggered when the person resting on them has gotten up, as is standard with this sort of kit. Since the pads must be plugged into the alarm one does not need to worry about getting false alarms throughout the day when no one is using them. The pads are made of antimicrobial and incontinence-proof material. The alarm can be wall mounted and includes a flashing alert light along with the alarm noise. To stop the alarm either the patient can return to the sensor pad or a caregiver can silence it by pushing the reset button three times. Since the alarm is near the patient, this extra step may prevent them from disabling the alarm themselves.
There are other ways to detect motion from seniors aside from weight-sensitive alarm pads. This system from AliMed can be easily installed at a senior’s bedside to detect motion when they cross the plane of the scanner. If the motion detector is tripped an alarm goes off on the remote receiver. A bedside alarm is included and can be configured to either alert or stay silent when the scanner field is crossed. Either way, a signal is sent to the remote receiver unit wherever the caregiver has it. The receiver can be up to one hundred feet away from the bedside alarm and still work. When the receiver alerts it will sound an alarm and also flash to make it clear that the senior has left their bed. Since this installation is a bit more obvious than a bed pad, it is not recommended for situations in which the senior being cared for could easily circumvent the monitored plane, such as by going around at the foot of the bed or on the other side.
In short-term or infrequent situations, a less expensive option may be preferred. This alarm by Drive Medical is activated by a pull cord which can be adjusted between 28 and 58 inches long. The cord can be attached to a senior’s clothing and the alarm can be then mounted to a stationary object like a bed or wheelchair. If the senior tries to walk away the 100-decibel alarm will be triggered. Replacing the magnet on the alarm device will silence it. This can also be used as a personal alarm for the senior in case they need assistance but cannot call out. They can trigger it purposely to get a caregiver’s attention quickly. The alarm is loud enough that they likely will not want to do it very often though.
Keeping loved ones safe and comfortable are two of the primary objectives for caregivers looking after seniors. In situations where they need to know if the patient has tried to get up, it is important that they have a reliable alert system in place. Any of these devices would be more than adequate in fulfilling this role. In all cases the alarms are loud enough to alert caregivers in other rooms, so one may rest easy knowing they will be notified immediately and without fail if they are ever needed.