If your elderly loved one is at the risk of falling when they try and stand up, or if they wander, it can be worrying to leave them alone in their room, unattended. But as much as you’d like to, you can’t hover over them at all times. And when at night, you need your sleep, the thought that your spouse or parent might fall and injure themselves can be tormenting.
A bed alarm system tries to alleviate this concern by alerting you whenever your loved one tries to exit their bed, so you can intervene and rush to their assistance, effectively minimizing the risk of falling. They can also be attached to the door and windows, so they’re triggered whenever they’re opened.So if your loved one suffers from dementia, they won’t wander and lose their way.
Unfortunately, not all patients are receptive to attaching a cord to their person or their clothing. You see, most bed alarms feature a tether which, when tugged on as the patient moves, triggers the alarm. If your loved one isn’t willing to be monitored by a pull cord alarm, investing in a wireless alarm system will be your best bet.
To help you shortlist, we’ll present a rundown of some of the best bed wireless alarm solutions available in the market today.Here’s a helpful guide if you want to learn how to pick the right alarm.
Smart Caregiver is the leading brand in the bed alarm industry, so it comes as no surprise that their system made it to the top of our list. This system offers an extensive fall prevention solution, with its wireless alarm monitor and the cordless bed sensor pad.
The way it works is this: you can place the monitor anywhere within the vicinity of the bed – up to 100 feet away from the pressure-sensitive pad, and as soon as the patient tries to vacate the bed and the weight is lifted from the pad, and the alarm is triggered. And you can rush to their aid and it’ll buy you some time to intervene.
If you won’t be farther away from their room, you can adjust the volume settings and pick from three different noise levels. Unlike most alarm systems, you won’t have to place the monitor in their room, so you won’t have to worry about the distress a jarring noise from the alarm can cause your loved one.
Caregiver Pager with Bed Alarm & Bed Sensor Pad
If you’d like a failsafe in addition to the alarm monitor, this product is for you. Not only do you get a wireless monitor and a bed pad, but also a pager with a range of up to 150 feet.
The pad is the standard 10 inches long and 30 inches wide, soft vinyl material which can be easily cleaned. The pad is slipped under the sheets and it senses any shifts in weight. Once the weight is placed on the pad, it chirps twice to indicate that it is working, and as soon as the weight is removed, it alerts you via the wireless monitor alarm as well as the wireless pager.
It also features a call button for emergencies – a button which your loved one can press and alert you instantly. You’ll also be notified if the pad isn’t working like it’s supposed to if the monitor is low on battery.
Keeping the Smart Caregiver train going, we have an economy option for those of you shopping on a budget. You’re looking at a cordless mat paired with a wireless monitor alarm. As opposed to bed sensor pads, mats work by triggering the alarm as soon as weight is placed on them. Say, if your loved one tries to exit the bed and they manage to do so, as soon as they step on the floor and on to the mat, you’ll be alerted.
Most caregivers consider mats a trip hazard, and if you’re one of them you’d probably be reluctant to place a mat in your loved one’s room. But this mat is crafted from an anti-slip material, so it’s safe and not a trip hazard.
Alarms can be loud. Loud enough to startle the patient, but fall prevention can be quiet too. You can pick from three different noise levels: low, medium, and high.
Both the mat and the monitor are battery-powered but the mat’s battery can’t be replaced. So you’ll have to replace the mat on an annual basis. For maintenance and cleaning purposes, it ships with a pack of 30 cleaning wipes.
This system works with a pager and a sensor pad. The pager (which you have to purchase separately) can be linked with up to 10 different alarm monitors, and each monitor is in turn connected to the sensor pad – which includes bed pads and mats. It can also be hooked up to the alarm monitors attached to doors and windows. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive solution (perhaps for use in a small facility), this Vive model fits the bill.
In addition to the pager, the monitor can also be connected to a door light alarm or a nurse call button. If you notice a lot of false alarms every time the patient changes their position, you can adjust the sensitivity of the sensor pad by adding a delay of up to four seconds.
This setup is a straightforward no-nonsense arrangement: a monitor and a pressure sensing pad. The monitor can be placed as far as 300 ft and it will detect whenever the patient tries to get up. With the range of 300 ft, you don’t have to place the monitor in their room.
If you wish to be warned, as soon as the patient begins to rise, you can place the pad under the shoulder blades. That way, as soon as they try and sit up, the alarm will be triggered. Or if you’d like to be alerted when they try and leave the bed, you can place the sensor pad under their hips.
This package comes with everything you’ll need for an effective wireless fall preventive solution – a larger than standard cordless bed pad, wireless alarm monitor, and 20 cleaning wipes. The larger sensor pad translates into better sensitivity, and the pad is cordless which means it won’t be a tripping hazard.
The operation is similar to other sensor pads and monitor alarms – the pad signals the monitor, and the alarm is triggered when the patient tries to leave the bed.
The sensor pad has a life-span of one year and it will have to be replaced annually. You can also link the alarm to a nurse call button, sensor mats, or a motion sensor. You can use the transmitters on their own, or they can be used in a combination which allows you to monitor multiple devices at once.
This monitor can be set to alert you via alarm on patient’s bedside, or if they find it distressing, the alarm can be silenced and the signal can be directly fed to the caregiver’s pager. Said another way: the caregiver can be alerted instantly without the loud noise from the alarm, provided that they carry the pager on them at all times.
In addition to the automatic alerts, the monitor also features a call button which lets the patient alert their caregiver.
The pad, however, isn’t cordless, but it does feature a safety release mechanism which keeps the patient from tripping over the wire or getting tangled.
Secure is another popular name.And although Smart Caregiver is better known, Secure’s solution stands out. For instance, if your loved one isn’t willing to be monitored, they might find a way to outsmart and disable with the alarm. To prevent this tampering, this alarm system touts a tampering-resistance feature.
Even though this monitor is wireless, you can convert it into a pull cord alarm thanks to the cord and clip set it ships with. And so far, it’s the only alarm system which offers this functionality. The manufacturers also claim that the connecting pin on the sensor pad is more durable than their plastic counterparts.
Unfortunately, the tamper-resistant system makes it difficult to reset the alarms, since you have to push and hold three buttons simultaneously, to stop the alarm.
Finally, we have a 24 inches long and 48 inches wide mat which signals the monitor within 300 feet range, as soon as the patient steps on it. The alarm has adjustable sound settings as well as a convenient on/off switch.
And although the system is easily set up, we strongly recommend that you test the operation and the range, before you set it up in your loved one’s room. You’ll also need to factor in the delay, which compromises its reliability to some extent.
A wireless bed alarm system can be a great alternative to pull-chord alarms if your loved one isn’t receptive to wired solutions. They have an impressive response time and paired with a cordless bed pad; they eliminate the tripping hazard. So the risk is minimized, even if you can’t rush to their aid in time.