Best Bed Alarms For Elderly Seniors

If you’re looking for an unbiased review of bed alarms for elderly seniors, you’re just on the right page. Read on to understand why bed alarms are important for seniors and caregivers and what features to look for when looking to buy a bed alarm. Below, you’ll also see the best bed alarms you can find in the market at the moment — based on our objective comparative research.

Bed alarms for the elderly: What exactly are they?

Bed alarms are specialized monitoring devices that can detect the user’s movements and produce an alarm sound whenever the user tries to get out of bed on their own.

These devices are particularly used by caregivers to monitor elderly seniors who are at risk of falling off the bed during their sleep or getting out of bed and wandering away without being noticed.

Types of bed alarms for seniors

Bed alarms for seniors come in different designs and features varying technologies. The two most common types available at the moment are the infrared motion sensor bed alarms and the pressure sensor bed alarms.

Motion sensor bed alarms use infrared light to monitor the user’s movement and trigger an alarm sound when the light is tripped by the user’s movement. They are usually attached to walls or furniture near the user’s bed.

Pressure sensor bed alarms, which are now very common, use a pressure sensing pad that detects any movement by the user. Modern pressure pads are made so thin that they can fit well under the user’s bed sheets without causing any discomfort, and they’re incontinence proof, which means they require little or no maintenance. For pressure sensor bed alarms, the alarm sound goes off once the device stops sensing the pressure created by the user’s body on the pad.

Bed alarms can also be classified based on number of pieces. One-piece bed alarms have both sensor and alarm in a single unit, while the two-piece types have the sensor and alarm as separate units. Three piece alarms have a sensor pad, monitor, and alarm/pager.

Two-piece and three-piece bed alarms are ideal for caregivers who are usually at a distance from the monitored senior or sleep in a separate room. The monitor is kept near the bed of the monitored senior, while the alarm is kept with the caregiver.

Why are bed alarms necessary for elderly seniors?

Bed alarms offer a number of benefits to elderly seniors and their caregivers. And here are some of the most important ones.

Fall prevention: Millions of cases of falls in the elderly are reported annually in the United States. And a significant fraction of these falls are nighttime falls that happen during sleep. These falls usually lead to serious health complications such as fractures and brain damage. But with bed alarms, seniors can be monitored during their sleep and falls can be prevented.

Loss prevention: Many seniors with dementia often get lost after wandering out of their homes unnoticed. There have been several cases where such seniors were left in bed — while sleeping — by their caregivers, but later got out of bed unnoticed and wandered away afterwards. Bed alarms can help to prevent this by alerting caregivers whenever elderly people with dementia leave their bed.

Flexibility for caregivers: Rather than have to sit close by just to keep watch on elderly seniors, caregivers can engage in other things while being assured that they’ll know when to act fast.

What to look for before buying a bed alarm

Bed alarms for the elderly vary in terms of features. And it’s easy to make the wrong choice if you don’t know what features to look out for before placing your bucks on one. Here are some of the things to check.

  • Number of pieces: Two-piece bed alarms, which have separate sensor and alarm units, are always better. You sure don’t want a bed alarm that would scare the senior out of bed each time it sounds due to its closeness to the bed. So, always favor a two-piece type that allows you to take the alarm far away from the monitored senior.
  • Noise control: Your best bet is a bed alarm that allows you to control the maximum intensity of the alarm sound. All you need is sound that is just loud enough to alert you, not to disturb and annoy everyone else.
  • Wired or wireless: Wireless bed alarms allow for more flexibility. You can take the sensor close to you anywhere within the allowed range without bothering about running connecting wires.
  • Power options: Even if AC power is almost always available, there are outages sometimes. So, you’d be better off with a bed alarm that runs on both AC and battery power. This will prevent the worst from happening during a power outage.

Best bed alarms for elder seniors (review)

Due to increasing awareness of the benefits of bed alarms, the demand for these devices is booming. This explains why more and more models surface in the market every day. And this makes it difficult to make a choice from the heap.

However, to ease your task, we have compared several bed alarms available in the online marketplace and compared them based on real buyer opinions, brand trust, and the important features highlighted above. And we eliminated poor performers until we were left with the best.

So, in our opinion, here are the three best bed alarms available in the market at the moment.

1. Bed Alarm System with Wireless Pager (by Smart Caregiver)

The Bed Alarm System with Wireless Pager comprises a sensor pad, monitoring unit, and wireless pager. The sensor pad is placed on the monitored senior’s bed or just beneath the bed sheet.

If you want the system to alert you when the monitored senior sits up from a sleeping position, place the pad under the area on which they place their back while sleeping. But if you want to be alerted only when the monitored senior gets out of bed or falls off it completely (which isn’t a good option, in our opinion), place the pad under the area where they’ll place their buttocks while asleep.

The monitor is the attached to the sensor pad and then fixed on the wall close to the bed. With this arrangement in place, the caregiver will be alerted through the pager whenever a movement is detected. When weight is first applied to the sensor pad, the monitor sounds two quick beeps to alert the caregiver that the monitored person might move out of bed soon. The actual alert is triggered when the monitored person’s weight is removed from the sensor pad.

The sensor pad is incontinence-proof and is easy to clean up whenever it gets soiled. So, it’s a perfect fit for seniors with incontinence problems. The product package actually contains 2 extra disposable bed protector pads — as bonus!

Both the monitor and pager have volume adjustment control, which means you can reduce the volume of the device, so it doesn’t disturb others.

The monitor features a status light that indicates that the device is on and active. And it has a call button that can be pressed anytime the caregiver’s attention is needed. The device also features an indicator light that turns on if the sensor pad gets disconnected or damaged.

The Bed Alarm System with Wireless Pager is powered by AA batteries (pager requires two batteries and monitor requires three). But you can save the cost of batteries by purchasing an AC adapter (manufacturer’s recommendation is the Kerr AC adapter AC-05, 6 volts).

What we like

  • Beeps through a mobile, portable pager instead of static alarm
  • Monitor and pager can stay connected over a range of 150 feet
  • Wireless system (allows more flexibility)
  • Runs on both batteries and AC power
  • Sensor pad is incontinence-proof and long lasting
  • Indicator lights for power on and pad lost
  • Features “call button” to get caregiver’s attention anytime
  • Alarm volume is adjustable

What we dislike

  • AC adapter not included (can be bought separately)
  • Sensor pad needs to be replaced periodically (but 2 extra are included)

2. Wireless Alarm & Bed Pad (by Smart Caregiver)

The Wireless Alarm & Bed Pad is another bed alarm system that works based on pressure sensing technology. That is, it comprises a pressure sensor pad (meant to be placed on the monitored senior’s bed) a monitor unit, and an alarm.

The system is wireless, so the alarm can be placed at a distance of up to 100 feet away from the monitor. This means the alarm can be placed in another room or at a distance far enough so it doesn’t frighten or disturb the monitored senior whenever it goes off.

As with our top pick, the pressure sensing pad detects the monitored senior’s weight and triggers the alarm each time the weight is removed from the pad. The alarm comes with a volume adjustment control that allows the user to choose between low, medium, and high volume options, as well as a gentle chime alert.

The Wireless Alarm & Bed Pad runs on 3 “C” type batteries (non-replaceable). It can also run on AC power, but you’ll have to purchase an AC 04 power adapter (not included in product pack).

What we like

  • Wireless system
  • Monitor and alarm can stay connected over a distance of up to 100 feet
  • Runs on both batteries and AC power
  • Sensor pad is incontinence-proof and long lasting
  • Alarm volume is adjustable

What we dislike

  • AC adapter not included (can be bought separately)
  • Sensor pad needs to be replaced periodically
  • No pager; uses an alarm
  • Battery is non-replaceable

3. Smart Caregiver TL-5102MP Motion Sensor and Pager

The Smart Caregiver TL-5102MP Motion Sensor and Pager is a wireless bed alarm system that also comprises a monitor and pager. But it doesn’t come with a bed pressure sensor pad because it uses a motion sensor technology, instead.

The device monitor is installed on the wall, near the monitored senior’s bed with its sensor focused on the bed. This way, the monitor will trigger the pager alert whenever it senses movement on the bed. To avoid unnecessary alerts after every movement, the monitor should be placed at the head level of the monitored person while sitting up in bed

Unlike our top pick, this device doesn’t come with adjustable volume control, so the caregiver might have to make do with the default volume, which might be a bit too loud at night. The device runs on AA batteries only (two for the pager, and three for the sensor).

While the Smart Caregiver TL-5102MP Motion Sensor and Pager is a great device, it has a major downside — it detects any movement around it, not just that of the monitored senior. This means the caregiver should expect to be alerted whenever anything — human or pet — moves around the sensor. For seniors who have pets, this device might not be a good option.

What we like

  • Beeps through a mobile, portable pager
  • Wireless system
  • Sensor and pager can stay connected over a distance of up to 150 feet
  • Uses motion detection, not pressure sensors
  • No need to replace pads
  • Relatively cheap

What we dislike

  • No volume adjustment controls
  • Runs only on batteries (no AC power)
  • Detects any movement, and not just that of the monitored user

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