A Guide To Bed Alarms for the Elderly

Bed alarms for the elderly are helpful devices that can detect movements and sound an alarm if the user tries to get up from bed on their own.

Bed alarms provide assurance to caregivers that the elderly or patients in their care are safe in bed. These motion sensor or bed pad alarms are designed to notify caregivers if the senior is getting out of bed or moving about and need assistance. If something potentially dangerous is detected such as sudden and/or significant movement, the alarm is set off.

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As men and women age, they become weaker and more at risk of falling down and hurting themselves. Having their needs attended to becomes trickier as the years go by, especially if he/she has a form of a debilitating or degenerative condition. While the ideal is to monitor the patient 24/7, this is often difficult or even impossible because the caretakers have their own lives and tasks to tend to. What if something happens while no one is watching? This is the very reason why bed alarms for seniors are created.

Fall Prevention Products Guide MASHQ

This sounding of the bed alarm is a signal to caretakers to check on their patient or parent. If the senior has unfortunately fallen down, caregivers can see that and offer immediate assistance. This prevents additional repercussions to the senior’s health if they have to wait many hours before someone discovers that they have fallen.

Benefits of Bed Alarms for Seniors

The invention of bed alarms for the elderly offers practical benefits both patient and caretaker.

1. Allows more flexibility for caretakers – Taking care of the elderly would mean you must go out of their bedside from time to time. You’ll also need some time to rest and also give your patient some me-time while he/she is resting. But due to the fear of falling, you may be hesitant to do that. With a bedside alarm, you can be assured that you know when help is needed.

2. Fall prevention – Falls are one of the most feared things to happen if you’re living with a senior, as it can cause potentially serious injuries. With age, the risk of falling increases dramatically. We have previously discussed the causes of falling for seniors here on this blog. But with the help of an alarm, you can get alerted before that even happens.

Bed Alarms for the Elderly Models

There are different designs utilized in bed alarms for elderly users. Each of these designs has its own unique set of characteristics, allowing them to gain particular advantages for certain situations.

1. Pressure sensor – This is currently the most common type of mechanism used in bed alarms for both home and medical use. The alarm has a pressure sensing pad that detects if the patient has moved. If the pressure is removed, an alarm is sounded. The good ones are made to thin enough to be comfortable to lay on and incontinence-proof for easy maintenance.

2. Infrared sensor – It monitors the presence of the patient by means of a beam of infrared light, which is the same technology used for devices like remote controls. When the infrared light is tripped (often because the patient has moved too close to the edge of the bed), the alarm is set off. These motion sensors are attached to furniture or wall located near the bed.

For various models of motion sensors and bed pad alarms for the elderly, check out listings on eBay or Walmart.

Bed Alarm Product Options


See a review of the Smart Caregiver Wireless Bed Alarm and Bed Pad.


Tips on Buying

Given that there are so many benefits from buying bed pad alarms or motion sensors for elderly users, one must seriously consider buying one. But what exactly should you buy? Here are some things to consider:

1. Wireless or wired bed pad alarms – While wired bed pad alarm for seniors work well, their wireless counterparts offer additional benefits. You can place the alarm in another room where you are, so that when it sounds, it does not scare the patient. There is also less hassle on dealing with extended wires. When shopping for these wireless bed pad alarms, their product descriptions should indicate that the alarm can set to sound in another room other than the patient’s room.

2. Delayed alarm – You may want to have the alarm sound at a slightly delayed basis. This would greatly prevent the occurrence of false alarms at the slightest movement.

3. Noise level – Consider also the level of sound the alarm generates. You want one that is loud enough to issue a warning, but not so loud to irritate you or disturb others unnecessarily.

4. Power adapter option – Some bed alarms offer the option to be both operated from both batteries and power adapters. This can provide additional flexibility for how you want to set up the system.

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A useful product complements a bed alarm is a wireless nurse call button system. This is basically a two-piece paging system that the senior can use to alert his or her caregiver for help. When the call button is pressed, it will remotely sound the pager unit that is paired with it. See Wireless Caregiver Call Button Systems guide.

Check out more fall prevention products.


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