There are many important considerations to take in when caring for an elderly loved with dementia or Alzheimer’s at home. Two of them are falling and wandering away. That’s where monitoring devices can come in handy.
One way to hep take care of these issues is by installing an alarm device either on their bed or by their bedside. These devices use a motion sensor and/or pressure sensors to detect when someone tries get up off the bed and sounds an alarm, alerting you as their caregiver nearby so that safety may be assured.
Think of these as a call button that the user doesn’t have to use. Although pull-string monitors are a great tool, for adults suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s they may not work well due to memory issues, etc.
Seniors who suffer with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are prone to wandering, so a bed alarm is just one way to help keep them safer. Of course, you can also use these as a chair alarm as well. So, it’s actually a product that can be used in multiple places.
A bed alarm pad can also be a great device for caregivers, especially if it uses a wireless system. Because these devices can send out an alarm, the family member no longer has to stand by the bedroom door waiting for their senior loved one to fall asleep. Only to worry later on about their senior loved one waking up and getting out of bed.
There’s really very little downsides to setting up a bed alarm for dementia patients or anyone with Alzheimer’s disease. I would say that there are times that a bed exit alarm would send out false alarms and that can be frustrating.
The variety of bed and chair exit alarms is large enough that you can try several of them to see which one would work best for you and your family. They are an affordable option to the potential problems that not using one could present.
Why Do Seniors Need Bed Alarms?
There may be a few main reasons why a senior would need a bed alarm but it’s mostly used for safety. The purpose of the alarm is to alert a caregiver and/or family member if their patient tries to get out of bed or off their chair or sofa.
This would then mean that the senior who is in bed is not safe to walk alone or to be left alone. So, oftentimes, the use of bed alarms are meant for a dementia sufferer and adults with Alzheimer’s disease or some other type of cognitive illness.
The different sets of reasons a caregiver would want a bed alarm include:
- Fall prevention
- Alert for assistance
- Prevent wandering
Fall Prevention – A bed sensor bed is a good idea for seniors who may be at risk of falling out of their bed or if they have mobility issues that puts them at risk of falling to invest in a bed alarm. A fall could cause them serious injuries. Anything that can be done to help prevent a fall is advisable.
Alert For Assistance – The beauty of a bed alarm is that it alerts the caregiver that their senior loved one may need some help. Many seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s are not aware that they should not walk by themselves or should not walk out the door. Alerting the caregiver can provide the senior with the help they need when they need it.
Prevent Wandering – As I mentioned earlier, bed-exit alarms can alert the caregiver that their elderly loved one is trying to get out of bed and perhaps wander away. For more info about door alarms and other wander prevention devices, click here.
Bed Alarms To Consider
Smart Caregiver Wireless Bed Alarm System
These pressure-sensitive pads are use a cordless system which makes it much easier to use. This bed sensor pad measures 10 inches by 30 inches. The alarm sounds off when the person in bed lifts their weight off the pad. The wireless alarm has a gentle chiming sound and adjustable volume.
CallToU Motion Alarm
This alarm is versatile because it can be used by bedside, in a hallway, doorway, etc. It uses an infrared sensor to detect motion. Has multiple chimes and an adjustable volume level. Place this on the side of the bed where he/she would get up from (or both sides) and it will detect when they pass by the sensor.
Lundberg Early Alert Bed Alarm System
This wireless/cordless system bed pad is very similar to the Smart Caregiver pad listed above except that it will sound the alarm before the person gets off the pad. In other words, it sounds the alarm when it detects significant movement.
Floor Mat Alarm
Okay, so this floor pad isn’t exactly a bed alarm but it can detect when weight is placed on the mat meaning that the person in bed has gotten off the bed and now has their feet on the ground. It may be used as an additional type of alarm to be used in conjunction with a bed alarm.
How Do Bed Alarms For Dementia Patients Help To Prevent Falls?
Because bed alarms are essentially an “alarm” to alert someone of something – the fact that they can give the dementia caregiver an alert that their patient is doing something or about to do something that they should not be doing is exactly how they help to prevent falls and injuries.
I would say also that bed alarms can also be used on sofas and chairs and anywhere that the caregiver feels they need to be alerted that their senior loved one is about to wander away, or get up or try to walk on their own.
There are many solutions out there for people with dementia, but one that is very promising and cost effective might be the bed alarm. When you use this device, it will go off if your loved one tries to get up or leaves their bed during sleep time.
This simple tool can help alleviate some of the fear among caregivers who worry about what could happen when they’re not around. It also ensures safety by keeping them in place at night so they don’t wander into unsafe locations like hallways or bathrooms where falls may occur due to lack of sight and awareness.
If you care for someone with dementia, please consider using a bed alarm for their safety and your peace of mind.