One of the most difficult parts of caregiving is the fact that you feel a constant worry for your elderly loved one. It can sometimes feel like the senior needs constant supervision, especially if they are struggling with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. It’s especially worrying to think about your loved one being alone at night. What if they get up and wander off? What if they fall out of bed and hurt themselves? These are serious concerns and one of the best ways to ease your mind about senior safety at night is to purchase a bed alarm. Bed alarms or sensing pads are great pieces of equipment that alert you if your senior tries to get out of bed. This way, you can be sure about their safety. This article will provide you with some of the best bed alarms currently on the market and hopefully, you’ll be able to find one that fits your needs perfectly.
Aspects You Should Consider Before Purchasing
Before you purchase a bed alarm, there are a couple of major aspects that you should consider. Taking these details into account will make sure that your bed alarm is long-lasting and works well for your senior.
- Alarm options – It’s always a good idea to ensure that the bed alarm you purchase has several alarm sound options. Loud and disruptive sounds can be very difficult for the elderly, especially for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia. So, make sure that the alarm you purchase has options for different volumes and ring tones.
- Lifespan – much like other equipment the bed alarm will eventually have to be replaced. However, some manufacturers will clearly state how long they believe your device will last before it needs to be repurchased. Even if you take great care of your bed alarm, it’s important to pay attention to the product’s lifespan. Depending on the projected lifespan, you can also ensure that you have a backup ready to use.
- Wireless and wired options – There are several ways to approach the choice between wireless and wired products. Wired bed alarms will sync up sound and movement more quickly and they are usually less expensive. However, there are some drawbacks. Wired alarms have to be loud enough for you to hear in another part of the house. Wireless bed alarms will easily transmit the sound to a distant device that you can keep near you and will avoid waking up or distressing your elderly loved one.
- Fabric – Another important aspect of the product to consider is fabric. Most bed alarm pads are of vinyl but some can contain latex. You should always check the materials pads are made from to make sure that they will not cause an allergic reaction in your elderly loved one. You should also make sure that the pad is spill and stain proof and easy to clean.
- Floor and bed options – There are some alarms that come as floor mats. This decreases the chances of a false alarm and may also be more comfortable for the user. You and your senior can decide together which of these options is best for your situation.
- Batteries – Make sure to research if the bed alarm you plan to purchase comes with batteries included or if you have to buy them yourself.
Regardless of your specific needs, we hope that the list below will help you make an informed decision.
Smart Caregiver Wireless and Cordless Weight Sensing Bed Pad
The Smart Caregiver Wireless and Cordless Weight Sensing bed pad comes in 10” by 30” dimensions and is made of stain/spill resistant vinyl, making it very easy to clean. The kit also includes a wireless bed alarm that can be placed 100 feet away from the bed. This ensures that the patient is not disturbed or scared by the alarm, since it is not in the same room as the bed pad. The lifespan of this product is approximately one year and if it does malfunction during that period, Smart Caregiver provides a one-year warranty to put your mind at ease.
There are also several volume options. However, this product does not come with the batteries included and it is not latex free. Some users have also reported a delay between movement and alarm. The Smart Caregiver bed pad costs approximately $109 and can be purchased on Amazon.
Smart Caregiver Wireless Alarm With Bed Sensor Pad and Chair Sensor Pad
Smart Caregiver also has other options for caregivers and their seniors. This particular product is wireless and can sync up to bed and chair sensors. As before, caregivers can be 100 feet away from the pad and users recommend placing the pad right between the shoulder blades of the senior so that it goes off as soon as your loved one sits up. The chair pad can be used for wheelchairs or regular chairs, ensuring that your senior does not hurt themselves by attempting to stand up.
Like the previous Smart Caregiver product, this one comes with a one-year warranty and several volume options, but the batteries have to be purchased by the buyer. This product can also be purchased on Amazon and it costs approximately $168.95.
Secure Bed Exit Alarm Set for Fall and Wandering Prevention
Secure is another manufacturer that can provide you with bed alarm products. This particular bed pad is wired, has 12” by 30” dimensions, is spill-proof, antimicrobial and has an alarm monitor made of ABS plastic. The pad is also latex-free, so you do not have to worry about irritating your senior’s skin.
The alarm will sound as soon as there is movement since there is no delay in syncing and it can be reset by the patient returning to their bed or the caregiver using the reset button. Secure’s bed alarm kit costs $46.99 on Amazon, has a 45 day warranty for the pad and its monitor is insured for 1 year. The kit also comes with a low-battery indicator and is foldable.
There are some cons to this product. As mentioned before, wired bed pads can be inconvenient if you’re trying to keep your senior calm. This one is especially loud and if you’re looking for something that does not disturb your elderly loved one, this may not be for you. It is also not compatible with non-standard bedding (a foam mattress pad) and batteries are not included.
Secure 45BSET-5 Tamper-proof Bed Pad and Sensor.
This model is also from Secure and it offers a comfortable, high-quality bed pad with secure linings and spill protection. This model also has volume control settings and battery life indicators. Some of the users that reviewed this product stated that they had difficulty resetting or turning off the alarm. However, it’s important that the reset button not be too accessible in case the senior is acting out and tries to turn it off themselves.
This product is wired, 12″ x 30″, ultra thin, and latex-free. You can purchase it on Amazon for $59.99.
Smart Caregiver FallGuard Basic Fall Monitor Bed Pad
Unlike the other two Smart Caregiver products mentioned on this list, this one is wired. It comes with a sensing bed pad and a monitor which has to be in the patient’s room. The volume is adjustable and the pad’s lifespan is 45 days, though some users have noticed that it can last much longer.
The bed pad is 10” x 30”, vinyl, foam filled, and spill-proof. It also has a low-battery light. The alarm can be mounted to the wall or elsewhere. Much like with other products, batteries are not included. This model is much more affordable than other Smart Caregiver products. Currently, it costs $44.95 on Amazon.
There are a myriad of things that caregivers need to think about when it comes to elderly safety at home. It can be extremely overwhelming and to-do tasks can pile up. Purchasing a bed exit alarm can seem daunting but we hope that this article can make the process easier for caregivers.
Outside of this list, there are several other products and companies that you can purchase from, so make sure to do additional research if none of the bed alarms on this list appeal to you. It’s vital that whatever you buy fits your and your senior’s needs. Finding the perfect product can make you and your elderly loved one feel much safer and more comfortable at night.