Bed alarms have become one of the most essential devices not just for the senior and dementia patients, but also to their caregivers.
The main duty of caregivers is taking care of senior patients and patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s or Dementia. Part of their job includes monitoring them almost round-the-clock – and consequently, caregivers feel tiredness, stress, burnout, and frustration.
A bed alarm for the elderly and dementia patients works via pressure sensor pads. When a patient rises to get out of the bed on their own, the pressure is released, and the bed alarm pad sends an alert to the caregiver’s receiver. Being alerted, the caregiver arrives in the bedroom to assist the patient.
Most bed alarms come with tamper-proof controls to prevent tampering and interference from the patient. Only caregivers or anyone else having access to the alarm’s control can reset the alarm after they assisted the patient. Some of the best bed alarms for the elderly have an auto-reset feature for added convenience.
Here are some of the benefits that bed alarms can provide:
1. It prevents accidental falls.
When a senior or dementia patient tries to get out of bed, they may have great difficulty in doing so because of their weakened physique. As people get older, or as their dementia progresses, the risk of falling increases. With a bed alarm, it alerts you to come to your patient and provide them assistance just in time.
2. It provides more flexibility and freedom for the caretakers.
Bed alarms are a big help not just for the patients but also for the caregivers. It allows the caregiver to move more freely with the awareness and confidence that you will be alerted should the patient try to get out of bed and/or needs your help. You can do other household chores, do the cooking, watch TV, or take a nap while the patient is asleep. It will also allow you to sleep in your bedroom more soundly – no more sleeping beside the bed of your patient or sitting outside their bedroom!
3. It prevents wandering
One of the characteristic behaviors of a dementia patient is the tendency to wander or to get lost. Without being aware of the surroundings or the dangers that may await them, dementia patients try to get up from the bed and get out of the room or the house. They think they are lost and are looking for a way home. They may think that their relatives are searching for them. A bed alarm is an effective device in preventing dementia patients from wandering because it allows you to know when they try getting out of bed.
Types of bed alarms
1. Mattress pad alarm
A mattress pad alarm is usually placed under the bed sheet, particularly in the upper back area. They come in both corded and cordless (wireless). The pressure sensor pad sends an alert when there is a change in the pressure on the pad.
2. String alarm
This type of bed alarm includes a box-shaped device with a string or cord attached to it. The string is attached to the patient’s clothing, usually around the shoulder area. The box-shaped device is normally placed on the headboard. Once the patient tries to get up from the bed, the string pulls loose, and this sends an alert to the caregiver. However, the alert can be misleading as the patient may be merely trying to position himself or herself on the bed more comfortably.
3. Passive infrared alarm
This alarm consists of an infrared beam that can pick up and sense movements and sounds. It can be installed to the headboard or the side of the bed. Once the patient tries to get up of bed, the infrared beam detects motions and sounds and sends the alert to the caregiver.
The best bed alarms for fall prevention come in many varieties. Knowing you and your specific patient’s needs as well as your surrounding conditions will be your best guides to selecting the best type of bed alarm.