A bed alarm is a device that alerts the caretaker when an individual wants to get out of bed or is trying to do so. It is used for various reasons like fall and injury prevention. Here is some vital information on how bed alarms work.
How Does Bed Alarm work?
A bed alarm has a sensing device (a bed pad, floor pad, or motion sensor pad) and an alarm monitor. Some bed alarms have a combination of a bed pad, floor pad, and motion sensor pad. All components work together to monitor the movements of an individual in the bed.
When the individual tries to move out of bed, there is a change in the pressure of the bed pad or floor pad, and the devices set an alarm that alerts the caretaker to rush to the patient’s bed. The sound stops when the individual returns to the bed and the pressure is reset, or when the caretaker switches it off.
If you have an older adult at home who needs assistance going to the bathroom, a bed alarm can be of good use. Here are some tips and guidelines to select the best bed alarm for your loved one.
Features to Look For
Corded or Wireless
A corded alarm system costs less than a wireless one. In a corded alarm, the mattress pad is connected to the alarm monitor by a cord. The alarm monitor is generally placed near the bed pad, and the placement is determined by the length of the cord connecting both.
When the patient makes attempts to get out of bed, the alarm sounds without any delay. Corded alarm systems also feature a quick release system to avoid tripping hazards.
Wireless alarm systems are comparatively costly. Since the mattress pad and the alarm monitor are connected wirelessly, you need to place the Alarm device within 100 ft. to 300 ft. from the bed pad.
Bed Alarm Sensors
The alarm sensors are crucial components of a bed alarm system. Several types of sensors are used in bed alarm systems. They are:
- Pressure Sensor Pads– these pads are placed below the bedsheet of the patient. The sensor pads are thin to prevent discomfort to the patient. They are available in various sizes to support different weights. For example, a person weighing around 120 pounds and sleeping on a firm mattress will need a sensor pad measuring 10×30. If the pressure sensor is placed on a hospital bed, gel, air, or memory foam mattress, you need to buy a larger sensor pad measuring 20×30.
- Floor Mat Sensor Pad– these pads are placed near the bed on the ground. They are positioned so that the patient’s feet fall on the floor mat sensor pad whenever they try to get out of bed.
An alarm system has different sound levels like low, medium, and high. Some alarms may have a musical or chiming option instead of traditional beeping. Wireless alarm systems allow you to set the alarm in the patient’s room to quiet mode, while the alarm in the caretaker room can be set to medium or high volume.