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The Best Chair Alarm For The Elderly: Fall Prevention or Dementia or Alzheimer’s

Summary (TL;DR):

Fall prevention is priority #1 for caregivers of seniors with dementia or Alzheimer's. Chair alarms are helpful tools that notify caregivers that a senior has gotten up out of their chair by sounding a loud alarm. There are two basic styles: ones that clip to the senior's clothing and ones that use weight sensitive pads.

Here are my Top Picks:

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Many elderly individuals have severe mobility issues, which can put them at risk for a fall. One in every four Americans over the age of 65 falls each year. Falls are a leading cause of fatal injuries in seniors, which is why it’s important to find ways to reduce the risk of falls.

Seniors that suffer from dementia or Alzheimers may not always remember that they can’t safely walk on their own. They may try to stand and move around like they did when they were younger, which can put them at risk for serious injuries.

Chair alarms are able to monitor movement and sound an alarm if a senior is trying to stand up. Alarms will also be triggered if a senior falls forward in a chair. Alarms make it easy to respond quickly to these incidents so that elderly individuals can get the help they need before they are injured.

It’s important to choose reliable alarms that will quickly sound a signal if a senior is in danger. Keep reading to learn more about the best alarms that are currently on the market.

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Comparison Table: Best Chair Alarms for Elderly Fall Prevention

Here is a summary of my top recommendations so that you can compare these options quickly. Want more details? Keep scrolling or click the “Read Review” link to jump to my review of that model.

ImageProductHow It WorksPriceMore Info
Smart Caregiver® Cordless Motion Sensor Smart Caregiver® Cordless Motion SensorUses a motion sensor to trigger an alarm when patient gets up. Also includes a call button. Uses AA and 12 V batteries or AC adapter. $84.95Buy Now

Read Review
Basic Fall Monitor and Chair Pad Basic Fall Monitor and Chair PadWeight sensitive pad triggers alarm when senior stands. Must be used on a firm surface. Uses a AAA and 9V batteries. $59.90Buy Now

Read Review
Secure 45CSET-1 Chair Exit Alarm Secure 45CSET-1 Chair Exit AlarmPressure sensitive pad triggers alarm when senior stands. Must be used on a firm surface. Uses a 9V battery or AC power. $42.99Buy Now

Read Review
Secure MAG-3 Magnet Pull Cord Alarm Secure MAG-3 Magnet Pull Cord AlarmSensor clips to senior’s clothing which pulls a magnet switch triggering an alarm. Uses 9 V batteries and has 3 alarm volume settings. $25.00Buy Now

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Sammons Preston Magnet Alarm Sammons Preston Magnet AlarmSensor clips to senior’s clothing which pulls a magnet switch triggering an alarm. Uses 9 V batteries and has 2 volume levels. $20.00Buy Now

Read Review

Elderly Chair Alarm Reviews

Features

  • Includes Cordless Monitor, Cordless Motion Sensor, and a Cordless Call Button
  • Motion Sensor can be placed to detect when patient is getting out of bed or walking through a doorway. Works with 3 AA size batteries (not included) or the AC-04 adapter (not included)
  • Call button can be worn around neck with a lanyard or placed on the wall with included cradle. Works with one 12volt battery (included)
  • Monitor has high, medium, and low volume features. Monitor works with 3 C size batteries (not included) or AC-04 adapter (not Included).

Some seniors try to ambulate themselves because they’re unable to signal to caregivers that they need to get up. This system is able to detect motion while providing elderly individuals with a way to call for help.

The system can easily detect when a senior is trying to get up. It can even be placed outside a door so that caregivers can be notified if a senior is leaving a room. The cordless call button allows seniors to signal for help with a simple push of the button.

While this system may not be ideal for seniors with serious mobility issues, it’s a great choice for elderly individuals that need some support while walking. The notification system allows seniors to get help while still maintaining their sense of independence.

Pros

  • Call button can be worn in a variety of ways
  • Motion system offers flexible movement detection
  • Works with AA batteries or an AC adapter
  • Monitor has a range of volume settings

Cons

  • Poor choice for seniors with severe mobility issues
  • Alarm will continue to sound until it is disabled
  • Neither AA batteries or an AC adapter are included

Features

  • Caregivers use these fall prevention devices to know when a resident is attempting to exit a chair without assistance
  • The alarm monitor has an adjustable volume, low battery light and uses a 9-volt battery (not included) or add the AC-02 power adapter (sold separately)
  • Place the chair sensor pad on the seat of a firm chair. The chair sensor pad has a cord that plugs into the exit alarm with a phone-like clip. Run the cord through the back of the chair, the alarm can be positioned on the back of the chair by using the metal clip or the adjustable strap
  • The chair alarm will sound an alert for a caregiver when a resident's weight is removed from the chair sensor pad. To silence the exit alarm, the caregiver can press the reset button on the side of the chair exit alarm monitor or reapply weight to the chair sensor pad
  • The Chair sensor pad is 10in x 15in, made of soft vinyl, easy to wipe clean, and incontinence resistant

Caregivers seeking an alarm that doesn’t have to be clipped to clothing will be impressed with this monitor and chair pad combo. The alarm system comes with a sensor pad that is designed to be placed on chairs. The pad can detect a change in weight and quickly sound an alarm if a senior tries to stand.

Like many of the alarms listed here, this alarm has adjustable volume settings. The alarm also has a low battery light, which means caregivers will be able to see when the battery isn’t strong enough for the alarm to function properly.

The chair pad is covered in vinyl, making it easy to clean, even if a senior has issues with incontinence. After the alarm is activated, it can be reset with a simple push of a button.

Pros

  • Alarm can quickly detect movement, allowing for a fast response
  • Can be used with a 9-volt battery or an AC adapter
  • Alarm is easy to set up
  • Doesn’t have to be clipped to clothing

Cons

  • Alarm doesn’t offer wireless remote notification ability
  • Neither the 9-volt battery or AC adapter are included
  • Resetting the alarm can be difficult when a senior is seated

Features

  • The Secure 45CSET-1 Chair Exit Alarm Set for fall and wandering prevention alerts caregivers when a fall risk patient attempts to exit a chair - Alarm sounds when weight is removed from sensor pad - Simply hold the reset button for three seconds to silence alarm and return to standby mode - Alarm automatically resets when patient returns to a seated position on the sensor pad
  • Set includes everything needed for immediate use - SUA-1 alarm monitor is tamper-resistant and includes Velcro holder - Chair sensor pad is antimicrobial, incontinent-proof, latex-free, foldable for storage
  • Sesor pad is features and ultra thin design that is comfortable for the patient and durable for everyday use - Sensor pad is suitable for all patients with no weight minimum or maximum
  • Sensor pad features metal connecting pin that will not break (compare to competitive alarms that use easily breakable plastic connectors)
  • Includes SUA-1 80 dB alarm monitor w/auto reset (1 year warranty), 12" x 12" chair sensor pad (45 day warranty), AMH-1 Alarm Holder with Velcro Strap and 2x AAA Batteries -Trust in a brand used by thousands of concerned care facilities throughout the US, Canada, and Europe since 1991

This pad-based alarm system can quickly provide alerts whenever a senior that’s at risk of falling tries to exit a chair. The alarm will sound the moment weight is removed from the sensor pad.

The alarm set comes with everything needed for monitoring, including a tamper-resistant alarm monitor and a velcro holder for the monitor. The sensor pad is made from an antimicrobial latex material that can easily be cleaned and won’t be damaged by incontinence.

The thin design of the pad makes it comfortable to sit on, even for long periods of time. Unlike many chair pads on the market, this alarm automatically resets whenever a patient returns to a seated position.

Pros

  • Set comes with everything needed for immediate use
  • Resetting the alarm is easy
  • Alarm system is easy to set up
  • Alarm can be used in both chairs and beds

Cons

  • Alarm does not offer volume settings
  • If the alarm monitor is lost, the system will no longer function
  • Alarm system cannot be clipped to clothing

Features

  • The Secure MAG-3 magnet pull-tab patient bed or chair exit alarm for fall management and wandering prevention easily mounts on a wheelchair, chair or bed frame to effectively alert the caregiver when a fall risk patient or loved one attempts to ambulate
  • Alarm features three volume levels, two alert tones, a light bar for low battery and in-room alarm identification, no on/off switch for patient safety (prevents patient from turning alarm off to disable) - Alarm casing is made of break-resistant ABS plastic
  • Features a circular magnet designed to pull away from any direction while strong enough to prevent false alarms (square magnet designs do not pull away as well from any direction). Our proprietary locking alligator clip attaches more securely to clothing than any other alarm available
  • Trust in a brand that has been serving thousands of nursing homes and hospitals since 1991 - Compare to other magnet alarms with less features at twice the price
  • Do not use this device on a resident or patient with a pacemaker - Protective alarm holder w/ Velcro strap & batteries included - Covered by the Personal Safety Corporation exclusive one year full-replacement warranty

This pull-tab alarm can easily be mounted to a wheelchair, chair, or bed frame. The device will quickly alert caregivers when someone that is a fall risk tries to move on their own. There are two separate alert tones and three different volume settings, allowing users to select an alarm that works for them.

The alarm uses a proprietary alligator clip that can be securely attached to any type of clothing. Once the alarm is secured in place, it will be difficult for the senior to remove it on their own. For patient safety, the alarm isn’t equipped with an on or off switch, which means the alarm can’t be disabled.

The magnet alarm is designed to safely pull away from a senior if they try to stand, which means the alarm’s cord won’t do anything to increase fall risk. This alarm can quickly signal caregivers so that they’re able to respond before a fall occurs.

Pros

  • Alarm comes with velcro strap and batteries
  • The proprietary alligator clip is more secure than other clips on the market
  • The alarm is encased in break-resistant plastic
  • The Secure brand is used in nursing homes and hospitals throughout the country

Cons

  • The strong clip makes it difficult to remove the alarm
  • Can’t be used by seniors with pacemakers
  • Can be difficult to use with recliners or lift chairs

Features

  • Easy to operate, reliable and economical, spring loaded clip attaches to wheelchair or other surface and the cord with small metal clip attaches to patients clothing. When patient stands cord with magnet pulls away triggering alarm
  • Alarm unit measures 5" by 2" by 1.25" with cord for clipping on to patient attached by magnet adjusting up to 30" long for personal distance boundaries, alarm has high and low volume settings of 105dB and 90dB
  • Red light flashes when alarm is triggered or battery is low for safe use and battery door is tool free and will not open if dropped
  • Sammons Preston Magnet Alarm has an extra secure fit, battery won't fall out if dropped, making it more difficult for users to disable alarm
  • Sammons Preston Magnet Alarm passed an Independent Lab's 500 drop test making it ideal for monitoring as it will not malfunction or break if dropped

This inexpensive, easy-to-use alarm is an easy way to monitor patients in wheelchairs. The alarm can easily be clipped to a patient’s clothing. If the patient tries to stand up on their own, the alarm will be triggered, which can help to prevent falls.

The alarm allows you to adjust the volume settings, allowing caregivers to find the right volume setting for the space they are in. When the battery is low, a red light will flash so that you can identify the problem and replace the batteries before they wear out.

This battery was made by Sammons Preston, a company that specializes in adaptive living products and home care devices. Sammons Preston products are known for their quality and are frequently used in hospitals.

Pros

  • Can easily be clipped to wheelchairs and other surfaces
  • Study alarm that has passed drop tests
  • Small device that isn’t intrusive
  • Battery is difficult to disable

Cons

  • Alarm has limited features
  • Design can make battery replacement challenging
  • Alarm’s highest volume settings can’t be heard clearly from long distances

Summary and Final Recommendations

Falls pose a serious risk to seniors, particularly those that have dementia or Alzheimers. This makes it all the more important to find an effective way to monitor movement. Chairs allow caregivers to respond when a senior is trying to stand on their own. All of these alarms are designed to prevent accidents and help seniors lead long and happy lives.

Do you know of other tips or tricks for keeping seniors with dementia seated safely? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

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About Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

Assistive Technology Professional, Custom Wheelchair Specialist, Medical Equipment Guru, Dad and Grandfather | I am a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not working as a custom wheelchair specialist at a regional home medical equipment company, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's.

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