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

Scott Grant ATP CRTS
by: Scott Grant, ATP, CRTS®

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.

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Here are my Top Picks:

Smart Caregiver® Cordless Motion Sensor
Basic Fall Monitor and Chair Pad
Secure 45CSET-1 Chair Exit Alarm
Smart Caregiver® Cordless Motion Sensor
Basic Fall Monitor and Chair Pad
Secure 45CSET-1 Chair Exit Alarm
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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 an elderly parent’s 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.

Elderly Chair Alarm Reviews

HOW IT WORKS: Uses 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.

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

HOW IT WORKS: Weight sensitive pad triggers alarm when senior stands. Must be used on a firm surface. Uses a AAA and 9V batteries.

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 is dealing 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

HOW IT WORKS: Pressure sensitive pad triggers alarm when senior stands. Must be used on a firm surface. Uses a 9V battery or AC power.

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

How It Works: Sensor clips to senior’s clothing which pulls a magnet switch triggering an alarm. Uses 9 V batteries and has 3 alarm volume settings.

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 be difficult to use with recliners or lift chairs

HOW IT WORKS: Sensor clips to senior’s clothing which pulls a magnet switch triggering an alarm. Uses 9 V batteries and has 2 volume levels.

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
  • Sturdy 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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