What is a Bed Sensor?
A bed sensor, also referred to as a bed alarm, is a device that allows caregivers and loved ones to monitor a patient while they are in bed. These alarms track the motion of a patient, alerting caregivers when there are changes or possible falls.
Mostly, these alarms work off of pressure. Many of these systems incorporate special pressure-sensing pads that are placed on the bed, or sometimes on the floor. When a patient lies down on a bed sensor pad, the pad recognizes the weight placed on it. When that patient arises, the sensor pad sends a signal to a receiver held by a nearby caregiver, alerting them that their patient is trying to get out of bed or has moved. Bed sensors are better at preventing falls than floor sensors because a caregiver can come care for a senior if they’re trying to get out of bed and help them before a fall takes place. With floor sensors, they’ll alert caregivers if a senior is standing or laying on the floor, but it may be too late to have prevented a fall.
Some systems use motion sensors rather than pads, where you can place motion detection technology on nightstands or on floors.
Types of Bed Alarms
There are a couple of different types of bed alarm systems on the market today. They are all effective, however, some prove to be more beneficial in certain situations.
The most common kind of bed alarm system uses pressure sensors. The sensors are placed in pads that are typically made from some kind of soft vinyl. This material makes them more comfortable for sleeping on. They are also easy to clean and are not affected by moisture. Despite their design, these can still be annoying for seniors to sleep on, so a floor sensor may be better for their needs.
On the bed, sensor pads can be placed either under the shoulders or the hips. When placed under the shoulders, they alert caregivers when patients sit up. Under the hips, caregivers are alerted when the patient gets completely out of bed.
In the same way, floor mat sensors alert caregivers when patients get out of bed and step on the floor.
Another type of bed alarm is an infrared sensor. These sensors use a beam of infrared light to monitor a patient. The beam senses the presence of a person, so when they move and trip the light, the alarm is set off.
Caregivers can place these sensors near the bed or doorframes.
Benefits of a Bed Alarm
Bed alarms are typically used to prevent falls and injuries in elderly folks. As our bodies age, the risk of falls goes up. A fall for an older person can be very harmful and cause serious injuries.
Bed sensors are great for those who are concerned that their loved ones might be trying to get out of bed on their own when they should instead have help doing so. Whether they need significant help or just an extra hand for balance, a bed alarm can let you know when you need to be there.
Those who are suffering from dementia can easily forget where they are or that they shouldn’t be doing things on their own. It can be very dangerous and detrimental to their health if they forget that they need help getting out of bed.
Along these same lines is the fact that people with dementia are at risk of wandering. They can become lost easily, and if no one has their eye on them, they may wander out of their home or care facility. A bed sensor alerts caregivers when a patient starts to move so they can catch them before they wander off.
Additionally, these sensors are good for those who need assistance with bathroom usage. When a patient needs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, they can alert you simply by standing or sitting up.
It can be scary to leave an elderly loved one alone at night, especially if they have dementia. The thought that they could hurt themselves from the simple tasks of getting in and out of bed is certainly a cause for worry. Using a bed, floor, or motion sensor with an alert system is a great way to ease some of that concern and get them the help they need when they need it.
Because of a variety of products on the market, you can find the best one that meets both the senior’s and caregiver’s needs – including comfort, sound, and positioning of the sensor.