Things You Should Consider in a Sensor Mat
Now that you know what’s available let’s discuss the technology and product features in more detail. This market has exploded in recent years with the advent of smart devices. No doubt, you’ve seen other items that use it such as thermostats, light bulbs, and outlets. We think it’s a significant step forward to improve fall prevention.
How Sensor Mats Work
You’ll find both corded and wireless mats. The former are often less expensive. The setup is typical with the monitor and sensor attached. That means the alarm sounds in the patient’s room. The disadvantages of these systems are that it will likely disturb others in the same room and perhaps frighten the individual. The presence of a cord presents another fall risk.
Wireless setups avoid some of these issues. You can place a monitor outside of the room or at a nurses station. Signal ranges vary, so we recommend checking out this spec when considering this purchase. Bear in mind that the figure refers to unobstructed space. Other devices may interfere with its usefulness.
Another benefit of these types of products is the ability to pair more than one sensor to the main alarm. You’ll usually find that these items are compatible with other ones in the manufacturer’s line. That gives you the ability to set up your system to fit your needs and situation. We’d suggest looking at other offerings as part of your purchase decision if you want to make use of this option.
Features of These Products
Sensor mats are part of a system that includes another component whether it’s an alarm or another smart device. We strongly urge you to read the product description carefully to learn whether you need to buy any additional items. You can expect to pay around $100 or more for a complete system.
Mats don’t vary a great deal even when it comes to color. Most products we saw were gray and without other choices. An adequate size is an essential feature no matter what type you buy. A non-slip surface is important as well. Remember that these items are not a replacement for a fall mat. They will not provide any added protection in case you slip.
The alarm is where you’ll see a variety of features worth noting. Perhaps the one we like most is a reset button for the caregiver to press once she has responded to a call. We prefer products that have a switch that is accessible so that you can turn it off if it gets triggered accidentally. You’ll often find volume controls too which is a must-have for us.
Wireless products provide a clear advantage over corded ones as we discussed above. It also allows for remote monitoring which is another benefit we appreciate. Many products offer dual power options which add to their convenience. Make sure to check the description to see what is included, noting the type of batteries that you’ll need to have on hand.
The unit may have an adaptor or at least an option one that you can buy. That offers an advantage if 24/7 monitoring is essential without the worry of a battery going dead. We suggest using the one that the manufacturer recommends. Not all products are compatible across the board.
Other Smart Devices
As our roundup included, there are other connected units available too such as smart outlets. You’ll see other supported items in the manufacturer’s line too which adds to their versatility. We also liked the option of adding more than one to the alarm. The downside of using these features is that you’re limited to one company since the pairing is proprietary.