5 Best Bed Sensor Pads And Alarms For Seniors With Dementia

We would like to believe that when we put our elderly parents to bed at night, we can be sure that they are safe and secure until the morning. We should have the peace of mind to continue with the night and get a good night’s sleep ourselves. The problem is that there are often niggling doubts. What if they decide to get up in the night and wander off? What if they fall out of bed and can’t get back up? These are serious concerns for people with relatives dealing with dementia and other critical care needs. The answer may be to add a bed pad and alarm system to the room.

These top bed alarm systems work via pressure sensors. They detect when the user is no longer in the bed and sent an alert as soon as this happens. The alert is picked up on a receiver and provide a strong, audible signal to a relative in another room. These reliable systems can carers handle situations as they arise. The following five products are some of best around at the moment. They have smart, comfortable and reliable mats with strong connections to a user-friendly receiver. Each product has its pros and cons, and some are better suited to specific needs. We have compiled the best and worst features into these objective reviews to help you make the right choice.

1) Smart Caregiver Bed Alert System

Smart Caregiver is one of the leading names when it comes to this sort of product. There are lots of different models in their range that are designed to provide fast, reliable alerts. These products have some subtle difference in the range, features and size of the mat. This first option is in the middle of the price range and has many positive customer reviews.

The pros and cons of this bed sensor pad and alarm for seniors with dementia.

Pros:

  •  The size of the bed pad
  •  The alerts and indicators on the receiver
  •  The speed of the response between the two pieces

Cons:

  •  The extra cost of the additional monitors
  •  This is a corded system

There are some great features to both the pad and the alarm system in this product. The pad itself is 10 by 30 inch with pressure sensors built in. This means that it should be large enough for a reliable indication of a user’s movements. Once the pad is triggered it sends an alert to the TL-2016 monitor. Here carers can also make adjustments to the volume and receive alerts when the pad is lost, or if the battery is low. Users are impressed with just how quickly the product sends the signal from the bed to the monitor.

Carers and relatives also like the fact that this product can send a signal to receivers in other rooms. This means that there is a clearer alert that won’t necessarily be as alarming to the senior. The only problem here is that buyers will need to purchase additional monitors in order to achieve this. This can increase the costs of what is a relatively costly item in the first place. There will also be some carers that won’t be too keen on the fact that this is a corded model. Cords can prove hazardous in some cases, or may simply come loose.

Is it recommendable?

The downsides to this model aren’t that big a deal compared to some bed pads and alarms. Users get a decent amount of kit for their money – even if they do need to buy additional receivers. The system is also pretty reliable. But, you still need to question whether you want a corded or cordless system in your relative’s bedroom.

2) Smart Caregiver Cordless Bed Alarm System

Speaking of cordless systems, this alternative product from Smart Caregiver offers just that. This is a system that shares many similarities with the version above but also tries to offer something new and beneficial. There are pros and cons to this approach and while many users are pleased with what they receive, others do find faults.

The pros and cons of this bed sensor pad and alarm for seniors with dementia

Pros:

  •  The cordless design
  •  The additional pad for the chair
  •  The reliability of the responses

Cons:

  •  The reduced range between the monitor and pad
  •  The continuous chiming when the pad is triggered

The first benefit of this model is the fact that this one has cordless capabilities. The issues mentioned above about cord safety can be eliminated. This wireless system offers the same quick response to the receiver, with some clear alerts. Carers can receive the signal in another room for better surveillance and care. There is also the fact that this product comes with an additional cordless chair pad. Therefore, there is double the function and peace of mind as this protects users in wheelchairs too.

There are a few downsides to choosing this model over the similar one above. The first is that the typical retail price of this cordless model is twice that of the corded one. This is likely due to the improved tech and additional element. Then there is the fact that the range on the monitor is much smaller – 100ft rather than 300ft. Some users also find themselves frustrated with the alert chimes. Once it starts, it continuously chimes until reset.

Is it recommendable?

This is a product that could annoy many people if buyers are not careful. The system is reliable when it comes to detecting problems, but isn’t going to offer a calm resolution if something does go wrong. This is where you need to weigh up the negatives of the carer experience against the positives of the safety features. There are limitations, but that doesn’t mean that this can’t offer peace of mind in the right situation.

3) Smart-Caregiver Short-term Bed Alarm system

In the last of this trio of products from Smart-Caregiver, we have a system that is a more affordable option for short-term use. The idea here is that these pads are built to last for a few months. This suggests that they are better suited to patients with acute care needs that may not be at home for long. The features of the pad and its alerts support this theory.

The pros and cons of this bed sensor pad and alarm for seniors with dementia:

Pros:

  •  Affordability
  •  The comfort and quality of the pad
  •  The sensitivity for those with critical care needs

Cons:

  •  The sensitivity for light sleepers
  •  Some issues setting the system up

There are benefits to this system as a short-term solution or for those with extreme care needs. The pad is thick and comfortable with the vinyl padding. It is also water-resistant and easy to clean – as are all of the models from Smart Caregiver in this guide. This means that they are ideal for seniors with greater care needs that are at risk of soiling the bed, as well as falling from it. Again, the corded device connects to a simple monitor and provides clear alerts when users are in trouble.

One of the downsides to this product is the sensitivity of the pad. There are some carers looking after those with more critical needs that will appreciate this cautious approach. However, users can trigger it through movement in the bed, not just by getting up or falling. Unfortunately, the pad also beeps when it resets, which can disturb a user’s sleep. Finally, there are some buyers that struggled to configure the pad at all.

Is it recommendable?

There are definite benefits to choosing a system with a short-term capability and affordable price tag. It all depends on the situation you find yourself in. Sometimes the more high-end expensive models can seem like a big investment when you know your parents may not be at home for much longer. This is a stepping stone into greater care needs and one that can be reliable thanks to the sensitivity and the quality of the pad.

4) Secure 45BSET-1Y Bed Alarm System

Next up, we turn to a different brand that has a slightly different way of doing things. There is no doubt that this product shares many features with the Smart Caregiver products – and was perhaps inspired by them. But, there are enough differences to make this Secure alarm stand out.

The pros and cons of this bed sensor pad and alarm for seniors with dementia.

Pros:

  •  The bright yellow portable alarm
  •  The larger size of the bed pad
  •  The additional velcro case

Cons:

  •  The batteries need changing quite regularly
  •  The loud volume

The first thing to note about this product is the fact that it isn’t a wall-mounted alarm. The idea here is that carers and relatives can put the alarm in the protective, velcro-sealed case and carry it around with them. This should allow for greater access to the alarm whenever there is an alert. The case is also highly visible in the yellow colour. The pad in the bed is also of a decent quality with the thin, latex-free construction and the water-resistant cover. At 12 by 30 cm, the pad is also a little larger than some models from the competition.

The downside to this system is that this portable alarm system does require regular battery changes. This means that there is a risk of missed alerts if the battery runs out in the middle of the night. It can also be quite costly to keep on changing these batteries. Thankfully, the system itself is one of the more affordable options. There are also some buyers that feel that the alerts are a little loud, but it is better to be too loud than too quiet.

Is it recommendable?

The portable approach to this system is the deal breaker for buyers and carers. Some will find this to be more convenient when dealing with seniors with significant care needs. Others may find the system intrusive and difficult to manage with all those battery changes. Compare this option with the others above more closely before making a final decision.

5) Secure 45BSET-5 Tamper-proof Bed Pad and Sensor.

This final option is an upgrade on the previous model from secure. This system offers many of the same features in the pad, but has a different alarm system and receiver. This version is a little more expensive, but some would argue that it is worth the cost because of the benefits gained.

The pros and cons of this bed sensor pad and alarm for seniors with dementia.

Pros:

  •  The quality of the pad
  •  The settings on the receiver
  • The tamper-proof design

Cons:

  •  ease of use for the carer
  •  the same battery life issues

The benefits of this product are much the same as the one above. There is the same great quality to the bed pad, with the comfortable materials, secure linings and protection against bed-wetting. The signals to the receiver are reliable and helpful and there is still that high volume. However, this time there are some useful volume control settings and battery life indicators. Those battery life indicators are helpful because this model also eats through batteries a little too quickly.

Another downside that users have mentioned in their reviews is the difficulty in locating the on-off switch and resetting the alarm. Many want to stop the noise and calm their relative as soon as possible. But, the location of the switch inhibits this. However, this choice is actually part of a tamper-proof design. The idea here is that seniors can’t turn the system off themselves if they are fed up with the alerts, or if dementia patients are acting out.

Is it recommendable?

The decision here depends on whether you want a product that is incredibly easy to use, or one that considers one of the key drawbacks of dementia care. Tamper-proof systems like this can prove to be very helpful in many homes – especially care home. It may be worth learning how to use the system effectively to be sure that it is always on and reliable.

CAUTION

  • If the person is hearing impaired, they may not be able to hear or understand the words.
  • Sensor pads do not automatically prevent falls, but they may allow you the time you need to get to person’s side to offer assistance.