Bed exit alarm: automatically detect falls
A bed exit alarm is a type of fall detector. It can automatically sound an alarm near the scene, or send an alert to a 24 hour monitoring centre if someone falls from a bed. The use of these fall detectors, can minimize the length of time someone is left alone after falling, and can thus increase their chance of having a complete recovery. Like other assisted living equipment, bed exit alarms can be particularly important for anyone who lives alone. Unlike a pendant alarm, no button needs to be pressed, for help to be summoned.
How a bed exit alarm works
Standalone non-telecare bed exit alarms
Standalone (non-telecare) bed exit alerts are simple fall detection systems that can alert, near the pad, or when a infrared beam is crossed on a bed exit PIR. When a fall occurs and triggers the alert, the alarm can sound in the bedroom (near the bed exit pad or PIR beam) or to a nearby carers pager .
Another common type of bed exit alarm is a mat type version which is placed on the floor beside the bed and activates when a person stands on it. The disadvantage of this type of alarm, is that you may be more likely to trip over it. However, these can still be a suitable option for many people as they can often be secured so as not to pose a risk. As most telecare systems for the home are wireless, no additional wiring should be required in your home whichever type of bed-exit alarm you choose.
Telecare connected bed-exit alarms
When activated (by a fall from the bed) the telecare bed exit alarm (also known as bed occupancy sensor) will connect to a telecare base-unit (usually located in the hallway or bedroom of your home).
Telecare bed exit alarms can be configured to work, usually in one of two ways:
- Immediate fall alert – Sends an alert to the monitoring centre immediately when you exit the bed (between pre-arranged hours – e.g. 10pm to 7am)
- With timer delay – To send an alert to the monitoring centre only when you do not return to bed within a pre-set time frame (usually set to 15 – 30 minutes, though can be adjusted to suit the individual). This allows for bathroom visits during the night and means if you fall when elsewhere while out of bed, an alert will be triggered and you will not be left alone. Again this configuration can generally be set to work 24 hours a day, or can be limited to alert only between pre-set hours of your choice
Bed exit alarms as part of a telecare system
Telecare bed exit alarms can be used alone, with other automatic fall detectors or as part of an integrated telecare system. If you are an existing telecare user with a pendant/wristband alarm button, then so long as your base-unit is compatible, the bed exit alarm can be added to your existing telecare system. Your telecare company can advise you about compatibility, installation options and costs of adding a bed alarm to your exiting telecare/pendant alarm system.
Remember to check if your monitoring/telecare company charge additional monitoring fees for monitoring of extra telecare sensors such as your bed exit alarm. Also, ask about the warranty period as this can vary depending on the supplier. Typically for bed exit alarms/sensors you can expect the warranty to be for around twelve months. Then your bed exit alarm should be replaced.
Our Sponsor TASK Community Care includes a pendant alarm when you purchase your TASK bed-exit alarm with the TASK telecare base-unit. They do not charge additional monitoring fees for 24/7 monitoring of more than one telecare device. Which means if you already have a TASK pendant alarm, you only pay a one off charge for the bed exit alarm to be added to your telecare system. TASK also provides economy standalone (non-telecare) bed exit alarms that can alert beside the fall pad, or to a nearby carer’s pager.