Bed exit alarm: A type of automatic fall detector
A bed exit alarm is a type of automatic fall detector that can automatically send an alert to a 24 hour monitoring centre if someone falls from bed. These bed sensors can minimise the length of time someone is left alone after falling and can increase their chances of having a complete recovery. As is the case with many types of telecare equipment, bed exit alarms are particularly important for anyone who lives alone. Unlike a pendant alarm, no button should need to be pressed for help to be summoned.
How a bed exit alarm works
Depending on the type of bed exit alarm you choose, it can be placed under your bed sheet or below your mattress. When activated (by a fall from the bed) it will then connect to a telecare two-way speech unit, also known as a base-unit (usually located in the hallway or bedroom of your home). 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.
Bed exit alarms can be configured to work, usually in one of two ways:
- To send an alert to the monitoring centre immediately when you exit the bed (between pre-arranged hours – e.g. 10pm to 7am)
- 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 24/7 or can be limited to alert only between pre-set hours of your choice
Bed exit alarms as part of a telecare system
Bed exit alarms can be used as a standalone system, with other automatic fall detectors or as part of an integrated telecare system. If you are an existing telecare user with a pendant alarm, then providing your base-unit is compatible, the bed exit alarm can often be added easily to your telecare system by setting it in position and carrying out a test call to your 24/7 monitoring centre. Give your telecare company a call and they can advise you about compatibility, installation options and costs to add 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. If you don’t already have a telecare system in place, most telecare companies should be able to provide you with details and costs for bed exit alarms.
Our Sponsor TASK Community Care includes a pendant alarm when you purchase your TASK bed-exit alarm with 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. Bed exit alarms are an excellent type of automatic fall detector which can give added peace of mind to anyone.