The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that as many as 60% of individuals with dementia will wander off. They are more likely to go missing and more likely to be harmed as a result.
Dementia caregivers live with a constant fear that the patient will disappear and hurt themselves. Close monitoring is essential but difficult, and that’s where motion sensor alarms come in. These tools can track an individual’s movements, triggering when they are active and sending warning messages to the caregiver.
A motion detection alarm is just one of the many tools that a caregiver needs to maintain peace of mind as they care for their loved one and strive to keep them safe.
How do Motion Senior Alarms Work?
These products are available in several different varieties. The most common is a simple motion detector that emits an infrared beam and activates when this beam is broken.
In that sense, it works just like any other house alarm.
When the infrared motion sensor beam is broken, an alarm sounds to alert caregivers and family members, ensuring the patient doesn’t go too far.
Other systems utilize floor mats and/or bed pads and work as bed exit alarms, activating when the patient climbs or falls out of bed. These pads are activated by pressure and release, so they know when the patient has left the bed or is walking to the door.
Bed pads are often incontinence resistant, but they are also prone to sounding false alarm alerts. These are rare but frustrating. You may find yourself waking in the middle of the night believing that your loved one is making a beeline for the front door, only to find them sound asleep.
Benefits of Motion Activated Alarm Systems
Patients with late-stage dementia may forget where they are. It’s common for them to climb out of bed and try to leave the room/house, potentially running into harm. They may also forget that they have limitations and disabilities, so they could trip, fall, and hurt themselves.
With a well-placed sensor pad and motion sensor, these alarms can reduce the risk of injury. In doing so, they make life easier for the caregiver, as they reduce time spent monitoring the patient during the day and throughout the night.
The Best Motion Sensor Alarms for Seniors
We’ve browsed a number of alarm systems and have highlighted the very best options below. Everything from the features and reliability to price and availability has been considered to create this list.
Smart Caregiver Economy Cordless Fall Monitor and Mat
The Smart Caregiver brand appears more than once on this list, as it is responsible for some of the best products in this particular category.
The Economy Fall Monitor and Mat is our top pick, as it offers complete protection for less than $200. The mat can be placed alongside the bed, or in any other high-risk area, and it will transmit an alarm to the monitor when the patient steps on it.
You don’t need to worry about false alarms, unless you have a heavy-footed dog wandering around, and you can use the volume control setting to adjust the sound of the alarm.
The mat is made from an anti-slip material and the pack includes 30 cleaning wipes to keep it clean and fresh.
Smart Caregiver Cordless Motion Sensor for Fall Prevention
This system combines a cordless call button and a motion sensor. The motion sensor can be placed near the door or bed, such as on a nightstand, and it will send a signal when it is breached. The call button is designed to be worn around the neck. In the event of a fall, the user simply presses the button.
The call button works with a single 12v battery, the alarm monitor takes 3 C batteries, and the sensor requires 3 AA batteries. Only the call button batteries are provided in the package, so you will need to buy the other batteries separately.
Fortunately, there should be plenty of money left in your budget after purchasing, as this is one of the cheapest options and costs around $80, significantly less than our top pick.
Smart Caregiver TL-5102MP Motion Sensor and Pager
A simple device that is available for around $25 to $30. It contains a motion sensor and paging system, sending alerts to the caregiver when the wireless motion sensor is tripped. It can be added to doorways or nightstands and is a simple but effective way of tracking patient movement.
Fosmon WaveLink 51004HOM Wireless Door Open Chime
This is a much cheaper option and it works a little differently from the products outlined above, but it still works and serves a very useful purpose.
The Fosmon WaveLink attaches to doors and windows and sounds an alarm when these are opened. It alerts homeowners when someone sneaks into the house and provides some peace of mind, but it can also alert them when a window or door is opened from the inside.
The Fosmon has a range of 500 feet and a multitude of chime sounds to choose from. You can buy additional plug-ins to protect larger areas of your home and the original kit is available for less than $20 from Amazon.