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One of the things you should be concerned about when taking care of an elderly patient is the possibility of accidental falls especially whenever he or she attempts to get out of bed.
As people get older, their sight, hearing, coordination, and reflexes won't be the same as they used to be. These changes can be worsened by several conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, bone, and joint problems. Certain medications can also cause dizziness. All these things can contribute to accidental falls.
Falls are one of the leading causes of death as well as non-fatal injuries among senior patients (65 years old and up). While a fracture won't be much of a problem among younger people, in the elderly it could be the start of bigger and more serious problems.
Although dementia is not a normal part of aging, older people usually suffer from it. Dementia is characterized by a decline in memory, reasoning, and remembering skills. Alzheimer's disease is a major cause of dementia. Anyone who is suffering memory loss but can walk is at risk for wandering or getting lost. According to the Alzheimer's Association, six out of ten people will wander. It is an alarming trait among people suffering from dementia, that is why constant supervision is important.
As for the caregivers, they may be aware that some of their freedom is sacrificed as they are taking care of an elderly person. They always need to be by their patient's side because of apprehension that they may try to get out of bed by themselves, especially when they have mobility or memory problems, or both. Caring for a senior can lead to burnout, stress, insomnia, and many other problems.
A bed alarm could be the answer to your problems. If you are caring for a senior, you should install one in their beds.
A bed alarm system works by way of pressure sensor pads. It detects a release of pressure if a senior is no longer in the bed. Once this happens, it sends an alert to the caregiver, who will then come to the senior's help. Bed alarms are usually placed under the bedsheet, usually near the patient's upper back area.
A bed alarm gives you peace of mind. You do not have to sleep with one eye open or stay by your patient's bedside all the time. You can do many things such as watching TV, reading a book, or taking a nap while your senior patient is asleep. Once the alarm sounds at your receiver, that is the time when the patient needs your assistance.
Here are the benefits of using a bed alarm:
1) It allows freedom and flexibility for the caregivers.
2) It doesn't sound an alarm at the site of the pad – which would startle the senior patient. Instead, the alarm is sent to the caregiver.
3) It prevents falls and wandering.
4) It provides an enhanced quality of life for both the patient and the caregiver.
Here are some of the best bed alarm pad systems that you should consider installing in your senior patient's home:
1) Bed Alarm System with Short-Term Pad
This system will sound an alert when the patient tries to get up from bed, allowing the caregiver to know when help is needed. This system includes a bed alarm pad and a bed alarm monitor. The pad is usually placed under the bedsheet, while the bed alarm monitor is usually placed on the headboard or the side of the bed. The bed alarm pad's cord is plugged into the bed alarm monitor.
2) 10" x 30" Bed Alarm Pad
Manufactured by Smart Caregiver, this bed alarm pad is usually placed at the shoulder level to know when the senior patient is trying to sit up, or at the hip level to know when the patient is attempting to get out of the bed. It is compatible with the BPM-01 alarm monitor which is sold separately. It has a one-year manufacturer's warranty.
3) 20" x 30" Cordless Bed Alarm Pad
This wireless bed alarm pad is convenient because you do not have to bother with cords, wires, and plugs. It is compatible with alarm monitors 433-EC, 433-CMU, 433-CMU-40 or -60, and TL-2100G (sold separately) to complete the bed alarm pad system.
4) Cordless/Wireless Bed Alarm System with Pager
This product is ideal for those who need a complete bed alarm system. It is powered by batteries (not included) and includes a wireless bed alarm pad, a pager, a central monitor (usually placed at the desktop or bedside table) and a protective page cover. Bed pad sizes are available in 10" x 30" and 20" x 30" – you should determine the weight and size of your patient before deciding on the correct bed pad size.
There is also an optional Remote Reset Button feature, which allows the caregiver to reset the alarm system without having to return to the central monitor unit after assisting the patient.
5) Quick Alert Cordless Bed Alarm System
Another great cordless unit, this bed alarm system uses three AA batteries (not included) or you can also use the optional AC adapter (which you can buy separately). If you decide to purchase the adapter to work as a corded bed alarm system, it is highly recommended that you use the batteries as a backup in case of a power outage. Bed pad sizes are available in 10" x 30" and 20" x 30".
Would you like help deciding which product is right for you? Contact Kerr Medical at 1-888-254-3444 and one us would be happy to discuss your needs with you.