Your Guide To Personal Alarms and Telecare in Ireland

Bed Exit Alarms: Automatically Detect Falls

A telecare bed exit alarm, also known as a bed occupancy sensor, is designed to detect potential falls or incidents that may require assistance. Connected to a telecare system, it sends an alert to a 24-hour monitoring center if someone exits the bed, such as to use the bathroom at night, and does not return within a fixed period, typically around 30 minutes.

Benefits of Bed Exit Alarms

Bed exit alarms can significantly reduce the time someone is left alone after a fall, increasing their chances of a full recovery. These alarms are especially important for individuals who live alone. Unlike a pendant alarm, no button needs to be pressed to summon help. These alarms are generally used as part of a telecare system, offering extra protection for instances where a fall leaves someone unconscious and unable to press their button for help. Although bed exit alerts may not sound as quickly as a pendant alarm, typically waiting 20-30 minutes to send an alert depending on the settings, they serve as a valuable backup.

Types of Telecare Connected Bed Exit Alarms

1. Bed Exit Alarm Pad

  • These pads can be placed under the bed sheet or below the mattress, depending on the type you choose.

A bed exit alarm pad is typically placed below your sheet or mattress

2. Bed Exit Motion Sensor

  • Another type of bed exit alarm is a PIR sensor, usually placed at the side or near the bed. It works similarly to the bed exit pad but does not require physical contact with the bed, generally providing a longer product lifetime.

The PIR bed exit sensor is usually placed at the side or near the bed

Both types of bed exit alarm typically send an alarm to the 24-hour monitoring centre, if the person does not return to bed within a predefined period.

Bed Exit Alarms: How They Integrate with Your Telecare System

Bed exit alarms generally integrate with telecare systems in the following way.

  1. Triggering the Alarm If a person does not return to bed within the specified timeframe, the bed exit alarm is triggered.
  2. Connection to Telecare Base Unit The alarm connects to a telecare base unit, typically located in the hallway or bedroom.
  3. Alerting the Monitoring Center The base unit places a call to the 24-hour monitoring center.
  4. Two-Way Communication Operators at the monitoring center attempt to communicate with you through the two-way speech functionality of the base unit.
  5. Attempt to Contact If operators cannot hear you, they will first try to reach you on your home phone or mobile.
  6. Emergency Contacts If there is no response, operators will contact your emergency contacts in the order specified.

Configuration Options

Immediate Fall Alert

  • The alarm can be configured to send an alert to the monitoring centre immediately when you exit the bed between pre-arranged hours (e.g., 10pm to 8am). While less common with telecare systems, this option might be suitable for some situations.

Timer Delay

  • The most common configuration for telecare systems is a timer delay, typically set to 15-30 minutes. This allows for bathroom visits during the night and ensures an alert is triggered if you fall elsewhere while out of bed. This setup can operate 24 hours a day or be limited to pre-set hours of your choice.

Please note that the contact number in the above video for TASK Connect in Northern Ireland has changed to +44 (0) 28 203 60280.

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, the bed exit alarm can usually be added to your existing system. Your telecare company can advise you on compatibility, installation options, and the cost of adding a bed alarm to your existing system. Remember to check if your telecare company charges additional monitoring fees for extra sensors like the bed exit alarm. Also, enquire about the warranty period, which typically lasts around twelve months, after which the bed exit alarm may need to be replaced.

TASK Community Care: Bed Exit Alarms

As at the time of publishing (02 July 2024), our sponsor, TASK Community Care, does not charge additional monitoring fees for 24/7 monitoring of more than one telecare device to residential customers. This means that if you already own a TASK telecare system, you will only pay a one-time charge for the bed exit alarm to be added to your existing system. If you do not already have a TASK telecare system you may be eligible for a grant funded system under the Seniors Alert Scheme so this may be worth checking (Republic of Ireland residents only). Otherwise you can buy your telecare system directly from TASK.

TASK also provides standalone (non-telecare) bed exit alarms that can alert in the home beside the fall pad or motion sensor, or to a nearby carer’s pager. For further details, please contact them.

Additional note: Although bed exit alarms generally work as outlined above, you should always verify the specifics with your telecare provider, as different companies may have varying procedures or offer equipment with differing functionalities.

Welcome to Telecare.ie, your comprehensive guide to pendant alarms and telecare solutions in Ireland. Our resources and information are also valuable to readers in the UK and beyond.

We are proudly supported by Ireland’s longest-established telecare company, TASK Community Care (www.taskltd.ie). Based in County Meath, and with their NI counterpart, TASK Connect, in Lurgan (www.taskconnect.co.uk) TASK supplies top-quality telecare equipment and offers a 24-hour telecare monitoring service throughout Ireland and the UK.

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