Best Fall Detection Sensors
Read on for our detailed analysis of each fall detector
Statistically falls are very common for those over 65 years, with at least a third reporting them. And, even if those falls aren’t all serious, a good portion of those that fall once will do so again, often within months.
As a result of these incidents, tens of thousands of older people die each year where a fall was a contributory factor. And, for those that live alone, the fall injuries are more survivable should help arrive promptly after the incident, before other complications arise.
Fall detection sensors are simple but effective devices that can alert a neighbour or carer that its owner might have fallen, and therefore get them prompt assistance or medical services.
Here are the best five of these devices we’ve seen that can get seniors back on their feet fast, taking you into 2020.
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Landline: Yes | Mobile: No | Range: 600ft | Phone Connection: No
BlueStar SeniorTech, as its name suggests, make a wide range of support technology for older people, and the Sentry in-Home Medical Alert is part of its safety range.
Included in the box is the Sentry base station that is connected to a landline and the Sentry pendant that can relay an alert and voice communication from the owner.
You can summon support from the base, but the real star of this package is the pendant that performs multiple duties as a fall detector and an emergency alert.
It can be worn on the wrist or around the neck, whichever is most convenient.
Once the button is pressed, the owner can have a two-way conversation with either support staff or their relative/caregiver without the need to carry a mobile phone.
Pendant range is up to 600ft from the base, so its ideal for those that like to garden or be outdoors.
You can also summon help from the base, and it even has a ‘concierge’ button for calling a predefined caregiver number, perfect for those with memory difficulties.
The cost of having this system starts at $29.95 a month, but you can reduce the overhead by paying quarterly or yearly.
What owners of this system like most are that the support staff will call them if the pendant is dropped, to make sure it wasn’t a fall, and they will also remind them if the battery in the pendant needs replacing soon.
GPS tracker and fall alert in one
Landline: No | Mobile: Yes | Range: unlimited | Phone Connection: Yes
SureSafeGO 2 'Anywhere' Alarm is widely available in many regions and is sold under several different brand names.
In the UK it is called the SureSafeGO 2 and can be bought from Amazon and other online retailers. Or from other companies that offer a support service that the device can access.
Where this device is different from many is that it has no base station, using mobile phone technology to communicate wherever the owner is. That makes it ideal for seniors who are mobile and like to get away from their homes but would still like a safety net should they have a fall or accident.
So that help knows where you are, the SureSafeGO 2 has an inbuilt GPS ‘find me’ feature and sends a Google map of the location when activated.
Pressing the button or triggering the inbuilt fall sensor will automatically connect the device to the SureSafe Response Centre for a two-way conversation at any time of day or night.
All communication is via a pre-installed SureSafe roaming SIM, making the system ready to use out of the box. It also comes with a charging station, and the SureSafeGO 2 should last at least four days before needing a recharge.
The cost of the device in the UK is £149.95 + VAT, and the service is £18.99 per month. For those in the USA, GuardianLocate sells it for $139, and the support services start $25 per month.
Excessively popular option
Landline: No | Mobile: Yes | Range: 30ft | Phone Connection: Yes
GreatCall has some excellent alert devices for seniors, and the Lively is its fall detection option.
This stylish device can be worn on the wrist or around the neck, doesn’t require charging, and can summon help when it detects a sudden drop.
But, for the fall detection to work, it must be worn as a pendant.
Should the wearer fall or need assistance, pressing the Lively will connect the wearer to dedicated 5Star Agents who can send help and notify family members immediately.
Where this differs from other devices is that it requires a mobile phone to be within range and running the GreatCall app. This software is available for both Apple iPhone and Android mobiles, and it can also relay GPS information to those coming to assist.
However, the phone uses Bluetooth technology, and therefore must be within 30ft for this to work. And, you will need the phone to have a full two-way conversation after the call is connected.
At just $49.99 with a $14.99 monthly plan, this is one of the cheapest fall detection and assistance calling devices. But that the price doesn’t include the cost of a phone or the associated mobile contract.
One issue with the Lively is that due to demand it is currently sold out. Hopefully, GreatCall will have it back in stock soon.
Band on the run
Landline: No | Mobile: Yes | Range: 30ft | Phone Connection: Yes
The Buddi is a dual component system that can detect falls and summon help to the wearer for whatever reason.
One part is the soft rubber wrist-mounted Buddi that can be used to initiate communication, and this talks to another device that establishes the link to the mobile phone network.
This second device can be a mobile phone running the Buddi Connect app, or the Buddi Clip is a dedicated gizmo that includes mobile phone electronics.
Both parts can be recharged with an included wireless charger, avoiding the need to plug in any fiddly cables.
If the wristband detects events that aren’t a fall, it is possible to alter the sensitivity of the device with the help of the 24/7 Customer Service Team.
In the UK the Buddi wristband is £99, and the clip is £149, but the cost of ongoing support is reasonable. If you use a phone option, the Buddi can connect you to friends and family support for only £1.99 per week, or £3.99 for a dedicated 24/7 support line.
Those that use the Clip will be charged £4.99 for the 24/7 support line.
Buddi might be UK based, but the hardware and software can be used anywhere in the world with the appropriate roaming mobile SIM.
High-quality product and service
Landline: Yes | Mobile: Yes | Range: 800ft | Phone Connection: Yes
Bay Alarm Medical make a wide range of alert systems that can use either a landline or mobile phone connection to bring help to those that might need it.
What’s great about this range is that you can start with a standard setup that includes a base station and a medical alert button and then add physical buttons and other mobile alert devices if you need them.
For those concerned about falling, they have an automatic fall detection pendant that can call for a person without any intervention on their part.
This button is worn around the neck and has a battery life of two years and a range from the base station of 800ft. It can be used to call for help with a button, or if it detects a fall.
Should the worst happen, the wearer will be in immediate contact with the Bay Alarm Medical support staff, who are experts at this service and available 24/7.
In addition to the base station option, this business also has a 4G LTE connected help button that comes with fall detection on its Premium protection option.
The only downsides to the comprehensive Bay Alarm Medical service are that the monthly costs can be high, especially with premium options, and it’s only available to those in the USA.
And, those that want mobile connections must have a good local service from AT&T.