Monitoring Devices – Falls and Wandering

Is the person you care for negotiating the stairsmotion sensor or get in and out of a chair or bed unassisted when it’s no longer safe to do so? Or are they leaving home and getting  confused as to their surroundings or worse yet, starting to get lost ? If so, you may need some kind of monitoring device.

For example, a simple motion sensor with a remote alarm can alert you, even when you’re in another room, when the person gets up from the bed. Or a baby monitor may pick up the sounds as they walk across the bedroom.  This can give you the time you need to be at their side to offer assistance.  Or a monitor on the door can alert you as they attempt to leave home unescorted.

But there are so many devices in the marketplace to choose from that it can be confusing knowing where to start.

I have written several guides on ThisCaringHome on the different types of monitoring devices, with all their pros and cons, to help you choose the best one for your situation. There are a wide variety of devices, from sensor pads you place on the bed, chair, or floor, to sensors that you place on the wall or door.  Keep in mind that none are fool proof but they can be helpful in the right situation.

To read the guides and expert reviews on fall and indoor wandering devices, click here  and then scroll down to “Fall and Wandering Monitors.”

If the person you care for is living alone, you may want to consider a remote monitoring system. To see an animation of how they work, click here.

And lastly, if your loved one has a  problem with wandering outdoors, click here to learn about a wide variety of  low and high tech solutions.

I'm an interior designer, gerontologist, author, blogger, and most importantly, a former caregiver to my mother, Arlene, who had Alzheimer's disease.
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This entry was posted in Falls and Mobility, Forgetting, Late Stage, Mid Stage, Transferring, Wandering. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Monitoring Devices – Falls and Wandering

  1. Aida says:

    I find this all so overwhelming, Rosemary. Nothing is fool proof and it takes some real creativity to figure out what works. Caregivers have so much on their plate.. I just wish it were a lot easier. Thank you for your monumental effort to get all this information out there to give us “caregivers” a choice.

  2. Penny says:

    This is some good advice. I am on a fixed income but we do have a baby monitor since our grandson comes to visit. I never thought to use that for my husband’s wandering at night. You have just given me such relief.

  3. Solange says:

    I like the idea of a remote monitoring system. If I live 3 blocks away from my Dad’s home.. would it work that distance? How costly are these monitors?

    • Rosemary says:


      Yes, a remote system can even work if a parent lives upstairs. They really vary in price and can be expensive depending on the bells and whistles that you want, but a basic system starts round $40 or $50 a month.Try using the search term “home monitoring for older adults” and you will find several companies who are offering versions of this product.

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