Medical Alerts

What Is Fall Detection and How Does It Work?

Joe Schwartz

Medical Alerts Editor

Medical alert devices come in various shapes and sizes but all serve one main purpose: to get medical help quickly and efficiently. These alert devices provide elderly men and women the option of living independently while knowing that help is only the push-of-a-button away.

However, in some cases, pushing a button to get help isn’t possible. For example, if someone falls and is unconscious or unable to press the button for whatever reason, then pushing the medical device may not be feasible. In these cases, a fall detection device could help save lives.

What is Fall Detection?

When you’re in your 20s or 30s, falling down may not pose a serious health concern. However, when you’re in your 70s-80s, a fall can be a catastrophe and, in many cases, lead to hospitalization.

The fall detection device can come in the form of a necklace pendant or a watch-like wristband and when triggered, can contact a live agent or family member. Some medical alert companies like Medical Guardian include fall detection in all plans, while other medical alert providers may charge extra.

How Does it Work?

Fall detection technology is actually pretty simple. The detection device has a built-in accelerometer that constantly track the movements of the wearer. Since a fall is a sudden movement, the accelerometer picks it up instantly, processes it and makes the alert call. Though sometimes there can be false alarms, the medical alert representative will be able to contact the wearer and determine the best course of action.

Features to Look For in Fall Detection:

Waterproof – This is extremely important, considering that many old people are prone to falling in the bathroom or shower.

Size – A fall detection device should be comfortable to wear. If it’s too bulky, it won’t do.

Manual and Automatic Detection – Many devices today have a “Cancel” button. Therefore, if the detection is false, the wearer can let the agents know there’s no problem. Moreover, if the automatic detection fails, for some reason or another, the device should have a button for a manual call.

Ease of Use – If the detection device is too complicated, this can pose a problem for the elderly individual. Always opt for the simplest – yet most efficient – fall detection devices out there.

The Bottom Line

Fall detection devices help make sure that elderly loved ones are kept safe and can notify you in the blink of an eye if they fall. To discover the best fall detection devices, check out our expert medical alert reviews.

Top 5

1
Medical Guardian
2 Months FREE #1 medical alert systems for elderly living alone.
2
Medical Alert
Easy to use, portable systems. 24/7 monitoring & flexible pricing
3
Philips Lifeline
Customized medical alert plans
4
LifeStation
Best choice for independent seniors. Fast & simple setup
5
ADT Health
Offers systems for a fair price with no long-term contracts

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