Sensor that detect falls

Hi, sorry to trouble you all again but I would be grateful for your advice. The council have said they are concerned about my fathers safety at night. He’s a bit disorientated after a long stay in hospital. They wont provide night sitters for the over 65 but have said they could give him a sensor pendant that would pick up if he falls. I would then receive a phone call to go out to see him. I am a bit worried about how sensitive the sensor would be. I live two buses away from him. Obviously if he falls (he hasn’t so far) I would go and help him but if the sensor just picks him moving in bed or standing up to go to the toilet etc I wouldn’t want to travel all that way (he can’t hear at night as they take his hearing aids out so I couldn’t call him). Does anyone have any experience of these devices? Thank you.

Hi Faye.

No request is ever a problem !!!

Internet search … SENSOR PENDANTS REVIEWS … good place to start ?

Others will be along to add their views … hopefully , from first hand experiences.

Sounds more like a classic cost cutting move ???

Interesting; why are you being ask to respond to the call. This is usually provided by the local authority.

My wife has one, they do work. If my wife were to fall, (unlikely now as she can no longer weight bear) it phones these people:- - the phone unit is quite impressive in the way it can pick up speech from quite a distance away.

No, if dad is liable to falls at night, that is a big flag that he deserves CHC! The social worker who said that has an urgent need for further training.

You should NEVER pick him up. The call centre should dial 999 and ask the ambulance service to check him over, especially given his complex medical history.


Main thread :

( A frequent visitor … I just whistle and up it’s comes ! )

I have a sneeky suspicion that we have been here before ?

Agree with bb.

Thank you for your responses. My Father hasn’t actually fallen - but we havent been home a week yet! I do agree about the Continuing Healthcare Assessment- our advocate has been asking for one to be done but no joy yet. The social worker says he has to have six weeks of reablement care at home to try and get him back to his baseline before an assessment can be done.

There was much discussion in the hospital about whether he needed care at night. Thr hospital , after monitoring him for a couple of weeks, ultimately advised that it wasn’t necessary. The social worker also said that the only care they could provide was these sensors (they don’t provide night care for the over 65s). My understanding is that if he were to fall (and I don’t know what other motion would trigger the sensor ie if he moves violently in the night or walks?) then an alarm is activated at a call centre and they phone me or an ambulance if they can hear from him that he is hurt. I live two buses away so it would be difficult to get there quickly in the night. I was surprised that the OT raised this again the day after he was discharged from hospital. He is still a bit confused/ has some delirium so there is a risk but it is improving.

If they donthink it’s necessary I suppose incould do it but I’m worried that it may go off all night as he’s able to walk with his stick but his manner of walking/movement is very heavy and may trigger the alarm? I was concerned that there may be a number of false alarms and I would struggle at work the next day but it doesn’t sound like others have had a problem with it?

Faye, you MUST set limits, for the sake of your own health and wellbeing. The more you do, the less Social Services will do. If the ambulance staff are called out, then there is usually an automatic notification to the GP concerned.

Local branch of AGE UK … any help there ?

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OH had one of the pendant fall sensors. He carried on using it after he had a stroke when he walked with a tripod stick and struggled to sit and stand easily so sometimes sat down quite heavily. The only times it went off were when he took it off and put it down on a table or leaned against something, as it also had a press button on it. So my thoughts are - does your father already have an alarm that you would be swapping for the new one? If not, you’d need to make sure he knows he must wear it the whole time. If he is not used to one, you’d also need to make sure he didn’t keep pressing it - either by mistake or because he wanted (not needed) someone to come; I know that has happened to some carers here.

Like everyone else, I am worrying about you. Although I lived with OH I was told not to lift him if he fell. In this county there is an on-call care team who are sent out to save the ambulance service dealing with non-emergencies. Please do ask if there is one where you live.

Thank you for all your help and support. I’m sorry to complain again but I’m having such a difficult time. The carers didn’t turn up on Friday evening to help Dad after dialysis , not all day Saturday. They are here this morning- but I had to leave work early on Friday when the ambulance crew called to say there was no one to help Dad and take time off yesterday. I phoned the care agency- at first they couldn’t get hold of the carer then said his car had broken down and as my father is double handed the other person couldn’t come. I called the council , who provide the care package, the first social worker was very nice but said it would take 24 hours to get alternative cover the second social worker was really rude said there was nothing that could be done until Monday and slammed the phone down. Even this morning the carers were late claiming they couldn’t access the flat despite the door being open. I’m so sick of feeling like everyone’s punch bag. Just because I’m a carer people think they can shout at you and treat you how they want. I feel like everyone gangs up on us- despite them not sending carers as per the care plan it is somehow my fault. I would complain but they’d just deny it all or say that their anger and aggression is down to ‘cultural differences’. Being shouted at before 8 o’clock in the morning is just so upsetting. It’s so very distressing. I’m not surprised the suicide rate amongst carers is so high.

All very difficult for you. Perhaps you should consider not being so available to the ambulance staff if that happens again. Not easy I know. I wouldn’t have wanted my mother to be treated, almost, like a sack of coal. As for the agency, when a carer didnt show for mum, often the agency supervisor or manager showed up to assist. The agency agreed to care for your father and they need flexibility to cover for when the car breaks down.I

Keep good notes as to what happened and when. Of course, phone,or better email, someone senior in LA and complain about no Saturday coverage.

Thank you. I think I am going to try and be less available and set some boundaries. I’m not going to take any non urgent text before 7am or calls after 7pm. I think it all just adds up- I’ve had District Nurses phone me twice after 10pm (did a nurse come out that day , what was his latest glucose reading) and carers text at 5am to say they can’t come. It just all becomes to much- you end up feeling crushed.

Thank you

The district nurses ought to know you arent the full time carer and don’t live with your father. It’s unreasonable and disrespectful of them to call you so late, unless it would be a true emergency. Even then I wouldn’t feel obliged to respond.

The " Emotional Blackmail " trick ?

( " Sorry , we are short staffed … we can’t possibily … it’s the weekend … not after 5 pm … there’s an R in the month …
Corrie starts in a few minutes … " )

One of the oldest … and dirtiest … of all " Tricks " played on family / kinship carers … ???

Trouble is … it works in far too many cases ???

Hi Faye,

The Discharge nurse at Community hospital suggested a “falls detector” at the meeting where Mum was deemed ineligible for CHC funding.
Mum was discharged to home, alone. 26 hours later she had a fall. I was 200 miles away driving up the motorway so the careline people had to ring paramedics who admitted her to A&E. She’s been in hospital since then and now, after a brief break, I’m going to have to start fighting again for proper assessment of her unpredictable needs.

To answer your question, though, I think the detector does its job. Expecting you to do all the picking up of the pieces afterwards is the bit that’s broken.

The problem is that councils just do not do night care or emergency care, just too expensive, you get day carers and then in the night the caree is expected to cope on their own.

Clearly unfair in this so called civilised society, we spend 15 billion upgrading trains and leave the elderly with no night care.

I would suggest writing to your MP, it is only by raising the issue maybe something will be done.

My caree was sent home from hospital but told they could not be alone at night, was there anyone who could stay? no there wasn’t.
Nothing was done, was left to friends and neighbours to supply the emergency support.

I hope you are logging all these calls. Can you remind me when the Continuing Healthcare Assessment was last done? Ther is now the clearest possible evidence of “unpredictability”

Unpredictability ?

Interesting link to a CHC orientated article on that :

Two frequent mistakes made in Continuing Care assessments-P2

Stable and predictable needs in Continuing Healthcare.

We continue our two-part article about > frequent mistakes made in Continuing Care assessments.


As part of a full assessment for Continuing Care the assessors look at the nature, intensity, complexity and unpredictability of your relative’s needs – and this is where the problems often start. A common argument used by NHS assessors to deny funding is to say that someone’s needs are stable and predictable, and therefore they’re not eligible for Continuing Care funding.

However, this argument is flawed.

Needless to add , a few minutes to be spent reading said article … and digesting it ???