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4 Epilepsy Bed Alarms for the Elderly

Article by Daniel Westhead Daniel Westhead Sure Safe Alarms

It’s inevitable that many elderly people will experience long-term medical conditions in their later years. But fortunately, it’s also true that technological supports can make a major difference in the safety and quality of life for older people with long-term health conditions.

The same is true with epilepsy in the elderly. A range of technologies can help protect seniors with epilepsy in many ways. For example, a medication reminder app can help an older person remember to take medication on time, which is especially important to keep seizures away.

There’s also technology designed to help older people who have tonic-clonic seizures during the night. An alarm, sometimes in the form of a mat and sometimes in the form of a small sensor, is placed under the mattress to detect the shaking of a tonic-clonic seizure. If it detects a seizure of this type, it will send an alert, usually to a pager. You might see this type of device listed online as an epilepsy bed alarm, seizure bed alarm or nocturnal seizure monitor.

But if you think one of these alarms might be useful to you, you might not know where to start. That’s why we’ve brought together this list of top seizure bed alarm options. We’ll also explain how these devices can fit into a plan of 24/7 care for older people with epilepsy.

What situation is a seizure bed alarm designed to work in?

If you’re an older person with epilepsy, getting an alarm is a smart move. However, there are many different kinds of alarms you can opt for, and many different types of epilepsy too. This specific type of alarm is designed for people who are concerned about tonic-clonic seizures during sleep at night.

What is a tonic-clonic seizure? It’s a type of seizure in which the body goes rigid and then begins to shake and jerk uncontrollably. When a person has this type of seizure during the day, they’ll typically fall to the floor, so a caregiver will never miss noticing that a seizure has happened.

However, a senior who has this type of seizure at night typically doesn’t wake up during the seizure. When they wake up in the morning, they might only realise that a seizure happened because they accidentally bit their cheek or tongue during the seizure and can feel the injury, or if they lost bowel or bladder control during the seizure.

An epilepsy bed monitor alarm is designed to alert someone else right away that a seizure is happening during sleep. It detects the strong shaking and jerking of a tonic-clonic seizure and sends an alert to a pager. That way, a caregiver can check on the person having the seizure as soon as possible.

Epilepsy bed alarm options

Do you want an epilepsy bed monitor in the form of a mat, or would you prefer a smaller device? Do you want the option of detecting other inputs as well, such as noise?

We’ll run through four main options for your consideration, encompassing different types of bed alarms as well as their specific features.

Alert-iT Companion Mini

This smaller seizure bed alarm includes two pieces – a sensor that goes underneath a person’s mattress, and a pager that receives alerts from the sensor.

What’s nice about this nocturnal seizure monitor is its size. You aren’t dealing with a full-sized bed mat, just a sensor that’s only a little larger than the pager it comes with. You also don’t have to worry about any cords, since this alarm works via battery and radio. However, this product doesn’t include some of the additional functions you’ll see in pricier options below.

Price: £230-250 through other retailers. Alert-iT doesn’t list a price on its own page.

Frequency Precision Wireless Convulsion Sensor Mat & Pager Set

This sensor mat and pager set are a larger option. The 198cm x 63cm mat is placed under the mattress to detect vibrations, and it also comes with a control box that lets you make the mat more or less sensitive to movement, depending on your needs.

The pager that comes with this set vibrates, makes loud noise and flashes with light to ensure that a caregiver wakes up when the alarm goes off.

Price: £576.00.

MP5-UT High Sensitivity Irregular Movement Monitor

This irregular movement monitor includes three components. First, there’s a large sensor that’s placed under the mattress. Then, there’s an alarm monitor as well as a pager to receive alerts.

The alarm monitor is what sets this product apart. It can also detect sounds, since in some cases people can make vocalisations during a tonic-clonic seizure due to the convulsions of muscles around the lungs.

Price: £224.42.

Emfit Tonic-Clonic Seizure Monitor

This bed mat and control unit can also come with an optional pager. As usual, the sensor mat is placed under the mattress, and a control unit that’s used near the mat. If you choose not to use the pager, the control unit will sound an alarm in the room. Otherwise, of course, the alert goes to the pager.

This nocturnal seizure monitor has some more sophisticated options. For example, you have the option to set an alert if the sleeper leaves the bed for a long period of time. However, this product isn’t cordless, as some of these others are.

Price: £600.

How a seizure bed alarm fits into a 24/7 protection plan for a senior with epilepsy

With one of the epilepsy bed monitor options above, you’ll have an alarm in place designed to detect tonic-clonic seizures during sleep. But what about the rest of the day?

An automatic fall detection alarm is a great option for seniors with epilepsy – and many without the condition as well. That’s because it automatically detects when the wearer has fallen and sends an alert to either designated friends and family contacts or to our expert response centre.

So, if an older person has a tonic-clonic seizure and falls to the ground, the alarm will ensure help is called right away. And it won’t be fooled by the jerking movements of the seizure – it will still detect the fall regardless.

What’s more, this type of alarm offers double protection because it works in the case of falls that aren’t due to epilepsy as well. So, if an older person has epilepsy and, for example, balance problems, a fall detection alarm provides protection for both conditions.

Additionally, it’s important to know that seniors can experience confusion for extended periods of time after epileptic seizures. In other words, they aren’t just vulnerable during the period of the seizure. They may need alarm protection at other times too.

That’s where one-touch alarm functionality comes in. If a senior has had an epileptic seizure the night before and is still experiencing prolonged confusion the following day, they might find that they need help with a task due to unclear thinking or lingering distress from the seizure. If that happens, they can press one simple button on this alarm and ask a caregiver or family member to come immediately.

Get alarm protection outside of bed too with SureSafe

At SureSafe, we’re dedicated to providing quality, easy-to-use and affordable personal alarms for the elderly. That’s why we’ve earned 4.8 out of 5 stars on and thousands of happy customers.

So, if you’re looking to ensure personal alarm protection for a senior with epilepsy, why not give us a call? We’ll be happy to talk about what options might suit you best. We’re available via phone on 0800 112 3201 or through our live chat, or you can also request a call back.

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