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Fall and motion detectors

Fall and Motion Detectors Panel

Falls are a leading cause of injuries and hospital admissions for older adults. Living independently can be more challenging if you're worried about falling.

Common scenarios and concerns

Lifestyle and equipment options to help you

Falls during nighttime bathroom visits.

This can lead to injuries and a fear of using the bathroom independently.

Pressure sensor mats: Placed under rugs or near the toilet, these mats can detect movement and trigger an alert.

Wandering and disorientation, particularly at night.

This can lead to an increased risk of falls, leaving the home unnoticed.

Motion detectors: Strategically placed sensors can detect movement and alert caregivers or trigger alarms.

Falls occurring without immediate witness.

This can lead to delayed medical attention, potential for injuries to go unnoticed.

Fall detection wearables: These devices automatically detect falls and send alerts for help.


Understanding fall risks and their impact

Here's how falls can impact your independence and well-being:

  • Reduced mobility and confidence: The fear of falling can limit your mobility and discourage you from engaging in daily activities.
  • Potential for serious injuries: Falls can lead to broken bones, head injuries, and other serious health complications.
  • Increased reliance on others: Falls may necessitate assistance with daily tasks, impacting your independence.

Falls and motion detectors

Falls and motion detectors can play a crucial role in safeguarding your independence by:

  • Alerting carers: These devices can notify carers or emergency services in the event of a fall, ensuring prompt medical attention.
  • Providing peace of mind: Knowing that a system is in place to detect falls can reduce anxiety and promote a sense of security for both you and your loved ones.
  • Encouraging continued independence: By mitigating fall risks, these detectors can empower you to continue living independently in your own home.

Types of falls and motion detectors available

Here's a look at different fall and motion detector options to consider:

  • Pressure sensor mats: These mats are often placed under rugs in high-risk areas like bathrooms or near the bedside. When pressure is applied, signifying someone standing on the mat, the device can trigger an alert or light.
  • Motion detectors: These battery-powered sensors use infrared technology to detect movement within a designated area. When motion is detected, an alarm can sound or a notification can be sent to a designated carer or monitoring centre.
  • Fall detection wearables: These discreet devices, often worn as pendants or wristbands, utilise motion sensors and accelerometers to detect falls. In the event of a fall, the device can automatically send an alert for help, even if you are unable to press a button.

Features to consider

  • Two-way communication: Certain fall detection wearables offer two-way communication, allowing you to speak directly with a trained professional after a fall.
  • Remote monitoring: Some systems allow carers to remotely monitor activity within the home through connected motion detectors.

Additional things to consider

Here are some factors to consider when selecting fall and motion detectors:

  • Your living situation: Do you live alone or with a carer? This will influence the types of alerts and monitoring features you may require.
  • Fall risk factors: Consider your specific fall risks, such as nighttime disorientation or mobility limitations, to identify the most suitable detection areas.
  • Ease of use: Choose a system that is easy to install and operate, particularly if you have limited technical knowledge.
  • Consult with your doctor: Discuss your fall risks and concerns with your doctor. They can assess your needs and recommend suitable fall prevention strategies, including the use of detectors.
  • Research different options: Explore the various fall and motion detector options available, considering factors like features, cost, and compatibility with your existing home security system (if applicable).
  • Seek professional installation: Consider professional installation for certain detectors, particularly if they require wiring or complex configuration.
  • Fall prevention strategies: Falls and motion detectors are valuable tools, but they should be used alongside other fall prevention strategies such as improving home lighting, removing throw rugs, and installing grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Regular testing: Test your fall and motion detectors regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Informing loved ones: Inform your family, friends, and neighbours about your fall detection system and how it works.
  • Privacy considerations: If you're concerned about privacy, explore fall detection wearables that offer customisable settings regarding data collection and monitoring features.
  • Cost considerations: Fall and motion detectors vary in price depending on features and complexity. Consider your budget and prioritise features that best address your specific needs.

Where to buy equipment to help you avoid falling 

Plymouth City Council, NHS Devon, and Livewell Southwest have jointly commissioned NRS Healthcare to deliver the Safe+Well service, and they have over 2,500 daily living aids that you can purchase by mail order, telephone, or online.

View the Plymouth Safe+Well website

NRS has a dedicated phone line with a trained team of specialists who can answer any questions you might have. Just call 0345 6461860.

Other places to buy equipment from:

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  • Free assessment tool: Select the area of difficulty that is relevant to you. You will then be asked a few questions to guide you towards helpful daily living aids. 
  • Free telephone advice line: Complete the online form, and we will contact you to arrange a convenient time to call.

More information



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