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How to prevent falls from a seated position (Restraint free)

Written by
Highgate Healthcare
Published on
June 17, 2021 4:36:59 PM PDT June 17, 2021 4:36:59 PM PDTth, June 17, 2021 4:36:59 PM PDT

Minimising falls among residents in hospitals and aged care facilities is extremely important. There are many solutions which can help reduce the severity of injury caused a fall, such as hip pads and floor mats. But how can we ensure the safety of residents before the fall occurs, or even prevent it all together? And how can we do this this without the use of restraints?


As we all know, prevention is better than treatment, that’s why we wanted to discuss how the use of alarm systems can prevent falls occurring for high-falls-risk residents, and in turn prevent injury and further care.


Sensor Pads


The alarm connects to a sensor pad. When pressure is applied and then released from the sensor pad, the alarm will be activated. The sensor pads can be placed onto various surfaces such as a bed, chair and even toilet or commode. This system can provide independence and privacy for patients who would otherwise need supervision for everyday tasks.


There are two key ways alarm systems and sensor pads can be used to prevent falls from a seated position. The following image shows that the sensor can be placed onto the seat section of the chair. This is a suitable approach for patients who have reasonable control of their upper body but may be less mobile in the lower half of the body. This is a useful technique for residents who have dementia or another cognitive disability that may cause them to forget their level of mobility and attempt to get up from their chair.


Once pressure is released from the sensor pad the alarm will be activated, alerting nearby staff and or carers.

The sensor pad can be placed directly onto the seat or within the seat cover for discretion.


The second way the alarm system can be utilized, is by placing the sensor pad onto the backrest. This approach is suitable for people who may have very limited mobility or who have involuntary body movements that may propel them out of their chair.

Once the person leans forward and pressure is released from the backrest, the alarm will be activated alerting staff and or carers.


The sensor pad can be inserted into the cushion cover. This can be customised to sit higher or lower on the chair to cater for different care needs.


Magnetic Cord


Another approach which can be used to activate the alarm is via a magnetic pull cord which is clipped onto a person’s clothes. The adjustable cord is connected via a magnet to the sensor. When the patient moves away from the sensor, either by leaning forward or to the side, the magnet will be released from the alarm unit and activate the alarm.



What alarms should I use?


Here at Highgate we only recommend the highest quality products to help raise the standard of living. That’s why we recommend the Posey alarm range. Posey has over 60 years of experience in fall prevention practices and that’s why they’re the brand we choose to support and why we are confident in recommending their products.

There are 3 alarms that we sell in the Posey range. Each of these alarms come with a lifetime warranty.



Sitter Elite

With the widest range of features the Sitter Elite is the most versatile and customisable alarm. It’s standout features include the ability to attach to the sensor pads and the magnetic cord, compatible with Nurse Call interface, and the ability to create a pre-recorded message that is used as the alarm tone. This is a fantastic feature as it allows carers or loved one to record a message of instruction. This could be particularly helpful if the user speaks another language or feels more comfortable with a familiar voice.




The KeepSafe Deluxe

Operates via the magnetic cord only, which attaches to a person’s clothing.



The KeepSafe Essential

Operates via sensor pads only.



To see all features for the 3 available alarms please visit highgatehealthcare.com.au


The Posey alarm system may be the answer you’ve been looking for to increase safety and reduce falls in your hospital, aged care facility or for a loved one at home. If you have any questions about Posey alarms or would like to make an order, please call us on 1300-350-350