Caring for or living with a senior citizen who has trouble functioning or getting around can be an involving and difficult process. In many cases these seniors, even those with no mental or health risks beyond age, require nearly constant supervision to avoid tragedy. They are often too physically impaired to walk on their own without falling down or suffering some other medical emergency and yet as is human nature many desire to do just that on their own, without the assistance of a caregiver. This can place even more strain on the job of a caretaker or family member because it creates constant worry that the senior may be out of bed or out of their chair unsupervised and in harm’s way. That is where the DRIVE Patient Alarm comes into play. This pressure-sensitive alarm system is for use in a bed or chair and works wonderfully to alert someone when a senior citizen has gotten up. It is a simple device with one sole purpose and it manages to deliver on that purpose without trouble or complicated setup and without causing discomfort to the senior.
Design and Functions
The draw of the DRIVE pressure-sensitive patient alarm is it’s simplicity in both style and function. While there are a few settings that can be used and adjusted it remains a very simple device designed around performing a single goal: letting you know when someone has gotten up so you can provide a check-up, care or assistance as needed. The DRIVE alarm works by using a pressure pad. It is wide, flat and slightly cushioned for comfort but no so thick that it will feel out of place on a chair or bed. The pad is designed to work whether someone is lying down on it or sitting on it and is thin and durable enough to last for quite some time. The pad itself is a solid light-blue color with no design choices or alterations to be made. It is not the best fit for most decor but given that it’s function is safety of a senior citizen most users will likely be able to look past it’s lack of design possibilities.
At one end of the pad extends a short cord that attaches to the alarm unit, a plastic brick-shaped device that houses all the electrical and controllable elements of the alarm system. This is where the few functions are chosen and adjusted if needed and where the audible alarm sound comes from when set off. The unit runs on simple AA batteries that last for quite some time even with constant use. And because no power outlet is required the pad can be placed on any chair or bed in any room without regard to outlet sources, making it extremely portable even on trips away from home. The adjustable functions are easy to understand and change right out of the box without any instructions. A three-way switch lets you set the alarm tone to off, low or high. High is extremely loud and could be used for caregivers who may find themselves far from the patient. There is also a master on-off switch that is a bit small and difficult to operate, providing an occasional unnecessary hassle.
Ease of Use
As evidenced by the simple setup and lack of parts or features the DRIVE patient alarm is extremely easy to use. It is truly a set it and forget it type of device. Once it’s turned on the rest is automatic. As long as pressure is applied to the pad the alarm is silent. Once that pressure is released the alarm is sounded and a caregiver knows the patient has gotten up and can go check. Aside from volume adjustment no changes are ever needed once the pad is in place, making this the perfect solution for monitoring a senior without having to think about it constantly.
The simplicity and ease of use would be meaningless if the DRIVE patient alarm were not also effective. Fortunately it succeeds in spades. The alarm, even at low level, is very loud and distinct, easily heard from any indoor distance. The pressure pad is comfortable and won’t be a hindrance on any bed or chair and is sensitive enough for use with any body weight yet rugged enough to allow for shifting and movement in bed without tripping the alarm. For a caregiver looking to get some peace-of-mind away from a senior the DRIVE patient alarm is a cost-effective and excellent solution.