Leveraging Bed/Chair Alarm Removal for Falls Prevention

Point-of-care worker assisting a senior man to walk with a walker

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Mary McDougall, Director of Professional Practice and Education

Project Title: Leveraging Bed/Chair Alarm Removal for Falls Prevention

What is the issue?

Many older adults with dementia or cognitive impairment living in long-term care homes are at risk of falls. Bed and chair alarms alert staff that someone has fallen, but do not prevent falls. Alarms are also noisy and disruptive for residents.

What did we do?

In 2013, Hebrew SeniorLife in Massachusetts successfully eliminated bed and chair alarms and implemented a fall prevention strategy for all residents. The strategy uses care routines tailored to each resident. Since the program was put into place, falls and injuries from falls have not increased. Residents have enjoyed an improved quality of life, including less noise.

Based on the success of this program, we created a resource manual to provide best practices for removing bed and chair alarms. Our Bed and Chair Alarm Removal Resource Manual can be shared widely online and in paper form.

What did we find?

We continue to see positive results for replacing bed and chair alarms with fall prevention strategies. We look forward to sharing our manual with others to help them achieve similar results.