Should You Get a Fall Detection Emergency Button?

Should You Get a Fall Detection Emergency Button?

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 17, 2019


If a senior falls, a fall detection button enables them to immediately call for help by pressing the alert button. Once the button is pressed, they will be immediately connected to a monitoring center. If the senior is unconscious or unable to move, some devices are designed to automatically detect the fall and send help immediately.


Studies have shown that one in three seniors over the age of 65 will fall each year. Some seniors are at a higher risk of falling than others; however, a fall detection emergency button can be a valuable investment for any senior. It ensures that help will be available at the touch of a button, providing seniors and family members with reassurance and peace of mind. 

Although some systems have automatic fall detection capabilities, the fall detection technology relies on sensors and other algorithmic software to determine when a fall has occurred. It should be noted that not all falls are detected with this technology. There also may be instances when false alarms may be triggered by routine activities, such as sitting down or bending over.

Is a Fall Detection Button the Right Choice for You?

1. Comfortable and Convenient

Fall detection emergency buttons can be fashionable or sporty. They can be worn as discreetly as a watch or bracelet, or they can be worn around the neck on a lanyard. The devices were designed to be comfortable and are not big, bulky, hard-edged or uncomfortable to wear. The senior can wear the device on the outside of their shirt and adjust the lanyard so that it rests comfortably at their chest level with the emergency button facing outward so it is easier to press. The design is also durable and even waterproof, allowing the senior to always have access to quick help with the press of a button.

2. Automatic Fall Detection

Fall detection emergency buttons are convenient for seniors because they enable seniors to call for help without the need for a phone. When an emergency occurs, the alert button can be pressed and the senior will be immediately connected with an agent in a monitoring center through a two-way speaker on the device. Some fall detection buttons are equipped with automatic fall detection sensors. This technology was designed to detect if a senior falls and automatically sends a fall alert signal to the monitoring center if it detects a fall. This feature is extremely beneficial if the user falls but cannot speak, as help will still be dispatched to the senior’s location immediately.

Unfortunately, automatic fall detection also has its drawbacks. The system cannot detect all falls and can provide a false sense of security if a fall is not automatically detected. Furthermore, one of the biggest drawbacks users report is that the system often sends false alarms when they are completing routine activities such as sitting in a chair or lying down for bed.

3. Beneficial to Seniors Who Are at an Increased Risk

One of the most frequent and worrisome symptoms of chronic illnesses is the fear of falling. Many medical conditions, medication interactions, mobility issues, and conditions such as anxiety can lead to instability. Although falls cannot always be prevented, a fall detection emergency button can help to ensure that help will be available in the event of an emergency.

If a senior lives alone, they are at an increased risk of experiencing a medical emergency when no one else is around. Medical emergencies could range from a fall to a stroke or heart attack. If the senior does not have the ability to summon help, they may be lying injured or in distress for extended periods of times, and that could be devastating. A fall detection emergency button can provide the confidence and peace of mind which the senior needs to allow them to enjoy the independence of living alone.


As we age, the risk of slips and falls increases.A slip or fall is not only stressful, but it can also be life-changing for seniors and their loved ones. A fall detection emergency button can provide the reassurance needed that help will be there when the button is pressed. Family and loved ones can rest assured knowing that their loved one has a lifeline in the event of an emergency. When a senior falls, every second counts. Even if the fall itself doesn’t present an injury, lying on the floor for extended periods of time may lead to other serious complications, such as pneumonia, pressure ulcers, dehydration, and hyperthermia.

The automatic fall detection ensures that an alert signal will be sent even if the senior does not press the panic button. For these reasons, fall detection emergency buttons may be a good investment, as they not only provide access to help when needed but they may also eliminate the need to invest in caregivers or sitters, depending on the situation.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

Shae is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.