A mobility alarm is a device which is commonly used as a fall prevention measure in nursing homes.
The alarm has a clip which is attached to the back of the resident’s clothing, usually between the shoulder blades where it is hard for the resident to remove. There is a cord which is attached to the clip which leads to the alarm itself. When the resident tries to get up, the cord is pulled and this triggers the alarm which makes a loud, piercing noise.
The sounding of the alarm serves two purposes: (1) it alerts the staff that the resident is trying to get up, and it is the job of the entire staff to respond to the sounding of the alarm and (2) it reminds the resident that they should not be trying to get up without assistance.
Use of this kind of alarm is appropriate where you have a resident who is a fall risk and due to intermittent or constant confusion or dementia cannot be relied upon to follow instructions to not get up without assistance and to use a call light.
The risk associated with this kind of alarm is that the clip may come off the resident’s clothing due to the resident removing it or it simply falling off the clothing. If the resident demonstrates a history of removing the clip, it should be noted in the chart so that the care plan can be changed if the use of the mobility alarm proves to be ineffective as a fall prevention measure due to the resident removing it.