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Are alarm bracelets better than alarm pendants?

If you think there is very little difference between the function of an alarm bracelet and an alarm pendant, you are both right and wrong.

Often the technology involved is similar, being a button that can be worn either on a wrist strap or on a necklace but how you wear it makes a difference as to whether you will have uninterrupted protection or not; and how effective it will be as a personal alarm for the elderly, disabled or otherwise vulnerable person.

Uninterrupted protection

When developing the Acticheck life-saving wristband and considering how using the latest technology we could make an outstanding personal alarm we realised that pendant alarms need to be taken off at night as recommended by their manufacturers. Even with the tension joints that break if the lanyard /necklace is pulled too tight they can still be a strangulation risk and tend to be uncomfortable. A Normal single-button alarm bracelet doesn’t present a strangulation risk but is also easy to accidentally activate with a single knock to the button. Many wearers end up removing them at night to avoid false alerts. The two-button approach of the Acticheck life-saving wristband means it is very difficult to accidentally start an alarm.

One could argue that having an alarm wristband or pendant on the bedside table is almost as good as wearing it as it is still within reach. But consider what happens when people are feeling a bit ‘below par’ – they are likely to go to the toilet or perhaps need a glass of water, and if you’re feeling groggy could well forget to take the alarm with them.

Also if wearing a device is something that you do as part of dressing and undressing would you be wearing it in the bath/shower or would you do it as you put on your clothes – rendering you vulnerable when you are wet and slippy!

Personal preferences

Many people don’t want to have a visible sign of frailty or weakness on show, not just for others but for themselves. it is rare to find someone who doesn’t have some pride in their appearance and so considering the effect of wearing a device that feels too ‘clinical’. Pendant alarms will often get worn under shirts or blouses where they will not be seen but may be more difficult to activate when needed. Some people who prefer collarless tops in summer also find pendants can rub and be uncomfortable.

Fall detection bracelets

Some people also want a fall bracelet that can detect if the wearer has had a fall without them having to find a button to press.

You are more likely to find automatic fall detection bracelets than on a pendant which has far more possibility of swinging around and creating false alerts. Fall detection is not a precise science in most cases.

In clinical conditions, the most reliable fall detection is a band worn around the torso as then you can then measure whether the torso is horizontal or not. Even then not all falls will be caught as there are ‘soft’ falls which could be slumping off a chair and not ending up prone. But fall detection bracelets can do a pretty good job of catching severe falls and calling for help.

Additional features

I’m OK checks

At Acticheck our life-saving wristband allows wearers to call for help, will detect severe falls and even has a feature that is unique to Acticheck and may help in the case of a slump fall. We call them I’m OK checks and they are a modern version of checking someone has opened their curtains in the morning and closed them again at night.

Calling family & friends directly

What happens when an alert is raised by a personal alarm bracelet or pendant?

This is important to consider. Some people want to keep it in the family, others want to deal with an Alarm Response Centre. Some systems will only use one or the other, some will call the response centre to call your family & friend responders.

When help is needed Acticheck uses the latest in automated calling to immediately phone your responders and only if none of them confirm they can help will the Alarm Response Centre be called.

Activity charts

While household monitors do, most wearable personal alarms don’t report activity back to a live chart that relatives (with permission) can look in on. Many people take comfort in being able to see that the wearer of an alarm bracelet is sleeping normally and staying active during the day. It is even useful if bleak thoughts have ever crossed your mind after an unanswered call.

Being able to jump online and see that they have gone out or are remaining active gives immediate peace of mind. While most don’t offer this benefit Acticheck does!

We’re even introducing machine learning – a type of Artificial Intelligence – to give warnings when there is a significant change in activity.

If you’d like to know more about the Acticheck life-saving wristband look around the website, call us on 0345 25 75 080 or drop us an email at

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