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What to consider when choosing an alarm bracelet

Are all alarm bracelets the same?

When first looking at what is available from an array of personal alarms for the elderly or disabled it is easy to be overwhelmed.

Personal alarms fall into three main categories, pendant alarms, wearable tech that monitors the user and household monitoring, which is best suited to those who are likely to have difficulty interacting with any technology.

Let’s look at these in turn.

Pendant alarms

For the last 40 years, there have been alarm pendants for the elderly. These were primitive but there have been a few advances, for instance the Chiptech Go connects to a mobile network but although technically it can be worn in the shower or bath or in bed, many people find that impractical so it, along with other alarm pendants for the elderly, don’t really give uninterrupted protection.

Many wearers feel stigmatised by wearing an elderly pendant alarm and often won’t wear it, or even worse will only wear it when relatives are around as they know it gives their loved ones a sense of security, and will then take it off.

The telecare industry expects pendants to actually be worn no more than 20% of the time.

Wearable alarm bracelets

Whilst some pendant alarms can be mounted on a wristband they tend to be a button that will call for help, though some are also wrist-worn fall detectors too.

We are thinking of the benefits of wearable technology that can monitor more and so offer better protection.

If you have an Apple watch or a similar device they may have included functions to call for help in an emergency. You can read about how to set it up here. This is an interesting option as far as alarm bracelets go, but if you look at the instructions and consider what you need to remember to do when you might be in pain or struggling, you can appreciate that this will not suit all people. Additionally, Apple watches have a battery that will last for less than a day, so will your bracelet alarm be on charge at the moment you need it, perhaps an overnight trip to the toilet or in the shower?

Even alarm bracelets that offer a few days between charges can present a problem. If you wait until the bracelet alarm warns you that it is low on charge you may find yourself with only a few hours of charge when you have just gone out for the day. The obvious remedy to this is keeping it charged, and the obvious way to do that is to recharge the alarm bracelet every night.

Sometimes you can even find wearables that lack some of the facilities that you’d expect, for instance, the ‘Cassius’ smartwatch says you must ‘remove the device when bathing and showering as it is not waterproof’. It also has to be removed for regular charging as does the Buddi wristband. If you are considering the Buddi it is worth looking at Buddi reviews and comparing them to Acticheck’s reviews – either on this site, on Amazon or on Trustpilot.

So with wearables, we advise looking for a bracelet alarm that is easy to use in an emergency, gives uninterrupted protection (i.e. doesn’t need to be removed for charging or in the shower) and offers useful additional functions such as being a wrist worn fall detector and I’m OK checks.

But we would say all that, as that is why we designed the Acticheck life-saving wristband

Household monitoring

This is probably the last approach to maintaining independent living. It consists of putting electronic monitors on doors, rooms and the like to get an idea of the resident’s normal behaviour patterns.

It can work with people who have very regular patterns but it is almost impossible to know whether someone hasn’t opened the fridge today because they are ill, or because they have run out of milk! The response times tend to be slow as there have to be tolerances that allow the pattern to stretch. Where possible this approach may be used combined with an SOS button so that the service user can call for help more quickly.


If the user can interact, then getting a bracelet alarm makes a lot of sense, and if it incorporates a wrist-worn fall detector so much the better.

Do think about the practicalities of living with it and using it.

  • Is the alarm bracelet comfortable to wear?
  • Would you mind being seen wearing it?
  • Would it be easy to trigger an alarm call in an emergency?
  • Does it cover the events you would like it to? What is its range of alarms?
  • Can you wear it all the time i.e. waterproof and long battery life?
  • Who would you want it to contact?

We think as bracelet alarms go that the Acticheck life-saving wristband is a great choice and hope you’ll explore this site more.

Remember, if you think it might be right for you, but you’re worried about what would happen if it isn’t, that we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you have any questions please ask, either by emailing or by calling us on 0345 25 75 080.

Get the peace of mind you and your family deserve