Buying a smartwatch for your elderly ones with fall detection is one of the best gifts you should be giving them, especially when they are dealing with health challenges. However, with the many smartwatch brands in the market, it is not an easy task to identify the best smartwatches with fall detection.
In this article, I will be discussing the top 10 best smartwatches for the elderly with fall detection that you can consider buying for your elderly ones in order to help them stay safe. Before I proceed, let me start by explaining what fall-detection technology is and why you should consider them for your elderly ones.
- What is Fall Detection?
- Why Buy a Smartwatch with Fall Detection?
- 1- Apple Watch Series 7
- 2- Apple Watch Series 6
- 3- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
- 4- Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
- 5- Garmin Forerunner 245 M
- 6- Apple Watch SE
- 7- Garmin Fenix 6x Pro
- 8- Apple Series Watch 5
- 9- Garmin Forerunner 645
- 10- Garmin Fenix 5S Plus
- FAQs About Fall Detection Technology And Smartwatches
- Q: What is Fall Detection?
- Q: How does Fall Detection work?
- Q: What are the benefits of Fall Detection?
- Q: How accurate is Fall Detection?
- Q: Does Fall Detection work with all phones?
- Q: How Does Fall Detection Work on Apple Watch?
- Q: What is the best way to use Fall Detection?
- Q: What happens if I don’t have my phone with me when I fall?
- Q: What Are Fall Recognition Algorithms Based On?
- Q: What Is The Difference Between A Medical Alert Watch And A Smartwatch?
- Q: What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Fall Detection Smartwatch?
- Q: What Are The Best Smartwatch For Seniors With Fall Detection?
What is Fall Detection?
Fall detection is a feature on some smartwatches and fitness trackers that uses an accelerometer to detect when a person has fallen. If a fall is detected, the watch or tracker will vibrate and/or make a noise to alert the user. The user can then press a button to stop the alarm. If the user does not respond, the watch or tracker will call emergency services.
Related Post: Fossil Smartwatch Gen 6 vs Apple Watch Series 7: Which Is Better?
Why Buy a Smartwatch with Fall Detection?
Buying a smartwatch with fall detection can help alert loved ones and authorities whenever an elderly person suffers a hard fall. These smartwatches can automatically send an SMS to an emergency contact along with the live location so that help can be sent.
In such situations, getting help on time may help reduce the risk of fatality.
Smartwatches with fall detection technology contain a sensor known as a triaxial accelerometer, which measures speed, distance and direction. The accelerator looks out for the pattern of movement consistent in most falls, which is a rapid downward acceleration followed by no movement.
These smartwatches can either be connected to a professional monitoring centre, where an agent speaks to you through the device’s two-way speaker; in a situation where the elderly person or the person with a health challenge does not respond, the centre would dispatch emergency responders to the location; or to a loved one, whose responsibility is then to send help. The smartwatches send GPS data, so a responder knows where to find you.
It is not just the elderly that can benefit from smartwatches with fall detection technology. People of any age can also benefit, especially in instances where they take medications that make them dizzy or if they suffer from a medical condition that makes them fall or pass out. It is also advisable that those who engage in extreme sports like mountain biking, rock climbing, or horseback riding should wear smartwatches with fall detection technology, especially when they venture on their own.
Here are the top ten smartwatches with the fall detection feature;
1- Apple Watch Series 7
The Apple Watch Series 7 automatically detects when one suffers a hard fall. When one falls wearing the watch, it will present the user with three options to select from. The first option is to call emergency services; the second option is to confirm that you fell down but you are okay. And the third option is that it was a false alert, and you did not actually fall.
If the user selects the call emergency option, the watch will do that immediately. Also, if the watch detects that you have not moved from your position for more than a minute, it will automatically call emergency services.
The interesting thing is that you do not have to take out your phone from your pocket to make the call to emergency services, as the watch comes with an in-built speaker and microphone.
The Apple Watch Series 7’s fall detection algorithm is more optimised than that of the Apple Watch Series 6, making it more effective. It can detect falls during workouts, which is a new improvement. You can also monitor your blood oxygen level and take an electrocardiogram (ECG) anytime, a test to check your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity.
Users will be notified if any irregular heart rhythm is recorded, helping users know if they need to follow up with a physician.
The watch also comes with a built-in profile for sports and fitness activities, so you can track your daily sports. You can also create a bedtime routine that helps increase the quality and quantity of your sleep. This would really be helpful to the elderly who struggle with good sleep habits.
2- Apple Watch Series 6
The Apple Watch Series 6 also features fall detection technology though it is not as optimised as that of the Apple Watch Series 7. The watch can detect falls and call emergency services when you need it.
You can also carry out a quick ECG with the device. All you need to do is to touch the digital crown of the device to initiate the 30-second ECG. The sensors then submit information to the ECG app, which then communicates to you if your heart rate is normal or irregular.
Also, thanks to the four LED clusters of light that illuminate the blood vessels in your wrist and the four photodiodes that measure the amount of light reflected back, the Apple Watch Series 6 can tell you your blood oxygen level. You also get to understand your sleep patterns and adjust your habits accordingly.
The watch does not stop there. There are apps that allow you to track how often you wash your hands and ensure better hand hygiene by recommending 20 second-hand washing times. Apps can also remind you to take a deep breath and relax or to stand up and move. Even better is the fact that the watch is easy to navigate. Hence, it would be easy for the elderly to navigate.
3- Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
The Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 comes with a fall detection feature, relying on the device’s accelerometer. It is able to detect hard falls and help send SOS messages to your emergency contact(s). You can have up to four emergency contacts to be notified when you fall; then, they can contact you or reach out to the relevant authorities. The watch allows you to make calls to your emergency contacts if you can still move after the fall.
In addition, the watch comes with a Samsung bioactive sensor that allows you to track your heart rate and blood oxygen level. These are very important for those who want to track their workout intensity and improve their performance. You can also measure your stress level.
With the recent upgrade, users can now access features like custom interval training, sleep coaching and set body composition goals with the new 3-in-1 biosensor.
4- Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
With the enhanced accelerometer, the Galaxy Watch 3 can detect hard falls and will activate an alert system asking if you need emergency services. If you do not respond within the timeframe, the watch automatically alerts your emergency contact and authorities to get help.
All you need to do to set up this feature is to open the Samsung Wearable app on your phone synced with the Galaxy Watch 3. Click on SOS and then select detect falls. You would then have to select an emergency contact who will receive an SOS message in case of a fall, and you need help.
You also get to monitor and track your blood pressure via the Samsung Health Monitor App. Also, you can conduct an ECG by touching the watch’s back button for up to 30 seconds to have its built-in electrode sensor measure the rhythm of your heart. You can also measure the level of oxygen in your blood through the watch’s red LED and infrared rays. Sleep performance can also be performed over time.
5- Garmin Forerunner 245 M
The Garmin Forerunner 245 M smartwatch would count as a cheaper alternative to the ones mentioned above. It comes with Garmin’s incident detection feature, which would send an automated text message and email with your name and GPS location (if available) to your emergency contacts in the case of a hard fall. A message appears indicating that your contacts will be informed after 30 seconds have elapsed. You can select Cancel before the countdown is complete to cancel the message. You can also trigger this feature when you find yourself in an unsafe environment.
You can also monitor your heart rate and blood oxygen level. And it has a sleep-tracking feature. The smartwatch also has the LiveTrack feature, allowing friends and family to follow your races and training activities in real-time. You can also invite followers via email or social media. They would be able to view your live data on a web page.
For fitness lovers, you can track your runs with in-depth analysis so you can improve over time. The watch can also detect when you are pushing yourself and recommend that you take a break. This is a very useful feature as it helps prevent injuries.
6- Apple Watch SE
For half the price, you would get almost everything the Apple Watch Series 7 can do, including the fall detection feature. But it can not measure your blood oxygen level or conduct ECG.
The fall detection feature helps send a message to your emergency contacts in the case of a fall. If you are immobile for about a minute after the fall, the watch will tap your wrist, sound an alarm and then attempt to call emergency services.
Interestingly, if the birth date you entered when setting up your Apple Watch indicates that you are 55 years old or above, the fall detection feature is turned on automatically. If your age falls between 18 and 55, you would have to turn on the fall detection feature manually by following these steps:
- Open the Settings App on the Apple Watch SE
- Go to SOS, then turn on Fall detection. You can also open the Apple Watch App on your iPhone, tap My Watch, tap Emergency SOS, and then turn on Fall Detection.
- Choose “Always on” to have the fall detection feature on at all times. You can also choose to have it on “Only during workouts.”
One thing to note is that if you turn off wrist detection, the Apple Watch SE will not automatically attempt to call emergency services even after it has detected a hard fall.
The smartwatch also has a built-in sports and fitness profile and can analyse your sleep and tell you the quality of sleep you are getting.
7- Garmin Fenix 6x Pro
This smartwatch has an incident detection feature, which can be toggled on or off at any point from the Garmin connect app and from the watch’s menu. With the incident detection feature, you can call up to three emergency contacts in the case of a fall. It also automatically sends your location to your emergency contacts so they can get you help.
You also do not have to worry about the watch breaking when you suffer a fall as it meets the US military standard for shock, thermal and water resistance. The best part is that it supports both Android and ios devices.
The Garmin Fenix, 6x Pro, can also track your heartbeat per minute, blood oxygen, respiration and sleep cycle. The smartwatch can also calculate how tired you are after a workout session. And it can track how well you are adapting to high-altitude locations or how well-rested you are.
8- Apple Series Watch 5
The Apple Series Watch 5 also possesses the fall detection feature. After detecting a fall, the device notifies you with a vibration tap on the wrist and then it sounds an alarm. You can choose to contact local emergency services or dismiss the alert by pressing the digital crown, tapping close in the upper-left corner or by tapping the “I’m Ok” option.
If movement is detected after the fall, the watch waits for you to respond and would not automatically call emergency services. But if, after one minute, the device detects no movement after the fall, it will call an ambulance automatically. The watch dials your local ambulance service and plays an audio message informing them of the fall while sharing your location.
This feature is essentially useful to the elderly and those with health challenges. If you are 55 years and above, the fall detection feature is turned on automatically. If your age falls between 18 and 55, you would have to turn on the fall detection feature manually.
You can also measure the health of your heart and track your sleep.
9- Garmin Forerunner 645
With its incident detection feature, the Germain Forerunner 645 can automatically detect if you suffer a fall. The device will automatically send your emergency contact a message containing your current location.
The incident detector feature would automatically be turned on when you add an emergency contact to Garmin Connect, and it gets synchronised to the watch.
You can also choose to send a message to a chosen contact manually, using the “assistance feature” in case you are in difficulty. But you would need to activate this by holding down the top-left button for approximately seven seconds until the watch vibrates three times.
With the smartwatch, you can monitor your training and recovery. Women can also use the Garmin Connect App to track their menstrual cycle or pregnancy. And your loved ones can track you through the smartwatch.
10- Garmin Fenix 5S Plus
Just like the Garmin smartwatches that have been featured in this write-up, the Garmin Fenix 5S Plus has the incident detector feature. If you are immobile after the fall, the watch will alert your emergency contacts. But if you can move but sustain an injury, you can hold a button to send out the same notification.
The smartwatch is made of highly durable stainless steel, so in the case of a fall or any incident, be rest assured that the watch will be prevented from damage, and it will keep functioning so that you can receive help if need be.
The other health features that the smartwatch offers include the wrist-based heart rate sensor, capable of measuring stress and rest needed. Users can also use the smartwatch to set relaxation reminders and relaxation breathing timers. And you can also track your sleep and how much water you take.
Buying a smartwatch with fall detection for your elderly loved one is a great way to help them stay safe and connected, especially if they live alone. At the end of the day, you want to choose the watch that is fit for their needs and lifestyle. Although, all of the watches on this list would make a great gift for any elderly person in your life.
Overall, the 10 best smartwatches for the elderly with fall detection discussed above are some of the best options on the market. They all have their own unique features, but they all have the same goal of keeping your elderly loved one safe. However, some of these smart watches are more expensive than others, so it is important to choose the one that fits your budget.
FAQs About Fall Detection Technology And Smartwatches
Q: What is Fall Detection?
A: Fall Detection is a technology that can detect when a person has fallen and can automatically call for help.
Q: How does Fall Detection work?
A: Fall Detection uses an algorithm to detect when a person has fallen. It then uses the GPS in the person’s phone to call for help.
Q: What are the benefits of Fall Detection?
A: Fall Detection can help to keep people safe, especially if they live alone. It can also help to reduce the number of false alarms.
Q: How accurate is Fall Detection?
A: Fall Detection is very accurate. It has been tested in a variety of conditions and has been found to be reliable.
Q: Does Fall Detection work with all phones?
A: A Fall Detection device will work with most phones. However, it is not compatible with all phones.
Q: How Does Fall Detection Work on Apple Watch?
A: Fall detection works on an Apple watch by making an emergency call when it detects that you have been immobile for about a minute after a fall.
Q: What is the best way to use Fall Detection?
A: The best way to use Fall Detection is to wear it on your wrist. This way, it can detect a fall and call for help even if you are unconscious.
Q: What happens if I don’t have my phone with me when I fall?
A: If you don’t have your phone with you when you fall, the Fall Detection device will still call for help.
Q: What Are Fall Recognition Algorithms Based On?
A: Fall recognition algorithms are based on human posture features. These features include deflection angles and spine ratio. By analysing these features, the algorithm can determine whether a person is in a stable state, a fluctuating state, or a disordered state.
Q: What Is The Difference Between A Medical Alert Watch And A Smartwatch?
A: A medical alert watch is a watch that is specifically designed to be used as a medical alert device. A smartwatch is a watch that has been designed to be more like a computer, with a variety of features that go beyond those of a traditional watch.
Q: What Are The Benefits Of Wearing A Fall Detection Smartwatch?
A: Wearing a Fall detection smartwatch has a variety of benefits. First, it can help to monitor your health and fitness. Second, it can provide you with peace of mind in knowing that if you were to fall, someone would be notified. Finally, it can give you a sense of security and independence, knowing that you have a device that can help to keep you safe.
Q: What Are The Best Smartwatch For Seniors With Fall Detection?
A: The are lots of great smartwatch options for seniors with fall detection. Some of the best smartwatches for Seniors with fall detection include the Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch Series 7, Apple Watch Series 6, Samsung Galaxy Watch 4, Samsung Galaxy Watch 3, Garmin Forerunner 245 M, and the Apple Watch SE.
Product Image Gallery – Smartwatch for the Elderly with Fall Detection
References: Fall Recognition Algorithm.