According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 36 million older adults of age 65 years and older suffer a fall in the U.S. every year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. Every second, an elderly (65+ years old) American suffers a fall making falls the leading cause of injury and death in this age group. Around 3 million older adults are treated in emergency departments for a fall injury every year.
A smartwatch for seniors with fall detection can be a life-changing and potentially life-saving gadget. Seniors feel comfortable wearing a smartwatch instead of other fall alert gadgets.
I have analyzed smartwatches with fall detection from all major brands evaluating them on basis of the accuracy of fall detection, ease of use and customer ratings and come up with 5 best smartwatches for seniors with fall detection.
- Best Overall is Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 because of its extensive health and safety features, bright AMOLED display (ideal in sunlight) and comfortable and elegant strap design.
- The best Budget Option is Garmin Forerunner 45 is the only smartwatch for seniors with fall detection in this price range, by a reputable brand.
- Affordable Apple Watch with Fall Detection is Apple Watch SE Equipped with best fall detection, Emergency SOS, heart rate monitoring and other health and safety features by Apple.
1. Apple Watch Series 7 – The most advanced smartwatch
Apple Watch Series 7 comes with the most advanced health features and innovations. It includes sensors and apps to measure oxygen and take an ECG, get irregular heart rhythm notifications, the ability to track your sleep and most important of all – fall detection and call for help if you need it. Cellular capability means sending a text, making a call, listening to a podcast, using Siri or calling for help with emergency SOS without iPhone nearby.
The larger-always on retina display makes it easier to use and read for older adults. You can customize your watch by changing the band (dozens of bands to choose from) and customize the watch face in millions of ways.
The safety features of this watch make it great for older adults. They can call, text and share location with family members without an iPhone. Health features such as fall detection, emergency SOS, ability to take an ECG can be life-saving for seniors. Apple Watch Series 7 is the best smartwatch with fall detection for tech-savvy seniors.
- Advanced health features – fall detection, measure oxygen levels, ECG and irregular heart rhythm notifications
- Durable, crack and dust-resistant, swim-proof
- Large always-on retina display for easy reading for seniors
- Customizable – dozens of bands to choose from, millions of watch faces to customize
- Excellent connectivity – link with other Apple devices
- It is expensive (as compared to Apple Watch SE and other competitors)
- Compatible with iPhone only
2. Apple Watch SE – Affordable Apple Watch with Fall Detection
Apple is known for releasing a value for money and affordable version of their new iPhone. This version is not less developed or lacks in technology advancements, but it does not have as many features as the primary model.
Apple Watch SE is a less extravagant model of Series 7 smartwatches.
Apple Watch SE has all the great health features of the 7 series including fall detection but there are a few features it does not have: an always-on display, the ECG app, a blood oxygen measuring option and stainless steel or titanium body (it is aluminum). These feature changes also bring some benefits like longer battery life and lightweight as compared to the 7 series.
The fall detection is as good as series 7 and it also has the ability to alert emergency services and notify your emergency contacts.
All the main features of Apple watches come in this version including a sleek design, built-in cellular connectivity to call and text without iPhone, a heart rate monitor, Siri integration, a sleep app, a Retina display and personalization options.
Apple Watch SE is the best senior smartwatch with fall detection that offers a combination of value for money and great health features. It is a highly recommended smartwatch with fall detection for Apple lovers.
- Heavy on features, light on price
- Health features such as heart monitoring, emergency SOS and fall detection and sleep app
- Lightweight, Retina display, personalization options
- No ECG, blood oxygen measuring
- No always-on display
3. Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 – Best Android Smartwatch with Fall Detection
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has great health features including a sleep monitor to manage overall sleep quality, ECG, auto activity and workout tracker, body composition analysis such as BMI, body fat and body water readings, heart rate monitor and fall detection.
You can make phone calls and texts through a Bluetooth connection with your android phone or through the watch itself if you have the LTE version.
Galaxy Watch 4 has a sleek and minimalistic design that seniors love and can be customized with a wide array of band and face voices. This watch runs on Wear OS by Google, many other brands of smartwatches use this android operating system for smartwatches so you can get loads of great third-party apps designed for Galaxy 4.
The best feature of this watch for the elderly, that I like, is how comfortable it is to wear. The silicon band that comes with it makes it easy to wear and durable when exposed to water or sweat. Galaxy Watch 4 is a great smartwatch for elderly with fall detection who own Samsung smartphones.
- Best health features in an android Smartwatch with fall detection: GPS, sleep monitor, BMI, heart rate monitor and ECG monitor.
- Great OLED with higher resolution
- Wear OS with plenty of third-party apps and deep Google integration
- Very comfortable for seniors to wear. You can sleep wearing this smartwatch.
- The minimalistic and comfortable silicon band may not be best looking
- ECG and Blood Pressure measurements may not be certified in some countries
4. Garmin Forerunner 45 – Best Budget Option
The next smartwatch for seniors with fall detection is Garmin Forerunner 45. The key features of this watch include sleep and stress monitoring, receiving text and call alerts, heart rate monitoring and built-in GPS.
Safety and tracking features include incident detection (or fall detection) which sends your real-time location to emergency contacts through your paired compatible smartphone.
Forerunner 45 is basically a GPS running watch that supports apps for running, cycling, indoor track, treadmill, cardio, yoga, elliptical and more. The battery life in smartwatch mode is 7 days while it lasts 14 hours in GPS mode. Garmin Forerunner 45 is the best budget senior smartwatch with fall detection.
- 24/7 heart rate monitoring
- Records distance, pace and intervals with built-in GPS
- Sleep and stress monitoring
- Incidents/ fall detection and remote assistance
- It is also sunlight visible
- Button based navigation (which may be a plus point for older adults)
- Fall detection in selective activities
5. Garmin Vivoactive 4S – Best Fitness Tracker
The next smartwatch for seniors with fall detection is Garmin Vivoactive 4S with extensive health and fitness features. It keeps track of your energy levels, respiration, sleep, heart rate, hydration and more. Vivoactive 4S records all the ways you move with 20 preloaded GPS and indoor sports apps including yoga, running and swimming and comes with easy-to-follow animated workouts on the watch screen including cardio, Pilates and yoga.
The things that I like about Garmin watches are how lightweight and comfortable to wear they are and Vivoactive 4S is no exception. You can personalize the watch with thousands of watch faces, apps and widgets. The best safety and tracking feature is incident/fall detection feature for the elderly. Garmin coach also provides 5K,10K and a half marathon training plans and guides to reach your goal. This smartwatch for elderly with fall detection is ideal for fitness enthusiasts.
- Comfortable strap, lightweight and easy to wear
- Bright display, easy to read in the sunlight
- Great preloaded workout sessions and extensive health features
- Battery life is low with GPS working
- Interface is inconsistent
Our Pick for the Best smartwatch for seniors with fall detection – Samsung Galaxy Watch 4
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has everything you can expect from a modern smartwatch for seniors. The extensive health and safety features and comfort to use make it an obvious choice for the elderly. We crown it the best smartwatch with fall detection because:
- Health features: Fall detection, blood pressure reading, ECG, sleep quality features, heartbeat irregularity notifications, Body Composition Features like body fat and BMI
- Display and Audio: Bright and vibrant always-on AMOLED display, ideal for sunlight and integrated mic and speaker
- Comfortable Design and Build: Minimalist aesthetic design with a comfortable strap. Simple and elegant design for seniors with the ability to customize with thousands of bands and face watches
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 has all the health features and fitness tracking together with a silicon strap which is very comfortable to wear, even at night. Its non-cuff blood pressure monitoring and ECG features make it the ultimate choice for seniors.
Buyer’s Guide – 8 Tips to buy Smartwatch for elderly with fall detection
Here are some of the features you need to keep in mind when buying a senior smartwatch with fall detection.
1. Ease of Use
Older adults are not as tech-savvy as younger adults. They prefer easy-to-use and minimal designs watch. Go with a cleaner design and personalize the watch with a cleaner background and fewer options on the main face, if you are thinking of gifting a smartwatch to seniors with fall detection capability.
Read More: 5 Best pedometers for seniors
Seniors like modern but simpler and cleaner watches that do not have shining bands and colors. The best thing about this list of smartwatches is that they have options to customize according to what your older adults and loved ones like. You can change band colors and style and screen face in Apple Watch 7 and SE and also Samsung Galaxy Watch 4.
The large screen is good for reading and seniors love silicon band which is easy to wear, even at night time (as mentioned in Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 section).
3. Wearing Comfortability
This is an important factor when you are deciding a smartwatch for elderly with fall detection. The weight and size of the watch should be reasonable. The band matters a lot, a silicon band is better than a metal band. Go for the Apple Solo Loop band when buying an Apple Watch as it is thin and light and is widely praised because of how comfortable it is.
You want a smartwatch for seniors with fall detection that your loved one can wear all day (and night if they want to) so comfort is more important than style.
Some features are necessary to have in a senior smartwatch with fall detection for durability including water resistance and scratch-resistant glass. Apple Watches go further with their promise of a crack-resistant face.
All the above watches are made of high-quality material and are tough for all circumstances. You do not need a screen protector or extra care than the traditional watches to use them.
5. Compatibility with your Smartphone
The compatibility issue is an important factor for some people when deciding on a smartwatch. Android users love Samsung watches while Apple users prefer Apple watches as they are compatible with the smartphones that they already use. Smartwatches have additional features that are useable when they are paired with smartphones.
6. Battery Life
Battery life depends on the use of a smartwatch but it is also an important factor because you do not want to recharge the watch multiple times in a day. A smartwatch with fall detection uses GPS which drains the battery. The above reviewed watches have decent battery lives for fully functional small watches with multiple health and safety features.
7. Health and Safety Feature
This is one of the main points to keep in mind when deciding on a smartwatch for a senior. While younger adults follow entertainment and the latest technology trends, Older adults look for health and safety features like heart monitoring, blood pressure, ECG and oxygen level functions and most importantly, fall detection capability.
The price of smartwatches is another important factor to keep in mind. You do not want to spend money on something that seniors do not use. Do not go for the most expensive option as they may have the latest processor or memory that seniors do not need or they are costly because they are the latest editions.
It may not be a good idea to go for the cheapest option either, some smartwatches for seniors with fall detection are cheap but they do not have good fall detection capability. You want a fine balance between the cost and features that a smartwatch offers.
FAQs: Smartwatch for Seniors with Fall Detection
Which smartwatches have fall detection?
The best brands that offer smartwatches with fall detection feature that really works and enjoy customer satisfaction are – Apple, Samsung and Garmin. The smartwatches from these brands offer additional health and safety features for older adults including monitoring heart rate, oxygen level and even taking an ECG in some cases.
Do Samsung Galaxy Watches have fall detection?
Yes, Samsung has added fall detection feature in their Samsung Galaxy Watches 3,4,5 and Active 2. Samsung Galaxy Watches are easily the best android smartwatches for elderly because of their great health features and comfort to use.
Which Apple watch has fall detection?
Apple smartwatches with fall detection are series 4 and later (4,5,6,7,8) and Apple Watch SE. If an Apple watch detects a hard fall, it taps on your wrist, sounds an alarm and displays an alert. You can choose to contact emergency service or dismiss the alert.
Smartwatches with fall detection and ECG features?
Apple Watch Series 4 and later (5,6,7,8) come with both features – fall detection and an ECG app that allow you to take an electrocardiogram (ECG). Samsung Galaxy Watches 3,4,5 and Active 2 have both fall detection and ECG features. Garmin also has fall detection and ECG features in newer watches.