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Falls in elderly people have been recognized as a major health problem in aging population. This paper describes the development of an accurate, accelerometer based fall detector capable of locating the wearer and sending alarm short messages (SMS). The device worn on the waist uses a two-stage fall detection algorithm, which senses rapid impact and body orientation of the wearer. To evaluate the device and the algorithm, an experiment on 5 subjects was conducted. The device is especially adapted to safely and accurately monitor elderly people without influencing their privacy and comfort. It is hoped that such a device will promote an integrated approach to the management of falls of elderly in the community.