Anyone can stumble or trip at home. But for seniors, a simple fall can have serious consequences. Avoiding falls is important, but it’s also a good idea to have a fall detection system in place in case an accident happens. Below, we share our suggestions for affordable and effective fall detection tools (plus tips to keep your loved one safe).
The Danger of Falls
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20% of all falls in the elderly cause serious damage, such as head injuries or broken bones. They can even be life-altering or fatal. About 3 million seniors are seen in emergency departments every year because of falls.
These injuries often make it impossible for people to live independently, and they can complicate other medical issues. But, that’s not the only way they affect the quality of life. After a fall, seniors can become fearful, leading them to become sedentary, isolated, and increasingly weaker.
There are some important steps that can help keep loved ones safe from falls. Here are some of the recommendations from the National Council on Aging to reduce the risks.
1. Check their vision
Make sure your loved one has glasses, if needed, and an updated prescription. If bifocals make it more difficult to focus, especially on the stairs, consider single vision glasses with a separate pair of reading glasses.
2. Get help for balance issues
You may notice your elderly family member seems unsteady, holds onto walls as they walk, or struggles to stand up. A physical therapist can help them develop strength and balance. They can also teach strategies to safely navigate daily life activities, such as getting out of bed or off the toilet. Studies show that seniors may harbor misconceptions about the role physical therapists can play in improving their quality of life. Therefore, it’s important to have an honest but gentle conversation about the benefits of working with a professional.
3. Discuss unsteadiness with their doctor
Untreated health problems can cause dizziness or weakness, leading to falls. Some medications can also affect balance. Discuss these issues with your loved one and their doctor to find the safest solutions.
4. Have a walk-through safety check
Look for dangerous setups in the home. Is there adequate lighting? Two secure handrails on the stairs? Grab bars in bathrooms? Scan for tripping hazards, such as throw rugs and clutter on the floor. It may help to have someone who is familiar with elder care, such as a home health care professional, help identify dangers you may inadvertently overlook.
Medical Alert Systems with Fall Detection
Despite your most careful efforts, a fall is always possible. To give seniors the most independent life possible, consider a medical alert system. One with fall detection will enable the device to call for help even if the person is unconscious after a fall. Here are three to consider:
1. Bay Alarm Medical
This system connects people with a 24-hour emergency call center. If the patient isn’t able to respond after a fall, agents at the center will call for emergency help. The Bay Alarm system provides clear 2-way communication, 32-hour battery backup, automatic fall detection, and coverage of up to 1,000 feet.
2. Medical Guardian
This fall detection provider has a variety of device styles to fit anyone’s lifestyle and preferences. The devices also have two-way communication, so help is available wherever your loved one is.
With enhanced GPS and a fast response time, these devices work especially well for active seniors on the go. Lively™ agents are certified professionals who will stay on the line with your loved one until help arrives.
For more information about how you can help keep your loved one safe from falls, we invite you to contact Martin Kamiel, our certified Aging-in-Place specialist. At David York Agency Home Healthcare, we have caring professionals who are here to help seniors and their families live happy, healthy lives.
David York Agency Understands the Importance of Fall Detection Tools for Seniors in Jamaica Estates
If the above information about fall detection tools has been useful, check out David York Agency’s blog for more articles about senior care in Jamaica Estates.
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