Keeping Seniors Safe at Home

 

According to the World Health Organization falls are a major public health problem globally. An estimated 684 000 fatal falls occur each year, making it the second leading cause of unintentional injury death, after road traffic injuries.  In the United States the CDC Trends in Falls among adults >65 ,in 2018 falls accounted for , an estimated 3 million emergency department visits, more than 950,000 hospitalizations or transfers to another facility (e.g., trauma center), and approximately 32,000 deaths resulted from fall-related injuries among older adults. Many fall risk factors increase with age, including chronic health conditions related to falls, increased use of medications, and functional decline. Many of these risk factors are out of in individuals ability to control, but conducting a home safety assessment and making some small changes in a seniors routine can decrease the risk. Our team of Care Managers/Aging Life Care Professionals  have been trained to conduct home safety assessments and make specific recommendations taking into account for chronic conditions and functional decline. Recommendations from a home safety assessment can decrease the possibility of falls and lessen the severity of the injury.  Many times, especially for seniors living alone, a falls alert system can be an important part of the plan.

What is a Fall Detection Device?
Before the introduction of fall detection technology, people who suffered a fall may have remained on the floor for hours before anyone learned that they needed help. Today, fall detection devices help reduce the risk of long-term injury by detecting a person’s abrupt change in position. The device calls for help even if the person is unable to do so themselves, signaling prompt emergency response to address the situation. Technology advances have increased the options significantly over the past 10 yrs. A Care Managers/Aging Life Care Professionals can help make recommendations which type would be the best fit, based on life style, functional limitations and preference. The two main types of technology are Wearable Sensor Devices and Ambient Sensor Devices.

  • Wearable Sensor Devices When a fall occurs, an accelerometer sensor embedded in a watch, pendant, belt or clip-on device detects the speed at which a person moves toward the ground. An algorithm determines if the person fell. If so, the device sends a signal to the manufacturer’s monitoring team. An agent then contacts the person through a speaker in the device. If the person confirms that they fell, the agent sends a notification to the person’s emergency contact listed in the system. If the person who potentially fell doesn’t respond, their emergency contact is notified automatically. Many wearable sensor devices also feature a manual button so the person can self-report a fall when able to do so.
  • Ambient Sensor Devices With ambient sensor devices, video cameras are placed strategically in a person’s home to track their movement. When the ambient sensors detect a fall, the monitoring service contacts the person through a speaker in the home. If the person confirms that they fell, the monitoring service agent sends a notification to the person’s emergency contact. When there is no response or feedback from the person who has fallen, their emergency contact is notified automatically.

Contact us for more information Home Safety Assessments you can do own your own and for information on Fall Alert systems from some of our favorite partners.