Falls in the home are uncomfortably common, especially among at-risk older adults. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), falls are “the second leading cause of accidental or unintentional injury deaths worldwide” (2019).
There are approximately 37.3 million falls per year that are severe enough to require medical attention and older adults over the age of 65 suffer the greatest risk or such falls (https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/falls).
Cause of Falls In The Elderly?
Let’s break it down into a few risk factors:
- Life Happens- Adults of any age with the most pristine medical record still fall. Accidents happen despite our best efforts to prevent such incidences.
- Unsupportive Home Environment- Falls can occur simply because a residence is messy or cluttered. Throw rugs, slippery floors, high thresholds, junk all over the floor, small pets, and so on disrupts a healthy clearing of walkways and can become tripping hazards.
- Balance Issues- Older adults accumulate problems with standing and sitting balance due to a number of reasons (i.e. age, medical conditions, post-surgical conditions, fatigue, dizziness, joint and muscle changes, etc.). Lack of optimal balance without the right medical equipment (i.e. cane, walker, wheelchair) can equate to an increased number of falls.
- Postural Difficulties- Spinal malformations, hunched posture, or any other postural position that is out of the norm impacts both balance and vision. Thus, poor posture can contribute to falls in the home.
- Reduced Vision.- It’s no mystery that many older adults have reduced vision because of the natural aging process. Unfortunately, unaddressed vision deficits can lead to more falls in the home as well. This is especially a problem when older adults get up and walk at night without the light on.
- Reduced Endurance- As adults age, getting up and moving around can be growingly exhausting. Fatigue, reduced muscle mass, and poor breathing can increase chances for falls in the home just because a lack of endurance can so badly impact movement.
- Vertigo or Light Headedness- Light headedness can be simply caused by standing up too quickly, causing circulatory changes that make an individual dizzy.
- Medical Episodes- This can include heart attacks, stroke, sudden severe pains, respiratory failure, and diabetic episodes are just a handful of medical episodes that can lead to falls just because the affected individual loses voluntary control and awareness of their body.
- Cognitive Deficits. Persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, traumatic brain injury, or with conditions that reveal trauma or break down of brain tissue are at serious risk for falls in the home due to reduced judgment, poor decision making, reduced safety awareness, and impulsivity.These are individuals who may attempt to walk around a home more than they should, forget their walker or other ambulatory advice, attempt transfers or other mobility transitions that are unsafe (i.e. using the stairs, using the shower without help, etc.).
- Lack of Safety Equipment- This pertains to older adults who have already obtained a lengthy history of falls, and they are not preventing future falls because they lack the proper equipment at home. This can include ambulatory equipment, adaptive equipment, and fall alarms.
Why You Should Use A Fall Alarm Alert System To Prevent Falls at Home
Let’s talk about the last bullet point in regards to an innovative product called HomeSafe with AutoAlert . There are no other fall alarms on the market like this and here’s why:
- Water-Resistant Pendant- The fall button is accessible at the touch of a finger and can be worn around the neck for any activity. More importantly, the pendant can be worn in the bathroom and in the shower where many falls occur.
- In-Home Communicator- The communicator works like a speaker phone so that when the button is pressed, a call is immediately made to the Response Center where associates are prepared to assist you.
- Two-Way Communication- The communicator provides a two-way communicator so that you can converse with one of the Response Centers emergency-trained employees who can phone for additional medical and emergency services for you.
- AutoAlert Fall Detection- This is probably the most unique highlight of this product. The system has a built-in fall detection so that in the event that the user can’t push the fall button for any reason, AutoAlert alerts the response center if the system detects a fall in the home. This is essential for older adults who black out or are knocked unconscious during a fall.
Furthermore, this is a convenient feature for adults with cognitive decline who will not even think about using the pendant to ask for help.
- Wide-Range Operation- You can use AutoAlert just about anywhere in your home. The pendant can signal to the communicator from long range distances just as long as it’s within operation range.What makes the HomeSafe with AutoAlert System so much better than your typical fall alarm or a typical cellphone? It ensures a wide range of safety measures that no other fall safety product can.
The system accounts for persons who rely heavily on others for help or who live alone. The fall detection feature is vital for individuals who cannot independently push the fall button on their pendant or who forget to place the pendant around their neck. The same can be said for other fall alarm pendants and cellphones: older adults at times will forget to wear or pocket either item.
The HomeSafe with AutoAlert System is worth the money because of its 24-hour safety assurance and it puts users and caregivers at ease about not IF falls happen, but WHEN falls happen.
Phillips Lifeline has a fully-staffed, multi-lingual Response Center that is always ready to take your call. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, professionally trained staff is ready to help in any situation.
Research and look into this system today and consult with a medical professional to see if it’s right for you or your loved one.
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