Must-Have Tech For Preventing Falls Among Seniors
If you’re a caregiver or senior care recipient, you know that falls are the most common cause of injuries among Canadian seniors. Unfortunately, few seniors discuss them with their doctors. But with the right medical alert system, Canada can do a lot to protect its aging population.
Until a few years ago, the most effective way to prevent falls among seniors was through enhanced care, increased attention, and environments. But recently, medical alert systems have equipped seniors and their caregivers with advanced technologies to prevent falls.
In other words, technology has come to the rescue. Using the latest, whether it’s alarms, sensors, monitoring systems, or fall detection algorithms, falls among senior citizens can be prevented..
Senior Fall Statistics In Canada
Even if you’re not a caregiver or an older adult, you should be interested in senior fall prevention because it could happen to your parents, grandparents, or senior relatives. One reason why there should be more awareness about senior falls and their consequences is that it’s more common than most people think.
20 percent. That’s the percentage of senior citizens in Canada who are believed to experience a fall every year. Remember that this is based on the reported incidents. Several fall-related incidents go unreported because older adults may not want to trouble their physicians or families.
Mostly women. Among senior Canadian citizens who report fall injuries, 39 percent are men while 61 percent are women.
Persistent fear. Close to 35 percent of seniors in Canada are worried about a future fall that has significant consequences. Ironically, the fear of falls might lead to more falls.
The leading cause of hospitalizations: Almost 85 percent of all hospitalizations related to injury among seniors are due to falls.
Why Is Senior Fall Prevention In Canada Important?
Unlike injuries for other segments of the population, a mere fall can have debilitating effects on those above the age of 60 and acutely for those over 70. There are three fundamental reasons why fall detection systems, medical alerts, and emergency response for senior citizens have become important.
A fall can cause serious injuries. The first reason is that it can lead to serious brain or head injuries. Even if the injuries are not life-threatening, they can result in cuts and fractures. These will immobilize senior citizens and make it exceptionally difficult for them to do their routine chores.
It can create fear. The second reason has to do with fear. Seniors who have experienced a fall would be acutely fearful of another incident. This will prevent them from necessary movements within their houses and outside. They will be afraid of taking the stairs, going to the bathroom when necessary, and even stepping out of their homes.
It limits social interactions. It will also seriously limit their social engagements. Without active daily routines, social interactions with friends and family are of immense significance to older adults. Fearful of falling on the way, at someone’s house, or at a public space, they would avoid these much-needed engagements which could result in psychological problems.
Three Technological Solutions For Fall Preventions
So what can a caregiver, senior care recipient, or a family member do to prevent falls? How can you use technology to make the lives of senior citizens in Canada safer? What are the effective and functional ways to ensure that older adults don’t have to worry about falling down? For starters, these three things could be of immense help.
Light It Right With Smart Bulbs
Before getting to advanced fall detection technology or automatic fall detection, it helps to take care of the basic problems with readily available and easily implementable technology. One of the more common causes of falls among seniors is insufficient lighting. It could be in the hallway, in the stairs, or in the garage.
You should use brighter light bulbs on all areas that have inadequate lighting. Ensure that you check the brightness of the bulbs in the dark to see how efficient they will be. Along with those, look for smarter bulbs with motion sensors that will come on when they sense any movement. These will also vary their brightness according to the ambient light.
Importantly, you’ll also be able to manage them with a remote control. So, you won’t have to look for the switch which might increase the chances of a fall. With a single remote control kept at your bedside, you’ll be able to switch on and off all the smart bulbs at your place.
Consider A Stairlift
With poorer vision and insufficient lighting, stairs can be a significant cause of senior falls. A technological solution to that is not to redo the staircase in itself but install a stairlift. These can easily take you up and down without having to worry about falls, accidents, or related injuries.
Beyond preventing accidents, stairlifts will also give senior citizens more spaces to access in their homes. Now they will be able to go to the floor above and enjoy the view from the window or the balcony. If it’s to the attic, they will be able to utilize that space for recreational activities, hobbies, or social engagements.
Get A Medical Alert System With Fall Detection
In case of a fall, especially if it’s down the stairs or in the bathroom, you won’t be able to call or notify others. In most cases, you will have to wait for someone to find you or wait until you somehow regain the strength to make the call.
But those initial moments are extremely crucial. That delay will determine whether the injury is treatable or life-threatening.
Medical alert systems or personal emergency response systems (PERS) enable senior citizens to alert others in case of a medical emergency. They can even immediately alert others if they detect a fall. These are life-saving devices that all senior citizens living alone should have. They will also learn from your usual movements for better prediction capability.
Conclusion & Recommendation
A fall can make senior citizens physically and emotionally weak. If it’s a serious injury, it can even be life-threatening or might need long-term care. For medical alert systems to help you in preventing these accidents, it would be tremendously helpful to seek the help of technology. Using these technological solutions will go a long way in prevent falls and avoiding critical injuries.