Technology has already begun to change how people view aging.
While older adults were once forced to leave their homes once they reached a certain age, many more people are able to age in place by embracing new gadgets that promote independence. Over the years, technology has made it less likely for a senior to accidentally start a house fire or take the wrong medications. Now, they can use similar types of devices to also address the risk of falling in their homes.
Senior fall prevention must be a part of every older adult’s care plan. Not only are seniors simply at greater risk for falling in their home, but they are also more likely to experience long-term consequences that affect their quality of life. Severe falls in the elderly can leave them with broken bones or even lead to their death.
When you need a solution to preserve your loved one’s safety, all you need to do is start looking at the options that are available for home monitoring systems and devices that prevent falls in seniors.
Common Causes of Falls Experienced by Seniors
The risk of falling elderly people experience in their homes depends upon multiple factors. For instance, seniors with health conditions that affect their balance or mobility are naturally more likely to fall. Older adults with Parkinson’s disease may fall as they walk through their house if a sudden spasm in their leg causes them to stop moving abruptly. Alternatively, a senior with arthritis may find it difficult to move their joints fast enough to avoid an object in their path.
Your loved one’s general home layout also sets the stage for potential falls. Stairs can be hard for seniors to navigate, and falls tend to happen more often in areas with unlit walking paths. Simply trying to rush to the bathroom to avoid incontinence can also lead to falls.
Potential Consequences of Falling While Home Alone
Frail older people tend to not recover as well from a fall as someone might if they were younger. Sadly, even a minor fall can cause a senior with osteoporosis to break a bone that never fully heals. A hip fracture elderly patients receive is one of the most common fall-related injuries for older adults. Unfortunately, recovering from a hip fracture takes a long time, and many seniors require large amounts of assistance with even their most basic activities for months afterward.
A senior who lives alone may also be on the ground for hours to days before anyone notices that something is wrong. During this time, a senior may go without their medication, water or food. They may also have uncontrolled bleeding if they also experience a laceration. Since a senior’s prognosis depends upon how soon they receive help, home monitoring technology should be part of every fall prevention program.
Ways to Prevent Falls at Home
Families typically know to follow the basic protocols for fall prevention. By now, you’ve likely done things such as install handrails in the bathroom and put non-skid mats down in the kitchen.
Your loved one should also have a clear path through their hallways and living areas that are large enough to accommodate their mobility devices such as walkers. Your loved one should also be aware that they have people who will help them with tasks that require them to engage in unsafe behaviors. For instance, they should know who to call to change the lightbulbs in