Technology To Help Prevent Falls
Technology To Help Prevent Falls
After our recent visit to the fantastic ORCACON conference, it became very apparent just how important fall prevention solutions were in the senior care industry. It was even mentioned that “# of falls” being one of the most important metrics that homes measured (specifically heard this from Thomas Wellner, CEO of Revera). Here is our short guide to some technology that can help keep seniors stay safe and minimize the damage from falls.
There is now technology that is able to track a senior’s movements, detect patterns and balance issues before a fall occurs! This leads to new possibilities when it comes to using technology for fall prevention. For example, those with balance issues can be quickly referred for physical therapy when balance issues appear or worsen. This also opens up new opportunities for technology, such as virtual reality, to help with fall prevention. A recent study in Nature Scientific Reports showed that virtual reality could be useful to analyze impairments in a person’s balance, even impairments that may not even be visible when walking, and teach those with balance problems on how to avoid falls!
We also came across an interesting product at ORCACON (one of the Dragon’s Den finalists) called BalancePro which claim to clinically prove they can reduce falls by 44%!
In Canada, there are multiple innovations on the horizon and some already available when it comes to injury minimization. For example, PRED-FALL is developing technology that will help prevent injury should a fall take place. Their “compliant flooring” acts in a way which, when an object strikes the floor columns with force, can compress and can realign afterward. This absorbs much of the force of a fall, thus preventing or minimizing injury. It is even suggested that “you can actually drop an egg on it and the egg bounces back.”
Some Simple Reminders Of How You Can Help Prevent Falls
We have little doubt that new technology will revolutionize Canadian healthcare by preventing and minimizing injuries from falls in the coming years. However, it’s also important to remember the basics when it comes to preventing falls.
Here’s our quick list:
- Tidy up clutter.
- Use non-slip mats, particularly in areas prone to moisture such as bathrooms and kitchens.
- Survey the environment seniors frequently visit for trip hazards such as leads, wires, out-of-place furniture, etc.
- Wear footwear with a grip around the house because socks can be slippery. Many slippers are now far more effective at providing grip and are a good alternative to outdoor shoes indoors.
- Encourage the practice of exercise. Staying physically healthy can dramatically minimize the chance of falling from lack of balance or strength.
- Keep the home well lit.
Always have a plan
Remember, there is no way of 100% guaranteeing that a fall will not happen. Therefore, it’s important to have a back-up plan should one occur. We recommend seniors always carrying a charged phone around with them, and/or an emergency button that can be pressed to notify the correct person when assistance is required. There is also technology emerging that can detect when a senior has fallen on their own and sends out an emergency signal!
We’re passionate about staying up to date with new technology. Want to see more about what we do and how our technology is revolutionizing the senior care industry? Check out our various solutions here!