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Technology to Lower the Risk of Falls in Older Adults

By Patricia Schumacher, 9:00 am on

Each year in the United States, 33 percent of adults aged 65 and older experience a fall. Fall injuries typically range from minor to serious, which may require hospitalization and surgical interventions. However, by implementing fall prevention devices, 50 percent or more of these mishaps are preventable. Here are a few types of fall prevention technology devices to choose from. 

Motion Sensor Night Lights

These devices are ideal for older adults with limited vision or mobility. The miniature devices are easily mounted on walls and contain invisible infrared beams, which emit a signal up to 12 feet in length. When the device detects movement, an LED light immediately illuminates the area to prevent tripping and falling. The night lights come in a package of three and use AAA batteries. The unique mounting system enables users to adjust or move the lights as desired. 

Though fall prevention devices can be useful for seniors, professional in-home caregivers can assist them with a variety of daily tasks that cannot be managed by electronic devices. Rhode Island at-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Alarms with Magnetic Pull Cords 

The alarm’s base can mount on a headboard or the back of a wheelchair or be positioned in other areas. A cord features a magnet on one end that attaches to the front metal panel on the alarm. The other end of the cord features an alligator clip, which attaches to a senior’s garment. When the older adult attempts to stand or sits up in bed unaided, the magnet detaches from the alarm, which causes an audible sound. The alarm features an on/off switch, dual tones, and a volume adjustment, and the adjustable cord spans from 18 to 58 inches in length. Batteries and mounting materials come with each alarm. 

Sensor Pad Alarm Systems

These waterproof pressure pads come in different sizes to fit on the seats of chairs and wheelchairs. Larger pads are placed beneath bed linens. When an older adult rises from a chair or sits up in bed, pressure on the pad decreases, which triggers the audible sound from the attached alarm. These pads are a great option for caregivers looking for a nonrestrictive device that their loved one is less likely to turn off. The alarm base can be mounted to a headboard or the back of a chair as needed. 

Seat Belt Alarms 

Seat belt options are preferred for seniors who are unable to ambulate or require assistance with ambulation. The seat belt fastens around the older adult while in a sitting position. If he or she opens the belt, an alarm signals the need for assistance. 

Seniors with limited mobility may need more than just technological devices to prevent falls. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rhode Island seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Wireless Wander Alarms

Protecting seniors living with dementia from wandering is another fall-related concern. Wander prevention systems feature a motion detector and a wireless alarm. When an older adult comes within 15 feet of the device, the motion detector sends an infrared signal to the receiver, which then emits a bell, musical tone, or siren. The motion detector can be installed up to 120 feet away from the alarm, which prevents the senior from becoming startled or agitated.

Installing a few fall prevention devices is just one way to help your loved one stay safe. You might also consider hiring an in-home caregiver who can help with daily activities. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Rhode Island seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. Whether your loved one needs occasional help at home or extensive 24-hour care, give us a call at (401) 284-0979 today.