Understanding The Role Of Assistive Devices In Fall Prevention

Understanding The Role Of Assistive Devices In Fall Prevention

In Canada, falls are the #1 cause of injury in older adults. According to the Government of Canada, 20-30% of seniors experience one or more falls each year, with 50% of falls at home resulting in injury and causing hospitalization. If you find these statistics alarming, this is but a fragment of the dangers presented by falls.

Luckily, falls are preventable. Taking the right actions and precautions can reduce the chances of falls, whether at home or outside. Through advancements in technology, assistive devices have also been instrumental in helping to reduce the percentage of life-threatening fall-related injuries while providing confidence and a sense of independence to seniors living at home.

If you have a senior loved one(s) living at home and are wondering how assistive devices can help with fall prevention, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we will understand the role of assistive devices in fall prevention and their benefits. We will also provide other tips and strategies to help reduce the chances of falls for seniors living at home

What Are Assistive Devices? What Role Do They Play In Fall Prevention?

In its broadest sense, assistive devices are tools and technologies that help an individual with a disability perform a task they would otherwise find challenging. Examples of assistive devices include wheelchairs, canes, prostheses, hearing and visual aids, medication reminders and dispensers, automatic fall detection software and hardware, and much more.

In this article, we will strictly look at senior fall detection devices, as these can be instrumental in reducing the chances of serious injury caused by a fall. We will understand how these devices work and whether they are effective and worth it. However, before we do that, let’s first understand what constitutes a fall.

A fall is any event that causes a person to experience a loss of balance and an unintentional change in body position from a higher plane to a lower one. At the moment, falls are the leading cause of injury in adults over 65. It is a global public health issue with reportedly 684,000 fatalities a year, making it the second leading cause of accidental injury and death.

Even if falls do not result in injury, they can be psychologically damaging. The fear of falling can negatively impact the quality of life of seniors by limiting their participation in activities and social gatherings. Physically limiting movement, activities, and socialization because of the fear of falling can lead to physical decline, social isolation, mental illnesses, feelings of helplessness, and other medical problems in older adults.

Assistive devices, such as the senior fall detection devices offered by Northwood Intouch, are designed to detect falls automatically and call for help immediately, even if you can’t call yourself. This discreet and lightweight device comes with a range of wearable options and offers 24/7 constant fall prevention care automatically.

So, while automatic fall detection doesn’t physically prevent falls, it does ensure that caregivers and the nearest emergency response center are notified immediately in the event of a fall.

Most serious injuries when it comes to falls occur because help arrives too late. Our assistive devices for fall prevention ensure help is dispatched immediately and proper medical attention is provided as quickly as possible to limit the chances of any serious injury from occurring. 

More importantly, our devices allow seniors to live their lives with confidence, knowing that if anything were to happen to them, help is never too far away. By offering two layers of protection, a panic button and a sensor that automatically detects a fall, a help call can be made automatically, even if the user is unconscious. The device also has a two-way speaker for hands-free communication between the subscriber and the emergency response operator.     

Who Can Benefit From Assistive Devices In Fall Prevention?

Automatic fall detection devices can provide significant benefits to individuals who are:

  • 65 years of age or older
  • Disabled or susceptible to falls
  • Becoming progressively less stable
  • Recently discharged from hospital
  • Have existing medical conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson's, MS, or diabetes
  • On prescription drugs such as sleeping pills, blood pressure pills, painkillers, etc.
  • Seniors living alone at home

In short, anyone who is at risk of falling can benefit from wearing an automatic fall-detection device on them at all times. This assistive device is made to be lightweight, waterproof, and discreet so that it can be worn 24/7 without causing any discomfort.

Tips & Strategies To Help Reduce Risk Of Injury Due To Falls In Seniors

While assistive devices such as automatic fall detection units are great at fall injury prevention and post-fall prevention, other strategies and tips can also be used to help reduce the risk of fall-related injuries especially when it comes to pre-fall prevention and cross-fall prevention.

Here are some of our top tips and strategies that can help reduce the chances of falls and also limit the risks of serious injury.

  1. Stay active and exercise regularly. Stronger muscles and bones make you less susceptible to fall-related injuries. 
  2. Fall-proof a senior’s home. Remove any unwanted furniture, wires, and other obstacles that could cause someone to trip. Install railing on any stairs and in the washroom.
  3. Ensure that eyesight and hearing are tested regularly as even small changes in vision and hearing can greatly enhance the risks of falls.
  4. Make sure to get enough sleep and be aware of any side effects caused by any medication that you may be taking.
  5. Don’t smoke or drink alcohol.
  6. Stand up and sit down slowly.
  7. Tread carefully on wet or slippery surfaces 
  8. Always use proper footwear that fully supports your feet, is non-skid, and is low-heeled.
  9. Always keep your hands free so in case you do slip or lose balance you can use them to cushion your fall.
  10. Use assistive devices such as walkers and canes

Assistive Fall Prevention Devices & Senior Care Services In Nova Scotia - Northwood Intouch!

To learn more about how assistive devices can lower the risk of falls and fall-related injuries give us a call at +1 (902) 492-3346 or email us at intouch@nwood.ns.ca

Understanding The Role Of Assistive Devices In Fall Prevention