How Medical Alert for Seniors Protects the Elderly from Accidental Falls

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Published: 07th November 2012
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The absolute importance of having a reliable medical alert system in place can be understood in the context of a leading killer among the elderly: accidental elderly falls. There is a convoluted explanation why more and more elderly people seem to be dying from falls, but the understanding of many scientists and medical researchers boils down to a simple proposition: the longer we live, the frailer we get. This frailty means that one single, very small mistake—a miscalculated step on the stairs perhaps, or failing to notice that the floor is wet and slippery—can be fatal. Less and less older people are dying from chronic diseases such as heart disease or cancer, thanks to continuing improvements in health care. However, this longevity exposes the elderly to the said “quicker” cause of death.

At 65 years of age or older, an individual stepping on a banana peel is no longer funny—in fact, it takes on a deadly character. A simple accident like that could be catastrophically destructive to aged bones and tissue. The prognosis worsens in the presence of underlying medical conditions, such as osteoporosis. Indeed, if we check out the statistical data from the past decade or so, thousands of older adults died as a direct result of an accidental fall, than from any other type of injury.

As if death-related data are not enough to push our thesis, there is also statistics from emergency departments: in a single year alone, millions of people in the USA were treated for “luckier” nonfatal injuries related to an accidental elderly fall. The significance of such data can be further understood with the fact that more and more senior citizens opt to stay and live in their own homes rather than in a special home for the aged. It appears that we still value our autonomy and the comfort of familiar surroundings and will gladly choose them over having to live in a special home for seniors.

That is why getting the services of a reliable medical alert system is more than necessary to complement the choice of staying and living at home. Senior citizens who live alone are at a particularly greater risk for elderly falls, and with no one around to immediately attend to them in case such an accident occurs, the chances of survival dips to zero.

Against this backdrop, the invention of the medical alert system can perhaps be considered a “Godsend” for many senior citizens. In the event of a fall, especially when there’s no one else around to witness it, the medical alert can instantly notify the relevant medical response teams to come to the elderly person’s aid. Most wearable medical alert systems have sensors that detect if a fall has taken place.

Well, aside from getting a reliable medical alert system to ensure the round-the-clock monitoring of an elderly person’s whereabouts and other health-related concerns, there are also several proactive measures the elderly can perform to avoid accidental falls. The most obvious, of course, is maintaining physical fitness. The less frail you are, the less likely you might slip or fall. The usual prescription of exercising regularly applies to this: choose exercise programs whose specific fitness targets include enhancing your sense of balance, improving your agility, and restores your alertness and strength. Exercise programs that involve deep breathing exercises are also good.

If the elderly person is taking maintenance medication, have their doctor review the medication for possible replacement with alternatives that cause minimal side-effects. Most medications taken by the elderly may cause dizziness and the occasional nausea.

And most importantly, you should “fall-proof” your home. Reassess the layout of your house and try to identify accident-prone turns or areas, and do something to make such areas safer for the elderly. Improve the lighting conditions, for instance. Or increase the friction of the floors.

In the end, an efficient medical alert can give a senior citizen and their loved ones peace of mind. Although no one can entirely eliminate the possibility of elderly falls, at least we should exhaust all measures to prevent it from occurring. And if such an unfortunate accident does occur, you can maintain your peace of mind with a medical alert for seniors.

About Rescue Alert of California™
Rescue Alert of California™ has been enabling senior citizens to live safe, happy and independent lives through education and quality medical alerts for over a decade. They offer EMD certified responders available 24 hours a day, and the peace of mind that comes with knowing that help is available at the push of a button. For more information, please visit the Rescue Alert of California website.

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