Dec 09, 2019
Falls in people 65 and older are serious and costly, sending many to the emergency room and often leading to lengthy hospital stays and procedures. Believe it or not, 95% of hip fractures are caused from falling and falls are also the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries. Even falls that don’t cause any physical damage can cause emotional distress, preventing those affected from doing select day to day tasks that may seem risky; this lowered activity level inadvertently causes weakened muscles, which can lead to more falls. And, worse, yet, falling once doubles your chances of falling again.
All of that to ask, how can you safely age in place and prevent losing your independence too soon? Keep reading for our suggestions as we want you to remain healthy in your home for as long as possible!
Prevent Falls Away from Home: CDC’s STEADI Initiative
To help, STEADI has put together tools and resources for caregivers - anything from basic information on falls to fall prevention algorithms to information on medications linked to falls. They can also look at the patient’s gait and assess balance. To boot, there are some electronic health record systems that have been early adopters of STEADI, which makes it easier for clinicians to identify high-risk patients. Be armed with this knowledge on your next trip to the doctor!There are programs and techie tools that can help with this aging in place! The first is the Center for Disease Controls’ STEADI Initiative. STEADI stands for “stopping elderly accidents, deaths and injuries” and it’s directed at healthcare workers, arming them with the tools designed to help you prevent falls. STEADI’s three principles are to screen, assess and intervene. What is a patient’s fall risk? Are there any modifiable risk factors? And how can they intervene?
Prevent Falls At Home with Your Smart Home & Smartphone
There are many tools designed to help prevent falls and other accidents while at home such as walk-in tubs, stair lifts, cleaning services and the like. Those types of aides are helpful but to fully allow you to “age in place” while your loved ones keep an eye on things from a distance, consider implementing smart-home technology.
The latest technology allows you the independence of easily taking care of many of your own tasks such as shutting off the lights, setting the burglar alarm, turning down the furnace and locking the doors, all with the swipe of a finger on your smartphone. If you don’t feel comfortable with the technology or would like your loved ones to be able to help you with these day to day tasks, they can also use an app with your permission. Plus, if necessary, they can easily check in on you.
Total ConnectTM 2.0: The Remote Control for Your Smart and Connected Home
The app is Resideo’s Total ConnectTM 2.0 and we couldn’t be any more excited about the features and how they will enhance your lives! With the app and the right equipment, you and your loved ones, at any time, can...
- See, hear and speak to nurses or home health aides on the premises, and take a screenshot of video activity – all from the same screen.
- Monitor hallways, staircases and doors with live video.
- Be notified if a bathtub or toilet overflows, or if an extreme temperature has been sensed.
- Help keep seniors feeling safer and more comfortable with remote access to adjust thermostats, turn the lighting on or off, and lock the doors at night.
- Receive alerts if no activity is taking place during a specific time frame, helping ensure seniors are up and moving around their home.
- Integrate with Amazon Alexa (in some cases).
These features are exciting because they allow for independence for you and peace of mind for your family (or for you if you are away while your elderly spouse is home). The options are seemingly endless with smart locks, lights, thermostats and garage doors. The snowbirds love it too since they’re only inhabiting a home for part of the year. Many of them will also sync up with Video Doorbell and Medial Alert, as well.
If you have any questions about how to prevent falls and “age in place,” you can speak to your healthcare providers. We’d love to team up with you from a technology standpoint so that there are fewer things to worry about, leaving more time to have fun! Contact us for more information.