As we age our balance deteriorates, increasing the likelihood of falling. Since our bone strength also weakens, falling during our golden years can easily mean broken bones or head injuries. To help prevent this there are products like sock aids, and fall detection systems that automatically call for help when the user falls. But there is a specific protective gear that prevents serious brain injuries: head protectors. These aren’t just for the elderly, though. They’re for anyone who suffers from seizures, movement disorders (like head banging), muscular dystrophy, and other conditions that may lead to head injuries. Investing in head protective gear can keep wearers safe and help prevent a visit to the ER.
How To Choose Head Protective Gear for Older Adults
Head protective gear comes in all shapes and sizes, and is designed for different users. That’s why it’s essential to do thorough research before getting a head protector for your loved one.
The very first thing to consider is size. Since the helmet will be protecting the head, it’s important that you get one that is comfortable and stays in place. Typically, manufacturers provide various sizes with specific helmets for children and adults. So, you’ll have to measure your loved one’s head from the eyebrow level to the back of the head, and from the top of one ear to the top of the other.
Another aspect to bear in mind is the helmet’s shape, as you can get protective gear that offers partial or full coverage. While the former is better suited for users who just need an additional safety measure, the latter is ideal for people prone to sudden and unpredictable movements. Of course, the materials used in the helmet’s exterior and lining are also important. It’s best to get a head protector that combines these in a way that makes it sturdy enough to protect the user’s head but still comfortable for daily wear.
Finally, it’s time to think about style, as nobody likes to stand out in the crowd because of their medical helmet. Fortunately, there are many fashionable head protective helmets out there that look like baseball caps or beanies.
Recommended Protective Helmets for Seniors
Ribcap Protective Baseball Cap
The Ribcap Protective Baseball Cap is perfect for any senior who’s still active in the community. Although similar to a stylish baseball cap on the outside, this protective gear provides hidden inner protectors made of flexible viscoelastic to shield the head from injury. It’s made of waterproof and breathable materials, which are great for outdoor activities. Although it’s ideal for any senior who’s prone to falling, you can also get it for a loved one who suffers from autism, seizures, and other conditions that increase the likelihood of falling or head injuries. There are two different adjustable sizes available, and the cap comes in either silver, red, or navy. Prices start at $169 with free shipping in the U.S. except Hawaii and Alaska.
MOHEEN Safety Bump Cap With Reflective Stripes
At the more affordable price of $17.99, the MOHEEN Safety Bump Cap is an excellent solution for seniors who occasionally need extra head protection. Designed with dangerous jobs (such as welding, plumbing, and metalsmithing) in mind, this protective headgear comes with a resistant ABS plastic shell with foam padding. The cap's exterior is made of water-repellent polyester, and it's easy to remove for cleaning. The cap also offers additional reflective stripes, perfect for when it gets dark. It comes with an adjustable Velcro strap for all sizes and, although black is the only color available, you can choose between three different brim sizes.
Liineparalle Elderly Protective Hat
For as low as $37.09 with free shipping, the Liineparalle Elderly Protective Hat is a terrific solution for indoor use. The head protective gear offers side-ear coverage to guarantee 360-degree safety, and it's perfect for any senior who suffers from balance problems or fainting spells. Although the hat top is hollow to make it more breathable and comfortable, the material has shock absorption to reduce damage from head impacts. It's lightweight too, made of cotton and elastic sponge, and has a circumference size ranging from 22.4″ to 24″ and an ear protection length of 3.5″.
Why You Need Medical Helmets
When someone falls and hits their head on a hard surface, many types of trauma may happen. From concussions that can lead to seizures, to hematomas that can cause unconsciousness, brain pressure, and even death, head injuries are extremely serious. Although simple by nature, protective helmets are an efficient way to protect the wearer in these scary situations.
While it's common for athletes and motorcyclists to use protective helmets, this type of gear is also quite helpful for patients who suffer from specific health conditions. For example, people prone to seizures, self-abusive behavior, or any other illness with a risk of sudden falling usually wear medical helmets to be more secure on a daily basis.
But there's another group of people that can highly benefit from head protective gear – the elderly. Even if they don't suffer from any of the conditions previously mentioned, seniors are more prone to falling, as our balance and muscle strength deteriorate with age. On top of that, since our bone structure becomes weaker as we get older, the likelihood of getting life-changing injuries from a fall also increases. Consequently, if your loved one is already at an advanced age where falling starts to become more common, it's essential to get a medical helmet for utmost security.
Other Ways To Protect the Elderly From Falls
Head protection gear is great, but it only protects one part of the body. What about the rest? Bone fractures are common among the elderly and can lead to them being bedridden for the rest of their lives. That's why it's essential to not only get a medical helmet, but also to take all measures possible to decrease the probability of a fall, which includes getting other helpful items to protect the senior in case of an accident.
One of the easiest things to do is to remove all the objects that can lead to a fall in the home, such as rugs or low furniture. We also suggest getting bedside fall mats if your loved one has difficulties getting out of bed or is a restless sleeper. There are also bedside commode chairs for seniors who need to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, sock aids, and walking canes. Finally, since a fall can occur at any time of day or night, it's always worthwhile to invest in a medical alert system with fall detection that calls for help automatically.
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