With more than one in four adults over the age of 65 experiencing a fall every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s no wonder that so much attention has been focused around developing and perfecting various tools and technologies that can be used to ensure a senior’s safety should they ever fall. And while medical alert systems have long been an effective tool in doing so, a recent development has successfully transformed the medical alert system industry: automated fall detection. However, this technology still has yet to be fully accepted by the senior community due to many of them being unaware of the full range of benefits fall detection pendants offer, that go well beyond simply saving lives after falls occur.
How Fall Detection Works
Fall detection technology is comprised of a few different technological advancements. Despite looking like an ordinary medical alert pendant, fall alert devices combine software and sensors that identify the wearer’s movements. If these sensors detect motion changes that signal a fall, the emergency response center is automatically called. This way, even an unconscious or incapacitated patient receives immediate help.
The advanced technology also ensures that the button won’t be triggered by everyday situations. Doing some gardening or lying down in bed won’t cause a false alarm because the sensors are smart enough to pick up signs of an innocent activity.
Beyond Falls: Uses for Fall Detection
Although fall detection is commonly associated with tripping or falling over something, there are many other factors that could lead to a person collapsing. People suffering from certain medical conditions live in constant fear of falling because a fall would render them helpless and unable to call for help. Not to mention the serious injuries elderly patients suffer from hitting the ground, which can lead to prolonged stays in the hospital.
Luckily, fall detection was specially designed for those who suffer from certain medical conditions that increase the risk of falling. Some of those conditions include:
- Parkinson’s disease: those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease often experience dizziness, slow movement, stiffness, and a loss of balance.
- Diabetes: even if diabetics have their diabetes under control, it’s not uncommon to experience diabetic shock or even fainting spells, both of which can lead to severe injuries should you fall.
- Multiple sclerosis: although MS causes many different symptoms, some of the most common symptoms include vision loss, impaired coordination, weakness, and muscle paralysis.
- Epilepsy: those with epilepsy experience frequent seizures, which often result in a loss of consciousness.
It doesn’t matter whether your beloved family member is an independence-seeking senior or is diagnosed with one of these serious medical conditions; equipping them with a fall detection medical alert system provides security and peace of mind for both you and your loved one.
The Flaws of Fall Detection Technology
While fall detection is a great tool that further ensures your safety, there is, unfortunately, no such thing as 100%, fail-proof fall detection. A fall alert button is considered to have a 95% accuracy rate in detecting falls, as certain conditions may mislead the sensors and trigger an alarm when there wasn’t actually a fall. Because this technology is designed to detect drastic height changes, it may also miss more subtle ones.
Due to this slight inaccuracy rate, it is advised to manually press the help button if possible, in an emergency. Unfortunately, if someone is hit with an epileptic seizure or loses consciousness, they won’t be able to do so. This is why it is crucial to pick a quality medical alert system that has the most advanced fall detection technology proven to detect falls with the highest accuracy.
Guardian Angels in Monitoring Centers
Although it’s undeniably important, the ability to notify others about a seizure or fall isn’t all about the fall detection feature in a medical alert system. The real reason why it is recommended is because patients are connected to a team of professional monitoring agents, who ensure that the person in peril receives the right assistance. These agents have the user’s entire medical history on file, so when they receive an emergency signal, they’ll know what kind of medical conditions the patient suffers from.
In addition to sending paramedics, the monitoring staff also stays on the line, calming the patient down. Moreover, an alert button’s two-way communication capabilities allow the medical monitoring professionals to instruct bystanders on how to help someone suffering a seizure or who has fainted. In other words, they act as the wearer’s guardian angel from afar.
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