There is an ongoing debate surrounding whether cats and dogs are beneficial for aging adults or not. Some people say that caring for the furry friends helps the elderly to stave off depression and their presence motivates the owners to live an active life. Others, however, point out that an animal in the household could increase the chance of tripping and falling. In defense of the pets, not every emergency is their fault; careless behavior just as easily leads to unnecessary injuries. Nevertheless, acknowledging the possible dangers of owning a pet is important for any senior considering one.
Pets Aren’t the Only Cause of Falling
According to a survey on fall-related injuries, roughly 87,000 people end up in a hospital on an annual basis because of their pets, with most victims over the age of 65. Tripping on a cat or making a wrong move while walking a large dog might have long-lasting consequences at a later age, with elderly victims more easily able to end up in the ambulance with broken bones or a fractured hip. But again, that doesn’t mean pets are imminent threats for seniors. On a yearly basis over 3 million adults are hospitalized because of falling, most of which occur in the bathroom or while doing household chores. When compared to the 87,000 patients who suffered a fall because of an animal, it becomes clear that pets aren’t the biggest source of danger.
Most Common Types of Pet Related Injuries
The size and nature of the household darling has a huge impact on the scenario. Playful puppies and kitties in particular are known to loaf around their owner’s ankles, which is very dangerous considering that seniors might find it harder to observe their surroundings because of poor vision. In this sense pets are like moving obstacles, and tripping on them in a cluttered room will easily lead to head injuries. The situation is tough enough even if the resident manages to keep their balance, but stepping on the cat’s tail or paw could prompt the poor creature to unwillingly scratch the elderly owner in self-defense.
Adopting a larger dog instead won’t solve the problem either. Overenthusiastic canines are strong enough to knock seniors over while running and holding them on a leash is anything but a walk in the park as the struggle to keep the animal in bay ends up causing arthritic problems. On top of all that taking care of a pet demands a lot of attention. Seniors might experience severe back injuries or fall to the ground while replenishing the pet’s bowl, picking up poop, or tripping on unattended toys.
Choosing the Right Pet May Save Lives
Mind you, going through the possible risks of pet ownership isn’t meant to demonize dogs and cats but to raise awareness. When chosen well, these companions can bring joy to a senior’s life and subsequently increase the owner’s life expectancy. First of all, don’t just adopt a stray animal purely out of heart, instead visit a pet store or a certified pet home. A disciplined dog with a pedigree won’t act erratically or harm the owner in any way, while there are cats that are trained to cheer up and care for patients struggling with depression.
Extra Safety Net With a Medical Alert Button
Being careful around pets and choosing a suitable, obedient companion will limit the risk of falling that comes with pet ownership, but it won’t guarantee the aging person’s safety. It’s better to be safe than sorry, which is why a reliable safety net goes a long way to preserving the senior’s wellbeing. Medical alert systems are ideal in this sense since they are easy to handle while also offering help at the press of a button. Should the elderly owner fall, then they would be at risk of becoming incapacitated or unconscious and as such reaching for the phone is out of question.
This is where fall detection technology comes into the picture. The highly sensitive pendant is capable of measuring the wearer’s status and sends an emergency signal after a fall is detected. Then a trained operator responds to the situation by dispatching the paramedics or notifying neighbors and family members. The fall detection is also implemented into mobile buttons so help can arrive even if the accident happens while out walking the dog.
Best Medical Alert Systems of 2019
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