As Canadians live longer and healthier, we feel capable and self-sufficient, and want to continue living in our own homes, but the fact is that about one in three of those over 65 fall every year, and half of those people can’t get up by themselves. That creates an extreme risk of debilitating or fatal injury.
Every year more than 1.4 million Canadian seniors fall, and for many of them calling for help on a telephone isn't possible if they can’t move or are disoriented or unconscious from the fall. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, falls account for more than half of all injuries among Canadians 65 years and over. One third of community-dwelling Canadian seniors experience one fall each year and half of those will fall more than once. Tragically, the likelihood of dying from a fall-related injury increases with age; among seniors, 20% per cent of deaths related to injury can be traced back to a fall.
Every senior needs a plan to reduce their risk of falls. Here are a few tips to seniors:
- Exercise regularly to improve leg strength and balance. Tai Chi programs are good for this, but always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise regime.
- Review all medicines used - prescription and over-the counter -- to identify those that may cause dizziness or drowsiness, alone or in combination.
- Have your eyes checked by an eye doctor at least once a year; update glasses for best vision.
- Reduce tripping hazards at home; add grab bars inside and outside the tub or shower and next to the toilet; add railings on both sides of stairways; improve lighting.
- Consider installing a medical alarm to ensure you are able to get help as soon as possible.
A recent survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 73 or older, found that being able to live independently is a top priority for 95 per cent of respondents. However, seniors often overestimate their ability to deal with a fall, which can have tragic consequences. An alarming number of seniors are at risk of becoming helpless following a fall, even though 86 per cent of respondents assume they will be able to reach and use a telephone after a fall. Another 10 per cent said they would get up by themselves or yell for help.
To reduce the harm from falling, it’s essential to get help as soon as possible. A medical alert service provides peace of mind, while enabling seniors to live independently. The Health Care Personal Safety device is an easy-to-use personal response device that allows you to summon help any time of the day or night - even if the person is not able to speak. It works by the user pressing the Personal Help Button, worn as a pendant, which immediately alerts a 24/7 Monitoring Center, along with sending out email and text messages to pre-defined contacts. Using GPS coordinates, your exact location will be provided at the same time, no matter whether you are inside or outside a building, allowing for a quick and immediate response.
The Health Care Personal Safety device gives seniors and those with chronic medical conditions the security and confidence to continue to live independently at the one place they feel most comfortable - their own home. There are many factors that can increase the risk of falls which are important to assess when thinking about the safety of our loved ones, such as how long they are in the home by themselves each day, whether they have certain medical ailments such as a heart condition or diabetes, if they require regular medication, or whether they require a cane or other assistive devices. People who are vulnerable need to know that no matter what, someone will always be looking out for them.
For more information on the Health Care Personal Safety device, contact Blackridge Solutions at: (778) 686-5799 or firstname.lastname@example.org (www.BlackridgeSolutions.com)