The Elderly and Falling: Staying Safe with Independent LivingIt’s an unfortunate fact that, while people are enjoying longer and more fruitful lives overall, there are serious risks posed to elderly people due to their bodies continuously degrading over time. One of the biggest risks facing elderly individuals across the UK and Ireland is the risk of falling.
This year, one in three people over the age of 65 will sustain a potentially life-threatening fall. For those over the age of 80, the number is more staggering, and the falls are potentially more deadly.
We want to go over the fall risk posed to seniors, why it’s such a big deal to those living independently, and a solution to this problem that can allow seniors to maintain their independence safely.
The Risks of Falling and the Need for Immediate Help
Fall situations are extremely common, and they can create devastating situations for the elderly.
Unlike falling as a child, or when someone is in their prime, seniors face an increased chance of serious fractures, more substantial blood loss, concussions, or internal bleeding. This is largely caused by a lack of bone density, more fragile skin, and general degradation of the bodily integrity they had when they were young.
Those injuries are all extremely serious, and if they’re left unchecked, they can be deadly without the person even knowing that the situation is as bad as it is.
As such, it's important for seniors to get help as soon as possible when a fall occurs. Even if they feel as if their injuries are minor and they just need a bit of time to shake them off. A simple headache can be a concussion with life-threatening consequences, large patches of bruising might be internal bleeding that doesn't become obvious until it's too late, and a sore limb or bone might be a fracture that needs to be checked and wrapped immediately to prevent the development of worse issues.
How Living Alone can Make Falls Worse
Everyone wants to live independently, and as long as that’s a safe option, it should be something that seniors are allowed to do. However, independent living can make falls much worse; there’s no one around to help when a senior falls and can’t get themselves up, and it might be days before anyone outside of the home realises something is wrong. By then, the senior might succumb to wounds that could have easily been treated with immediate care.
How SOS Devices Help Seniors Stay Safe
A lot of the issues we mentioned above can be minimized with planning, a good sense of communication between family members and neighbours, and of course, having preemptive measures set up such as bathroom railings, staircase aids, and their home free of trip hazards. Knowing those key points is crucial for independent living. However, the risk of falling will always be present for seniors.
There is a solution; SOS devices can get help as soon as it’s required.
An SOS device is something that an elderly person can wear on their body, and when they fall, the device can be used to immediately contact help; whether the individual is able to stand up and reach a phone or not. Once the SOS is activated in an elderly falling situation, a service is contacted to dispatch help; how that help is received varies depending on the system.
An SOS system is important, because having something such as an SOS watch, means that elderly individuals can maintain independent living without worrying about a fall leaving them helpless until someone happens to stumble upon them. Help can be reached immediately, and the many life-threatening risks associated with elderly falling are minimized.
Nik for WatchOvers.com 22nd September 2022