Fall Detection Devices: What Are They?

ELIZA MOYER

Fall detection devices are fantastic apparatuses worn by users at risk of falling who need immediate attention in the event of an accident. They are perfect for older adults living independently.

The device instantly activates if someone falls, alerting the Control Center. The center will then dispatch someone to assess the situation and provide the necessary medical care. 

If you or your loved one are unstable on your feet and fear falling down when alone, you could benefit from one of these devices. Here’s all you need to know about fall protection technology.

What is a Fall Detection Device and How Do They Work?

Fall detection devices have automatic fall detection built into their alert system. Depending on the model, you’ll wear the device around the neck or waist regardless of what activities you’re doing at home. They’re suitable to use when relaxing on the sofa, sleeping, or even while showering.

There are some fall detection systems you don’t need to wear on your person. Thanks to the advancement in modern technology, some devices use a low-power radio wave technology that monitors the user’s movement within a particular zone. If you fall within the detection device area, these waves pick up the motion and alert the Control Center of a potential accident.

Fall detection devices are also installed with detection sensors to decipher between regular movement and a fall. They do this by continually measuring the speed of motion from all directions.

How Do Fall Detection Devices Benefit Seniors?

Fall detection devices can be highly beneficial to the elderly community. Falls are the top cause of broken hips and head injuries in adults 65+. Diabetes is another contributor to accidents where low blood sugar and glucose levels cause weakness and other conditions that can increase the risk of falling. 

Fall-related injuries among seniors are not uncommon. Fall detection devices are becoming a popular way to keep seniors safer, and in some cases, they can even be life-saving.

If your elderly loved one has a fall that results in injury or unconsciousness, their chances of survival dramatically increase with the use of fall detection technology. Without a device, your loved one could remain on the floor, unable to move or call for help, potentially worsening their injuries and limiting their chance of recovery. 

How to Tell if Your Loved One Requires a Fall Detection Device

Not all seniors living alone may want or need this security measure. To determine whether your loved one would benefit from a fall detection device, answer these questions:

  • Does your loved one live alone?
  • Have you or anyone else in your family witnessed your loved one fall?
  • Does your loved one shuffle rather than picking their feet up to take full steps?
  • Does your loved one have trip hazards throughout their home, for example, uneven floors, rugs, furniture obstacles, etc.?
  • Does your loved one have to climb the stairs regularly?
  • If so, do they seem unsteady on their feet when going up and down?
  • Does your loved one require help stepping into the bathtub to take a shower?
  • Does your loved one have a pre-existing medical condition, for example, diabetes, that would make them prone to dizziness and fainting spells?
  • Does your loved one live in a location that is known for slippery outdoor winter conditions?
  • Has your loved one previously fallen?

After reviewing these questions, you should have a clearer sense of whether your loved one would benefit from a fall detection device. Depending on what areas of the home they feel most vulnerable in, there are different features you can look for in the ideal fall detection device.

What Other Features Should You Look Out For in a Fall Detection Device?

If you’re looking for a more advanced device, try looking out for models that have these additional beneficial features:

The Two-Way Voice Feature

Two-way voice systems are robust alert systems that allow device users to speak hands-free to the trained Control Center dispatchers. This feature enables the dispatchers to gather information in the event of a fall and take appropriate action. The feature also helps to keep your loved one calm until the emergency services arrive on the scene.  

Wireless and Waterproof

Some seniors struggle to get in and out of the bathtub, especially if they don’t have a walk-in model. If your loved one requires the falling device for getting in and out of the shower, it’s essential you invest in one that is not only wireless but waterproof, too. If your loved one has an accident while showering, their waterproof device alerts the Control Center immediately.

Activity Monitoring

This feature is great if you live far away from your loved one and you’re unable to check on them regularly. The activity monitoring feature ensures the user moves around daily by checking in on their movement every 12 hours.

If the device doesn’t pick up any movement, it will alert the Control Center, allowing them to check on the user.

Medication Reminder

This is another handy feature that reminds your loved one to take their medication. All you have to do is program an alert to the device with the number of pills they need to take at a specific time.


Invest in a Fall Detection Device

Fall detection devices are extremely beneficial to the user, providing a sense of comfort and security. They are especially valuable for vulnerable seniors who live independently but are unsteady on their feet and fear being left alone, undiscovered after a fall. Detection devices can also give the senior person’s family daily peace of mind, knowing that an actionable solution is in place if a fall does occur. 

From alerting the Control Center in the event of a fall to giving you the assurance that your loved one will instantly receive help in an emergency, investing in one of these systems can be life-saving. There is a vast array of styles, features, and prices on the market, so you and your loved one can choose a model that best suits their budget and your needs.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eliza Moyer is a highly trained, task oriented disaster relief specialist. Her decades of personal experience and training (including a Master’s degree in Emergency Management) have been bent toward prevention and preparedness for her clients, reducing the casualties and cleanup time needed after disasters.

eliza moyer //  Emergency Expert


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