There’s no doubt about it, falls in the elderly population are a major cause of injury and even death. The New York Times, ran an encouraging article that by incorporating relatively simple (and inexpensive technology) the number of falls can be reduced.
Using wireless sensors on clothes and strategically placed within rooms, scientists can monitor many different aspects that may be responsible for causing falls including: cardiovascular weakness, changes in medication, early stages of dementia and muscle degeneration.
The data from the sensors can be sent to a person’s doctor to help in monitoring overall health and their likelihood of falling with the goal of taking interventional steps before a fall occurs.
The technology seems to work. According to a recent study sponsored by the Technology Research for Independent Living, fall rates in a sample group of 60 to 94-year-olds were reduced by 30% when doctors used the sensor data to customize a rehabilitation and medication plan in accordance following data analysis.
With an annual cost of more than $75 billion per year, this fall-sensor technology may be a great investment for insurance companies and long-term care facilities because each unit costs less than $200– certainly less than a trip to the emergency room or surgically repairing a hip fracture.
Obviously, more research needs to be done, but this technology seems to be very encouraging from both a quality of life and economic standpoint.
Facts About Nursing Home Falls
- About 1800 people die each year due to falls in nursing homes
- 10 to 20% of nursing home falls result in serious injury
- 2 – 6% of falls result in fractured bones
- 3 out of 4 people living in a nursing home will fall this year
- Most people are ‘repetitive fallers’- After a first fall, there is a substantial likelihood that you will fall again
- Most falls go unreported
Nursing Home Law Center LLC represents individuals and families in claims and lawsuits against nursing homes and long-term care facilities across the country. If your loved one has suffered an injury or died in a fall, we are always available to discuss your legal options. (800) 926-7565