Medical Alert Systems
Most of us have seen commercials showing an older person falling and not being able to get up, or even crawl to the phone. They’re only able to call desperately for help, apparently unheard by anyone. The commercials may be over dramatized or not, but the message is, as they say, spot on! A medical alert system with you all the time is not a bad idea. It allows you to call for help to someone who can hear you and who will bring help.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- One-fourth of Americans aged 65+ falls each year.
- Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall; every 19 minutes, an older adult dies from a fall.
- Falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of nonfatal trauma-related hospital admissions among older adults.
- Falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries treated in emergency departments annually, including over 800,000 hospitalizations and more than 27,000 deaths.
- In 2013, the total cost of fall injuries was $34 billion.
- The financial toll for older adult falls is expected to increase as the population ages and may reach $67.7 billion by 2020.
- Falls, with or without injury, also carry a heavy quality of life impact. A growing number of older adults fear falling and, as a result, limit their activities and social engagements. This can result in further physical decline, depression, social isolation, and feelings of helplessness.
If one out of every four seniors are going to fall sometime in our golden years it doesn’t make a lot of sense to assume we’re going to be one of the three who won’t. What does make sense is to try to do everything we can to avoid that unexpected trip to the floor I’m reminded of the joke about the old guy who says whenever I get down on the floor to pick something up I stay there awhile to make sure I haven’t missed anything. That may be humorous because the man intended to be on the floor. It’s not so funny when we didn’t plan to make the trip.
Then there’s the fear factor. The sheer fear of falling takes it own tole. We’re defensively less active, less involved socially, less emotionally secure and on and on. In a nut shell we don’t enjoy life as much as we should.
We’ll the point of all of this is that falling is something we should do our best to avoid, but be prepared for anyway—be prepared to get back up and keep on keeping on!
A medical alert system might be a part of the solution. Here’s a link to reviews of some those available.