“Stairs, bathrooms, dimly lit hallways, a little extra clutter and even pets underfoot can be dangerous,” explains Ron D’Aquila, RN, Vice President of Assisted Living Services and President of Assisted Living Technologies. “In fact, most injuries sustained by the elderly occur at home. We can facilitate independent living in a safe environment.”
According to a six year study released last month from the CDC, those over 75 years old had a 76% increase in the number of reported head injuries that required treatment at an emergency department. Falling is the top cause for the injuries. In past reports, the CDC reported that an estimated 27,000 Americans die each year from falls.
D’Aquila notes that ALT and its sister company Assisted Living Services, works with families to prevent these accidents in the first place by providing a complimentary home safety assessment at any residence in Connecticut. In addition to easy fixes like getting rid of small area rugs, using night lights, and adding stair hand rails on both sides, a physical exam can uncover underlying health issues that could make a person unsteady.
“Schedule an eye exam and identify medicines that may cause dizziness or drowsiness,” suggests D’Aquila. “Ask an elderly parent or patient if he or she has fallen and not told anyone. An undiagnosed injury can often lead to another fall.” He added many elderly people are reluctant to talk about a fall out of fear that they may lose their independence.
Seniors can actually remain more independent by being honest about their limitations and using technological devices to address their issues. ALT offers multiple sensor-based devices that detect motion and can be used in a home or skilled nursing facility. Remote Monitoring Systems such as the Smart Caregiver, automatically trigger an alert to a caregiver and allows one monitor or pager to receive signals from multiple sensor pads:
· Cordless floor pads, - When a person steps onto a floor mat sensor pad, pressure is applied and alerts a caregiver of the person’s mobility. Floor mats are effective at bedsides and doorways.
· Chair pad sensors - For those at risk because they forget to use a walker when getting up from a chair or out of bed, an alert is sent to a caregiver. Can also be used in a wheelchair to detect if the person trying to stand up.
· Bed sensor pad monitor a person’s activity in the night, not only for falls but getting up many times throughout the night may indicate signs of illness.
· Motion sensors placed throughout a home track movement, including opening doors.
Senior citizens who are mobile can wear a Personal Emergency Response device at all times that can be quickly activated in an emergency situation.
D’Aquila stresses that technology is most effective when used in conjunction with personal caregivers to provide a complete and comprehensive circle of safety, particularly for those that need additional assistance with daily activities like cooking, cleaning and personal care.
“We have created an innovative program called CarePlus,” adds D’Aquila. “Clients receive care from a trained CNA or Home Health Aide and supplement the care with a state-of-the-art, advanced technology that best suits their needs.”
Visit the Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. showroom at 74 South Broad Street in Meriden, CT. Showroom hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 4:30pm. Learn more by visiting www.assistedlivingservices.com orwww.assistedlivingtechnologies.com or calling 203.634.8668.
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