Sunday, October 17, 2010

Aging Parents: Fall Prevention-- Alert Pendant/Bracelet

Why isn't this relatively inexpensive, old technology as important to older people indoors, as an umbrella is to them outdoors when it rains?
It needn't be worn continuously--as explained in my October 10th post, but can be left near the door so that when a living-alone senior enters his or her homeit's right there; and when the senior goes out, it's left right there.
Since the statistics--that people over 65 are at greater risk of falling and the risk increases with age--are widely known….
  1. Is it that older people who are fit don't think they risk of falling in their homes?
  2. Do they assume if they've taken or take tai chi and/or other fall prevention classes they are exempt?
  3. Do they fear paramedics will break down the door to rescue them, thus causing damage to their home?
  4. Is it the expense?
There are undoubtedly countless reasons older people reject a piece of "alert" jewelry.
To set the record straight:
  1. Most people fall in their homes.  Denial may be at work.
  2. Fall prevention classes have clearly been shown to reduce the risk; but that doesn't mean falls don't happen.
  3. The alert monitoring companies give instructions for lock boxes or other ways to make keys available so paramedics can unlock, not break down, the door.
  4. There is an expense, but weigh the expense vs. parental emotional as well as physical pain, suffering, and adult children's time, energy, and stress.
Fear of falling is one of older people's most prevalent fears.  Falling and breaking a hip spells trouble: a long recovery and initially--if not forever--greatly diminished independence. (No need to spell out how this impacts caring adult children's lives.)
Falling alone in one's home means needing to painfully, slowly crawl to the telephone--usually high up off the floor and thus a challenge to pull down even when one finally reaches the phone's location.
If a hip is not initially broken, but has suffered only a hairline crack, what are the odds the hip will suffer a complete break due to crawling?
We try to help our parents age well. Wearing an "alert" pendant or bracelet can clearly help maintain quality of life.  It's an invaluable gift and hopefully a thoughtful discussion will convince parents of its value.  (I'll try to compile a list of well-thought-of companies, whose alert pendants older people like, for a post next week.)

Also check out my new site" Same post plus informative tabs and pull-down menu.

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