Falls at home are a major cause of injuries and hospitalizations in seniors. One third of people over the age of 65 fall each year and half of all people 80 years or older fall each year. According to the CDC, falls are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.
A Canadian study from 2006 found that seniors who are housebound or living alone are at greater risk for falls. Additionally, a study in Nottingham, England found that seniors who lack social networks and community support may be more likely to undertake higher-risk activities that can increase their risk of falling.
Medical Alerts Bring Needed Help Fast
While falls in the elderly do not always result in an injury, they may leave the senior unable to get to their feet. A 1993 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that 47% of the time seniors without injury were unable to get up without assistance after an immobilizing fall.
Getting help quickly makes a big difference: according to a 1993 study by The New England Journal of Medicine, seniors who use medical alerts are admitted to the hospital fewer times and have shorter stays than those who live without medical alert systems.
Experts Recommend Medical Alerts for Seniors
The Harvard Women’s Health Watch recommends medical alerts to seniors to minimize the impact of a fall. Since there is no way to prevent all falls, it is important to reduce their impact.
The Public Health Service of Canada notes that medical alerts can reduce the seriousness of injury complications by ensuring prompt treatment and reduced harm.
You can evaluate whether medical alerts will help you or a loved one live more safely and independently by taking our simple online "Do I need a medical alert system" quiz.