December 5, 2012
Home for the holidays! Lights on the tree. Pretty packages. Cookies baking.
But, is mom getting a little shaky? Is dad starting to totter? Maybe your loved ones could use some additional support when the decorations are put away and everyone goes home.
“Seniors are living longer and remaining in their own homes but falls have become epidemic – a problem that jeopardizes their chances of living independently,” said Gerrie Haukap, Social Services Director at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Breese.
Each year, in the United States alone, she said, one out of three people age 65 and over will fall.
“Among seniors, falls are the leading cause of nonfatal injuries, hospital admissions for trauma and injury-related deaths,” she said. “Close to 50 percent of seniors can’t get up from a fall without help and lying on the floor for an extended period can lead to serious complications including pressure ulcers, muscle necrosis, dehydration, hypothermia and pneumonia.”
St. Joseph’s in Breese may have one solution – an enhanced medical alert service such as a Philips Lifeline with AutoAlert. This integrated solution combines the Lifeline medical alert service with automatic fall detection that can automatically call for help.
If a fall is detected, subscribers still have the opportunity to receive quick access to assistance even when they can’t push their help button if, for example, they lose consciousness, become immobilized, forget or won’t push their button because they feel they can manage the situation on their own.
According to an internal laboratory study of simulated falls, Lifeline with AutoAlert detected 95 percent of many types of falls and had a low rate of false alarms.
The system is designed to help reduce the risk of a senior lying on the floor for a long time. Receiving help more quickly may also reduce emotional distress and the potential costs of extended treatment, rehabilitation and supported living.
Just as important, the service can provide added confidence and peace of mind to the 22 million seniors who fear falling and their loved ones.
“One of the greatest threats to seniors’ health is falls and associated injuries,” Haukap said. “Lifeline with AutoAlert can help seniors maintain their independence and provide caregivers with peace of mind.”
For more information, visit the hospital’s website at www.stjoebreese.com, then go to Hospital Services, then Lifeline, or contact 526-5330 or firstname.lastname@example.org.