National Fall Prevention Awareness Week: How Tech Can Help

By Maricel Tabalba

Coming up on September 22nd to the 28th is National Fall Prevention Awareness Week. This is a time to raise awareness about one of the biggest threats to the health of adults aged 65 and older. According to the CDC, an elderly person dies every 20 minutes due to a fall. This is especially worrisome for those with disabilities, who may require extra care, as well.

Although these threats are very real and daunting, there are a number of tools that seniors with disabilities and their caregivers can keep in mind. Read on to learn more about the technologies that have that potential to decrease falls and respond to an emergency if one were to happen.

Fall Prevention for seniors and people with disabilities

Alarm Systems Can Mitigate the Falling Threat

There are a variety of alarm systems available to both seniors and their caregivers as these are the most common tools used in emergencies. Alarms can both be worn on the user or installed in the home, making it convenient for caregivers to receive a notification or emergency signal and act quickly. Many alarm systems can consist of a simple button for the user to utilize if a fall were to occur or if a user feels dizzy or wobbly at all. Others can be installed on household furniture, such as chairs or rugs, to alert a caregiver whenever a senior gets up or steps on an alarm, preventing falls from ever happening.

Surveillance Cameras Help to Determine Causes of Unsteadiness

Even simple nanny cams or DIY surveillance systems can help in preventing any falls and they especially help in the aftermath of a fall. If a caregiver sees that a senior is looking off or unstable in a different room, they can come to their aid right away and help. Caregivers can also check up on them from time to time without having to constantly be by their side. If a fall were to occur, cameras would be able to showcase this so that caregivers may be able to come to their aid and later determine the cause and act accordingly.

Voice Commands for Smart Hubs Can Help Eliminate Risks

With home automation, users can utilize the power of voice control, which is incredibly useful for those with disabilities and makes it easier for caregivers to do their jobs. Smart hubs, such as the Amazon Alexa or the Google Home,, compile all the smart devices in your home and allow you to control them from one single hub with your voice. This is important and especially helpful for those with different disabilities, as they won't have to get up to change the thermostat or turn on a light, preventing any risk of falls. Caregivers also wouldn't have to juggle multiple tasks at once. For example, if a caregiver is helping a senior up out of a chair, they wouldn't have to pause or sit them back down to turn on a light in the next room.

Programmable Smart Lights Key to Fall Prevention

Efficient and convenient lighting is important in preventing any falls. With smart lights, you may be able to remotely control the brightness and turn them on or off without having to fumble for a switch. Users are also able to program their lights to turn on automatically if they were to enter a room or at certain times to match their schedules. A well-lit room can make all the difference in preventing falls, especially for those with visual impairments.

Stair Lifts Can Help Eliminate Especially Dangerous Spills

If there are stairs present in your home, it's necessary that you install a stair lift. With aging comes the diminishing strength in muscles and stairs can be a dangerous task without some extra help. Stair lifts allow seniors to ascend and descend flights of stairs without having to physically walk up each step. These lifts help in the most basic way but is possibly the most important thing when aging in a home with staircases. Climbing steps can become an all-day expedition without the proper help but with chair lifts, the difficulty of this task is diminished significantly.

Even after a person has lost their hearing, their perfect eyesight, or their dexterous hands, the last thing they want to lose is their independence. Letting technology and automation into your home can empower your aging loved one and maybe even allow for peace of mind when you're not able to be there. This National Fall Prevention Awareness Week, be sure to use these tips to make some small but smart additions to your or your loved one's home.

About the Author:

Maricel Tabalba is a freelance writer who is interested in writing about smart gadgets, emerging tech trends and environmentally friendly advice. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

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