The Age of Smart Watch Fall Monitoring

As the Apple Watch Series 3 hits the market, the first Apple wearable with cellular service and GPS, there may soon be unique and valuable functions designed for older adults and concerned family caregivers.  Not only can the watch, when paired with an iphone, make calls and send texts, stream music and track your activity, a gyroscope feature has FallCall Solutions developing a system for the watch to detect when an elderly person falls and place a call for help.

The Connecticut startup has secured kickstart funding and founders Dr. Shea Gregg and Dr. Kristin Gregg hope their product will be among the very first smart fall detectors.  With a rapidly growing number of older adults opting to age in place, fall prevention is a rising concern for seniors, caregivers and health care professionals.

As Fall Prevention Awareness Week kicks off September 22, the National Council on Aging reminds older Americans of the importance of taking steps to help prevent falls, the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among seniors.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 11 seconds, an older adults is treated in the emergency room for a fall and every 19 minutes an older person dies from a fall.

While these statistics are startling, lifestyle changes and fall prevention training can substantially reduce the number of falls experienced by older adults which threaten their independence and safety. Wearing hip protectors, like HipSaver Hip Protectors, can help reduce the risk of injuries from falls when they do happen.

Fall Prevention Steps

  • Build strength, balance and flexibility with a good exercise program.
  • Talk with your doctor about fall risks and any recent falls.
  • Review medications regularly with your pharmacist or doctor.  Take drugs only as prescribed.
  • Check your vision annually.
  • Remove tripping hazards from the home, increase lighting and install grab bars where needed.
  • Talk with your family about ways they can help prevent falls.

Source:  National Council on Aging

To learn more about fall prevention, visit the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence by following this link.