In the United States, more than 1/3 of adults 65 and older fall each year. About 5.8 million people in this age group fell at least once during a recent 3-month period. Besides injuries caused by senior falls, the simple fear of falling can impact the lives of seniors by causing a reduction in their level of activity. This in turn leads to a decline in mobility and physical fitness, which can increase the actual risk of another fall.
Caregivers, be they professionals or family members, can also be greatly affected by this problem. They are often unable to physically assist the fallen person without danger of injury to themselves – therefore safe patient handling practices must be adhered to. Anticipation of another fall may make a caregiver reluctant to allow the senior any independence, which can diminish the senior’s quality of life.
Senior falls account for many injuries and even deaths, and the risk can be significantly reduced by using fall prevention practices or implementing a fall prevention program. In the U.S. millions of seniors fall every year for a variety of reasons. One reason is that many seniors take medications which may make them dizzy or drowsy. Additionally, a lack of muscle tone and stamina that occurs with older age can cause poor balance. Poor eyesight or dimly lit hallways, bathrooms and stairwells are also big causes of senior falls.
If you’ve experienced a senior fall or you know someone who has, you know it can result in a lack of confidence about being able to get up again. Calling emergency services can be embarrassing and costly, which is why we’ve designed the ResQUp. The ResQUp is a device that allows you to get up off the floor with minimal assistance. This is a key benefit because other people in the home or therapy environment may not be able to lift you, and NIOSH guidelines state that caregivers, for their own health and safety, should not lift more than 35 pounds.
The ResQUp is quite simple to use. The fallen senior can use the ResQUp to move to a sitting position, and from that position, stand up. If the ResQUp is not nearby, a caregiver can move it into position for the person that has fallen.
Many older people would like to get down to the floor as well to play with grandchildren or do other hobbies. The ResQUp can help you both get down to the floor and get back up again. Using it in this manner will help you improve your upper body strength. The more strength you have, the more you will be able to avoid senior falls, and the more confidence you will have that you can get back up again. Seniors that have more confidence in their physical abilities are likely to exercise more, contributing to their overall well-being.
For further reading on building senior strength, check out our post on balance exercises for seniors.