Home Automation for Fall Prevention Awareness Day
Ready, Steady, Balance: Home Automation for Fall Prevention Awareness Day
September 22 marks the first day of fall, and many people are no doubt looking forward to the cooler weather, the changing leaves and the holiday season just around the corner. But it’s also a day to recognize another, far more serious kind of fall. Home Automation for Fall Prevention Awareness Day
The eleventh annual Fall Prevention Awareness Day is an effort to address the serious issue of fall-related injuries among aging adults, and this year’s theme – “Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016” – seeks to make seniors and their caregivers more prepared, more aware and more proactive when it comes to one of the most significant threats to senior health. Fortunately, the sudden explosion in smart technology and home automation has given us a whole constellation of new tools and methods for helping seniors safely and gracefully age in place for as long as possible.
One third of Americans over the age of 65 fall each year. Remote monitoring helps to address this statistic in several ways. The ability to access security cameras from any mobile device means that you can keep an eye on your loved one no matter where you are. You no longer need to worry about something happening when you aren’t physically present because you can quickly check in at any time. Remote monitoring also means that, should a serious accident happen, a senior alone at home will be able to call for help more quickly than ever before.
As people age, the retinas in their eyes receive less light and their vision takes longer to adjust to sudden changes in brightness. It’s no wonder, then, that poor or improper lighting is a major contributor to falls and injuries among the elderly. One solution to this problem lies in smart lighting, which can automatically turn individual lights on and off based on movement and control home lighting on a pre-set schedule. Some modern tunable LED lights can even be programmed to adjust the color temperature, producing lighting that is warmer or cooler depending on the person’s needs. Even better, smart, efficient lighting allows for the high-illumination light that works best for seniors without leading to much increase in energy costs.
Emergency Alert Systems
While preventing a fall from occurring in the first place is always the primary goal, it simply isn’t possible to prevent every accident. When a senior falls, a quick response can often mean the difference between a minor incident and a traumatic, potentially life-threatening event. The famous television ads – “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” – may have spawned many parodies over the years, but the reality is that these alarm systems can and do save lives every day. By placing emergency help just a simple button-press away, these medical alert devices serve as a lifeline and an added layer of protection for seniors who wish to age at home and remain as independent as possible.
Aging in place has long been a goal for most seniors, but the dangers and impracticalities put it out of reach for many people. That’s beginning to change, as technological advances have made it far easier and safer for seniors to live healthy, independent lives well into their golden years. Even those who struggle with disabilities or other health complications have found a helping hand in today’s smarter, more automated homes.
-By Maricel Tabalba