Senior Health The Importance of Fall Detection Apps for Seniors 5/18/2021 | By Kari Smith In April 2021, the World Health Organization announced that “falls are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide” – an estimated 684,000 fatal falls annually. According to the study, seniors aged 60 and older are at the greatest risk. In addition to physical mobility issues, falls can be common for seniors suffering with or at risk of heart attacks, low blood pressure, poor vision, head trauma, hip weakness or fracture, or many other ailments. For seniors who live alone, it will come as a relief to know that fall detection apps for seniors are available in many forms. These pieces of equipment offer a sense of security to both its users and loved ones. Some fall detections apps use video to monitor users, some use gyro sensors like the Apple Watch, and some use devices that allow the user to push a button indicating an emergency. FallSafety Home FallSafety Home is one of the best fall detection apps because it uses intelligent technology to automatically alert emergency assistance in case of a fall. The app is easy to set up and use, does not require any hardware to be worn, and offers peace of mind to both its users and caregivers. You can even specify whether to alert for small (from standing or sitting height) falls, or big (from 4th rung of a ladder or higher) falls. This app is compatible with Apple Watch series 3 through 6, and includes a built-in panic button for any emergency situation, as well as a siren alarm to alert people around you of an emergency. Remocare Remocare is a smartphone app that uses a camera to monitor movement. If it detects a fall, it records a 30-second video of the room before the fall has happened, and sends an alert to a caretaker. When an alert is sent through this fall detection app, the caretaker has the ability either to communicate verbally with the patient through a speaker, or to take other action if necessary. This type of system relies on video monitoring, and does not require the wearing of a device to track movement. The app does need regular access to reliable Wi-Fi or cellular data. Fall Detection App Aetsoft’s Fall Detection App sends alerts upon detection of falls due to events such as heart attack, low blood pressure, or other health events. This app also uses camera footage to detect falls, and upon sensing a fall, the app allows its user to choose to click at SOS button, or click “I’m okay” to indicate a false alarm. Phillips Lifeline Philips Lifeline medical systems include wearable technology such as a pendant or wristband (similar to a watch). Because this option is waterproof, it can be worn in the shower or bath – where falls are very common, and where cameras or phone technologies may not be appropriate. In addition, the service can be activated through either a cellular connection, or a landline. One downside of this type of system is that detection is not automatic, and would not be helpful in cases where the user is not conscious or able to push the emergency button. Apple Watch Even your watch can act is as fall detection device – if you have the Apple Watch Series 4 or later. The watch uses a gyro sensor to recognize abnormal movement, and if the user does not dismiss the alarm, it automatically dials emergency services. It then sends a text alert to any emergency contacts you have set up in your Medical ID. Fall detection may not detect all falls, and can be turned off if desired. Look for fall detection apps for seniors that alert emergency contacts and emergency services immediately when activated. Systems should be easy to use, easy to understand, comfortable, and waterproof when possible. Look for a system that allows for cancellation of false alarms. If your senior loved one may be hesitant to use such a device, explain your concern for them, and help them understand the importance of a backup plan for these types of emergencies – it could possibly save their life. Read More Kari Smith Kari Smith is a frequent contributor to Seniors Guide, helping to keep those in the senior industry informed and up-to-date. She's a Virginia native whose love of writing began as a songwriter recording her own music. In addition to teaching music and performing in the Richmond area, Kari also enjoys riding horses and farming. Related Resources Issues with Mental Health Therapy Options for Seniors While mental health can be a very real issue for older adults, as real as for people of other age ... [Read More] 5/18/2021 | By Terri L. Jones Help for Itchy Skin Without a Rash Dr. Howard LeWine, M.D., internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, discusses ... [Read More] 5/18/2021 | By Howard LeWine, M.D.