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Reducing the Risk of Falling

For seniors, falls in and around the home are the most frequently occurring accident. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), one out of every three adults over age 65 falls each year. Fall rates increase significantly as we advance in age. The National Council on Aging reports that falls are the number one reason why seniors lose their independence – because they are the leading cause of injury and even death among older adults.

Fall Prevention Infographic
CDC – Fall Prevention Infographic

A study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the primary way that older Americans can delay or diminish the need to move to a long-term care facility is to prevent falls and the resulting injuries.[1] This is encouraging news because most falls are preventable if certain practical precautions are taken.

Reduce your fear of falling

Seniors often reduce their level of physical activity after a fall for fear of falling again. However, this can make the situation worse. Cutting back on exercise or physical activity leads to a loss of muscle strength, flexibility, balance and gait.

The first step is to reduce your fear of falling by engaging in activities that can help reduce the risk of falls. After consulting your doctor, consider resuming activities such as walking, water workouts, or even tai chi — an exercise that involves slow and graceful movements that resemble a kind of synchronized dance. Activities like these reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, flexibility, balance and coordination. Research also suggests they may help lower blood pressure and improve heart function.

Preventing falls at home

By taking a few modest steps, many falls can be prevented.

1. Make your home safer

About half of all falls happen at home. To make your home safer:

  • Reduce tripping hazards – keep cords, papers, books, boxes, plants, shoes and clothes off of the stairs or away from places you walk.
  • Either remove throw rugs or use non-skid mats or double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping
  • Use non-slip mats or appliques on the shower floor or in the bathtub
  • Install grab bars in the shower or tub and next to the toilet
  • Install handrails and lights on both sides of staircases
  • Improve the lighting in your home. As you age you need brighter lights to see better. To reduce glare, hang light-weight curtains or shades
  • Keep the items you use most often in cabinets you can reach easily without using a stool or stepladder
  • Wear shoes both inside and outside the house. Avoid going barefoot or wearing slippers.

2. Have your vision checked

Once a year have your eyes checked by your eye doctor. You may have developed cataracts or glaucoma or your glasses prescription may have changed. Poor vision increases your chances of falling.

3. Have your doctor review your medicines

Once a year you should have your doctor or pharmacist review the prescriptions and medicines you take, even over–the–counter medicines. As you age, the way medicines affect your body can change. In addition, some medicines, or combinations of medicines, can cause dizziness or drowsiness and cause you to fall.

4. Begin a regular exercise program

Finally, exercise is perhaps the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of falling. Exercise improves your balance and coordination, makes you stronger and helps you feel better. A lack of exercise leads to muscle weakness and an increased propensity for falls. Ask your doctor or health care provider what type of exercise program might be best for you.

If you do fall

LifeCall’s in-home health care monitoring solutions give you the ability to summon prompt assistance right at your fingertips. In the event of a fall you can get help quickly, which reduces medical complications that result from being immobile for prolonged periods of time. LifeCall will get you help in two ways.

The LifeCall Response Center is the only center where all operators are certified Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs). It is powered by a world-class automation platform and two fail-safe redundant systems. The center also has been recognized by Computer World Magazine for its high-tech infrastructure provides fast access to highly trained, caring Response Associates at the push of a button, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Our new LifeCall with FallAlert* option also enables you to push the pendant-style button for help at any time. FallAlert provides additional protection by automatically placing a call for help if a fall is detected and you can’t push your button because you are disoriented, immobilized, or unconscious. This enhanced service option can provide even greater security and peace of mind.

*FallAlert works through sensors that detect a person’s sway, orientation and impact with surface. It does not detect 100% of falls. If you are able after a fall, you should always press the LifeCall button when you need help.


For 40 years LifeCall Medical Alert Systems have provided families with security and independence at their fingertips by offering instant access to EMT-trained emergency personnel around the clock at the push of a button. Falls and strokes are common among seniors – a personal emergency response system can save your life. LifeCall: the most important call you’ll ever make.


[1] Promoting a National Falls Prevention Action Plan, Research Review Papers, Stevens, Judy, Ph.D, “Falls Among Older Adults – Risk Factors and Prevention Strategies,” page 3.

How To Convince Your Parents To Get A Medical Alert System

Let’s face it. It’s not easy sometimes to convince your elderly parents that you’d like them to have a little added insurance and protection around the home.

A lot of adult children make the mistake of forcing their parents to get a medical alert system. This is probably the worst thing you can do!

Remember Grumpy Grandpa is a very strong, healthy and independent senior. He likes to stay active. He’s the kind of person who does everything by himself. He changes his own oil, loves to fish and even does chair yoga.

Instead of forcing the idea, here are a few tips that have worked for our customers.

  • Strategy 1: It’s not for you, it’s for me
    This is by far the best strategy . Just tell your parents that even though you know that they are healthy and probably would never use the system, you and your siblings would feel better knowing that mom and dad had a backup plan.
  • Strategy 2: Keep it simple
    Seniors hate things that are complicated. In fact, most of us will never read manuals or buy anything that isn’t easy to use.
    Although they don’t look as good as an iPhone or iPad, medical alert systems are just as easy to use and install. Tell your parents that all that’s required to install is to plug in a power cable and a phone cord. To call for help, all you have to do is push a button and an operator will come over the speakerphone.

Here are some things you should avoid:

1.   Scaring them
Those “fallen and can’t get up” commercials on TV get a little old. Images of seniors lying on the ground or injured aren’t very appealing. It’s probably not the best idea to use scare tactics on your parents or loved ones.

2.  Statistics
As you get older, your chances of falling increase. Everyone knows this, including your elderly parents. Don’t remind them. Fall statistics are usually the wrong way to go about trying to convince someone to buy a medical alert system.

3.  Sending brochures to their house or giving out their contact information – without them knowing.
Don’t upset people, so please tell your parents to expect that information is going to be sent to them before putting their names on any online information or free brochure request form.

So there’s our list of do’s and don’ts. Try these out and let us know how they worked for you and your family.

LifeCall Fall Alert Systems

Contact FallAlert Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes. www.lifecall.com

CCRCs without walls. Aging in Place.

The Best of Both Worlds Thinking about moving to a so-called CCRC, or continuing-care retirement community? Perhaps you could stay in your home — and have the community come to you. Continuing care at home is one of several promising new models of healthy living services for older adults that brings the experience and resources of aging services providers into private homes. How do you qualify? To join older people have to be healthy and functioning at a high level independently. These programs exclude people with immediate health needs, including any indicator of dementia.

“Let us bring what you need to you or find a way to make it easy for you to get it.”

How much do they cost? In a continuing care program without walls, members pay an entry fee (anywhere from $5,000 to $70,000) and monthly fees ($250 to $800) and receive a guarantee of lifelong care, with a twist. The main focus of these programs is helping people stay healthy and independent in their homes for as long as possible. Tiered plans with varying levels of benefits are common. The most expensive cover services 100 percen. Other plans can require a co-payment of up to 30 percent for assisted living or nursing home care. All members are required to have health insurance, whether from a private employer or Medicare with supplemental coverage included. If someone has long-term care insurance, rates are discounted. Most programs cover the full cost of any in-home care that’s needed (home health care nurses or companions who help older people bathe and dress), as well more intensive long-term services (rehabilitation, assisted living or nursing home care) at no extra cost and with no waiting period. Only a dozen C.C.R.C.  programs exist across the country, mostly east of the Mississippi. But several more are under development, and experts believe the concept may be poised to expand more broadly in the years ahead. Our Latest List of  CCRCs: Kendal At Home (Westlake, OH); Cadbury Continuing Care At Home (Cherry Hill, N.J.); Alexian Live at Home Program (Chattanooga, TN); Seabury at Home (Bloomfield, CT); Via Christi Care At Home (Wichita, KS); Longwood at Home (Oakmont, PA); Friends Life Care at Home (Blue Bell, PA); Avenue by Porter Hills (Grand Rapids, MI); Life Choices, sponsored by Evangelical Homes of Michigan (Detroit); Senior Choice at Home, sponsored by the Jewish Home for the Elderly (Fairfield, CT); Senior Choice at Home by Gulf Coast Village (Cape Coral, FL); Fellowship Village Senior Living at Home (Basking Ridge, NJ); and Hunt at Home (Nashua, NH). Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes. www.lifecall.com

Aging In Place

What is “aging in place”?  Simply, it describes a cultural shift in which older people are choosing to stay at home, rather than live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.

The National Association of Home Builders describes the term as:  Remaining in one’s home safely, independently and comfortably, regardless of age, income or ability level.

It means the pleasure of living in a familiar environment throughout one’s maturing years and the ability to enjoy the familiar daily rituals and the special events that enrich all our lives.  It means the reassurance of being able to call a house a “home” for a lifetime.

It Could Be Cheaper To Stay At Home
The average annual cost of nursing home care in 2011 was $86,040.  Hiring in-home assistance is cheaper—but still not ideal—with annual fees averaging $38,000.  But is it possible for seniors to maintain independence without completely surrendering themselves to someone else’s care?  Yes.  It just takes some determination and room-by-room modifications.

Solutions can be simple, no-cost or low cost changes to make your home more livable. Solutions can also involve larger-scale modifications such as structural changes.

Some low cost home improvements:

Enhance natural lighting
Improve lighting in bathrooms, hallways and staircases
Install lever handles on doors and faucets
Install handrails on both sides of the staircase
Use non-slip strips in the shower or tub

An Aging in Place Plan Is Not Just For Old People
Americans of all ages value their ability to live independently.  But without a plan for aging in place, it can be hard to stay in control of your life.  Knowing your health risks and financial options can make a big difference in your ability to stay in a familiar place.

For a complete list of home assessment tips, changes related to aging, safety tips, pointers on hiring help, and much more, click below:
http://www.seniorresource.com/ageinpl.htm

Contact LifeCall Medical Alert Systems, one of the leading providers of BOSCH in-home health care monitoring solutions for seniors and at-risk persons seeking to retain their independence and remain in their own homes. www.lifecall.com