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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.

For Advanced Fall Detection Bronx Residents Can Count On: LifeCall’s FallAlert

LIFECALL1204If they’ve ever shopped for a home medical alert, Bronx residents have probably seen the standard line of products LifeCall has become famous for: reliable, easy-to-use medical alert systems that instantly connect patients in need with medical attention. Today LifeCall is proud to be on the cutting edge of the next level of medical alarm systems with our innovative FallAlert fall detection system.

There is no question that injuries from falls are one of the leading concerns for our valued senior citizens; the most cautious estimates put fully one-third of everyone over the age of 65 suffering from a fall injury every year. Falls among the elderly can cause serious injury and even death, particularly when the victim is unable to summon medical help. FallAlert has all the functionality of our standard push-button medical alarm system, but adds a new technology that can sense when you’ve fallen and call for help — even if you cannot push the button yourself.

When the FallAlert device detects a fall, it automatically contacts our Emergency Response Center and allows the victim to talk directly to the all-EMT staff that answers — so that the degree of medical emergency can be properly assessed, and the right kind of help sent as quickly as possible.

FallAlert is the smallest and most lightweight fall detecting device available, and offers state-of-the-art, waterproof service with long battery life — and an indicator that tells you when it’s time to change the battery. FallAlert has the same exceptional range as all LifeCall products, and can summon medical help from anywhere inside your home or around your property. And it’s easy to wear, available on a neck lanyard that’s comfortable and easy to reach.

For more information about FallAlert and our LifeCall family of products, contact us today!