You step, a little too quickly, out of the bathtub. As you stretch towards the towel hanging just out of reach, your foot begins to slide on the cold tile; before you know it, you are free falling. Your life flashes before you as you brace for impact. You call out in pain, but it is futile. You live alone.
Falls can happen to anyone, but there are risk factors that people, especially those living alone, need to be aware of. The two biggies are age, specifically being over the age of 65, and living with a chronic condition or disability. Despite our best efforts at falls prevention, any slip, tumble or trip can result in a fall. For people unable to get up after a fall, the difference between a minor and catastrophic one often boils down to their ability to get help quickly.
While that might sound scary for those who live alone, a fall doesn’t have to be life-threatening or independence-ending; there are a number of assistive devices on the market designed to protect you and your loved ones from the negative consequences of a fall. Read on to learn about 3 popular products on the market for remote monitoring and fall detection.
1. Philips LifeLine
Philips LifeLine is one of the most widely adopted fall detection systems in Canada. One might say that LifeLine is to the fall detection industry what Kleenex is to the face tissue industry, as health care professionals often refer to any fall detection device as a “LifeLine”. They offer two systems LifeLine at Home and LifeLine On The Go. Both involve a wearable pendant and allow for two-way communication, either through an in-home communicator or the pendant itself (for LifeLine On-The-Go). Users have access to the response centre 24/7, and the device connects to the centre through their cellular network without the need for any special equipment. While the device automatically detects most falls (with an industry low rate of false alarms) it also allows users to cancel the alert within 30 seconds in the case of a false alarm. LifeLine is one of the more expensive systems on the market, but is highly rated by individuals who use it.
2. Telus Health LivingWell Companion
Like the Philips LifeLine, the LivingWell Companion comes in two formats, Companion Go, a GPS based system and Companion Home with fall detection. Also, like LifeLine, both involve a wearable pendant and two-way communication with a response centre (either through the pendant or the Home Base Station). For people who want an alternative to wearing a pendant around their neck, LivingWell Companion offers a wrist attachment for the Companion Home device and a belt attachment for the Companion Go device. The LivingWell Companion is cellular enabled but does not require a cell phone plan to use. Users have access to emergency support at home and on the go 24/7. Telus Health ensures LivingWell Companion response centre support staff are all trained and located in Canada. Also of note, users of LivingWell Companion devices are backed by Telus, Canada’s largest and fastest mobile network.
3. Numera Libris
Numera Libris 2 is new on the scene and marketed as a cloud-based, all-in-one mobile health, wellness and personal safety solution. The device is able to accurately detect falls and automatically call the response centre, allowing for two-way communication with the user. It records and automatically sends device and event notifications to family and caregivers, keeping them informed. The device is also water resistant for 30 minutes, making it one of the only devices on the market able to be worn in the shower. Libris 2’s claim to fame is that it is fully mobile, offering 4G/LTE support for improved range and call clarity. Libris 2 is a great option for people on the go!
Regardless of which one you choose, if you have a fear of falling or are at increased risk of a fall, a fall detection device can help you feel safe at home and in the community.
Falls don’t have to be a barrier to living independently. Like fall prevention measures, a fall detection device can play an important role in your safety net.
Click over to Evika.io to learn more about these fall detection devices and other assistive technologies to keep you safe at home and on the go.