Medical Alerts for Seniors with Falls

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Falls

time icon 5 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


One in four people over the age of 65 will fall at some point, according to the National Council on Aging. Every 11 seconds, an elderly person is rushed to the emergency room because of injuries that they have sustained from a fall.

Falling Overview

The statistics for falls that involve elderly people remain grim. Falls are the leading cause of injury and death in seniors. They often prove fatal. Every 19 minutes, a senior dies as a direct result of falling. Falls cause a variety of serious and often life-threatening injuries, such as a broken hip or head trauma. Seniors who fall may not sustain an injury, but after the fall, they may become fearful and depressed. This fear can make it difficult for them to stay active, and some may become prisoners in their homes because they are afraid to move around.

Falling Impairment

Falls may cause bruises, torn ligaments or broken bones. Physical discomfort that is a direct result of a fall can limit mobility and take a toll on the senior’s mood. It is not uncommon for a senior to become depressed after a fall. They may become afraid to exercise or even walk from room to room. Going outside, especially during inclement weather, is also something that many seniors avoid after a serious fall.

Seniors may battle daily impairment after a fall, both mentally and physically.

  • Pain
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Limited mobility
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
Medical Alert Benefits

Most seniors have seen advertisements on television that show an elderly person who has fallen. Unfortunately, such depictions are all too true. A senior is more prone to falls because of a decline in physical fitness as a direct result of aging. Impaired vision, certain medications and chronic diseases also make an elderly person more prone to falling. A fall may cause a life-threatening injury, or be so painful that the senior cannot get back up again. In such a situation, a medical alert system is a benefit because the senior can quickly summon help.

After a fall, a senior can suffer a variety of injuries.

Symptoms of a fall:

  • Fractures
  • Sprains
  • Head trauma
  • Internal bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Torn ligaments or tendons
  • Back injury
  • Facial trauma
  • Torn rotator cuff
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Many seniors opt to live their lives without medical alerts. In such a situation, they can take several safety precautions to help avoid a fall.

  • Safety features: Installing handrails, a toilet frame, a bath bar, a walk-in shower and a bed lift-assist helps prevent falls. Ideally, all flooring in the home should be non-skid.
  • Reduce environmental risks: All throw rugs and other floor obstructions should be removed.
  • Assistance devices: A walker or cane can offer physical support to help prevent a fall.
  • Shoe choices: Non-skid soles on shoes are beneficial. A senior should also avoid wearing high heels. Never walk around a slippery floor wearing nothing but socks. Instead, opt to wear a pair of slippers with a hard, non-skid sole.
  • Phones: A phone within reach in every room is beneficial to call for emergency assistance. A senior should also carry a cell phone in case they fall.
Falling Precautions
  1. Exercise: Exercise may not seem like a safety precaution to prevent falling, but it is because it improves the senior’s overall physical health. Elderly people often fall because of failing physical fitness.
  2. Failing eyesight: Eyesight often starts to fail with advancing age. A room may appear dim. Ample lighting in each room that can be controlled by voice or clapping is a great way to avoid stumbling around in the dark.
  3. Medication: A senior should ask their physician and pharmacist about any medication that they are taking and the possible side effects, such as dizziness or loss of balance.
Falling Medical Alerts Conclusion

Medical alert services are helpful to a senior because they are not only a way to summon emergency assistance, they also offer peace of mind. After a fall, many elderly people become afraid and having a medical alert service helps reduce the fear of falling and being unable to call for help. Seniors who live alone and have reduced contact with the outside world may find comfort having medical alerts on hand in case of a sudden fall or other medical emergency.

Kimberly Sharpe - Senior Advisor

Kimberly is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.