What is the best fall prevention help device?

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There are many on the market. I prefer one with a pendant to call for help. Also a GPS.

Answers 1 to 10 of 15
Dear Mary,

That is a hard one. I would suggest checking with a nursing home and see what they recommend. I sort of think they all work about the same and will do the job.
Top Answer
Not to be nit picky, but I think a device really can't be used for fall prevention, as the factors that contribute to falls are mobility, stability, age, condition, balance, and more.

A device can be used though to get help after a fall occurs, or (and I'm not being sarcastic) help as someone is falling if the device can be activated that quickly. My experience is that falls occur so quickly I'm lucky if I can get a grip around someone's waist (w/o using a gait belt all the time) before someone's down on the floor.

So I wanted a company that provided immediate response, even though the ads suggest they all do.

The research I did before making a selection including contacting several different local and some national companies providing pendants and fall support. A few were eliminated if I didn't get return calls the same day. If they're that slow, I don't want to rely on them.

The one I selected was honest about the limitations of GPS pendants at the time. Others skipped over the GPS issue with blithe pats on the hand reassurances that they worked. (I should hope so!). Those didn't get the contract either. The honest company advised that at that time, a GPS device in a medic alert pendant wasn't that reliable but it was testing different ones to find a better option.

That company also provides security services and has done so for years. It's local to the area, and over a period of years has proven to be the right selection.

I'm P'M' ing you the name, as advertising isn't allowed here and my endorsement of them could constitute advertising.

The company does cover a few other states. If I had to find a new company, I'd go with a company that already provides security rather than one that focuses on pendants as its primary line of devices and services.

I also rejected some of those that advertise in senior magazines. Most of them wouldn't even discuss their services without getting my contact information and sending literature. I didn't want literature - I wanted answers to MY questions.

I have never regretted my choice. I've even asked them to call when I couldn't reach my father by phone but knew that he'd hear the pendant which is a wireless device.
I should add that health care and private duty agencies are trying to sell services for fall detection as part of their own care package. Do your own research first; you (nor I ) have any idea whether or not they push a specific company b/c they're getting referral fees.

I suppose the day will come when a health care agency diversifies and plugs a whole slew of elder care products - depend type garments, walkers, rollators, grabbers and who knows what.
End stage Alzheimer's they are not capable of calling for help--when they fall, they fall and can't get up until someone sees them and helps them. Most falls do happen near the bed. I have a fall mat which is very helpful and I have the bed near the bedroom wall so she can grab the wall. Of course the worse off the Alzheimer's the more likely they will fall. You can get fall alarms for the bed but they can go off and they are already on the floor. They can also produce many false alarms so it disrupts their sleep. They even fall with you in the room with them.  I walk my mom daily (with her walker) which helps and she can do 1/4th a mile. but falls still happen no matter what I do because she's very end stage. When she completely loses her appetite I will have to decide about a feeding tube which she will pull out -- but I also can't just stand by and watch her starve. Fortunately it's not that bad--yet--but her appetite has gone down.
Cetude, not putting in a feeding tube isn't letting them starve to death. What happens is the person just gets sleepy. It's a gentle way to go. They aren't feeling hunger anyway. All the feeding tube does is prolong the death. Now, having said that, if she's still able to talk, or know you are in the room, you might want to have one put in. It's a hard decision but not one that should be made because you think they are hungry. Make sure they still give her ice and or fluids because that will keep her more comfortable. Been there, had to do that so I know it's not easy. I had to do this for my mother-in-law, who I loved like she was my mom. We had the first one put in but by the time she needed another one it was time to let her go. I'm so glad my own mom had that discussion with me before she got to that point so I knew what to do without all the guilt that can go with it.
How is the device a "fall preventive?"
For "fall prevention" - you need to do Physical Therapy. You need to see how the person is walking - barefoot - so you can see if he/she is raising the toes on either foot while walking. I am telling you this from experience. I noticed earlier in the year that my DH raises his toes on his right foot whenever he walks. PT explained that it is from the fear of falling forward - it is done to balance. The problem is, when the person raises his toes, he pretty much IS going to fall if trying to backup or turn around, and they fall backwards because they cannot balance from this position. We are still working on this but Ray has not fallen now in a couple of months.

You're speaking of a device for a person who has fallen and can't get up? I know nothing of these - I am Ray's "help device" and I pick him up.

However, if your patient has a cell phone, pretty much they all have GPS I've been told. Go to the Alzheimer's website and see what might be available for you and covered by Medicare.

I actually just got the button necklace for my mom. The company told me that they do have automatic fall alerts pendants that do alert when they fall. However, if your parent is a "sinker" or one who just kind of slides down, the device cannot detect those falls near as well. They were honest and that's what my mom does so we just went with the necklace. Now if they only remember to push the button lol!
Garden Artist
I found a company who offers nationwide GPS service, no contracts, $30. Month. I travel a lot so this is great. Most of them only offer service in the home.
No "device" will prevent falls. The person must be committed to walking carefully, and paying attention to uneven surfaces, etc when they DO walk.

PT is great, although not many elders are compliant in continuing the exercises and staying mobile. I know mother, once the PT left, was back to stage one, falling and sliding to the ground at the slightest provocation. Her choice.

The "fall alert pendant" is GREAT in THEORY. But the person has to wear it. And the people who are contacted once it "goes off" have to ANSWER THEIR PHONES. Mother wears one, sort of, sometimes. It goes through the wash on the reg. It does NOT go off, even in the dryer. Weird. If your loved one is a "slider" or "slumper" it also will not go off, it seems to take a really fairly hard hit to work.

Also, most of them come with a button that can be pushed--but again, the elder has to KNOW what they are doing. Mother isn't strong enough in her hands to push the button. I think we're almost at the apartment-wide monitoring system so brother can see what she's doing 24/7. He hates the idea, as it really destroys any semblance of independence, but she chose to stay in her apt and wants to be independent.

She hasn't fallen in a few months, we get complacent. Or she falls and I don't know about it.

These devices have changed over the years. I used Phillips for my Mom. It had a motion sensor built in so if you fall the button would hit the floor. If you can't hit the button, an operator will call. If they get no response, 911 will be called. This cost about $50 a month. Some companies now have where u can be outside or away from home and can use the button. Your doctors office should have info n these companies. Maybe ur local Visiting Nurse Assoc. Even ur Health Insurance.

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