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What are families and caretakers doing to minimize fall risks? Acceptance of falls to elderly parents is not acceptable. We had a bed Posey for Mother which rang in her room for when I am with her to alert me that she is getting out of bed. A Nurse took it to have someone in the facility fix it. Tgat was the last we saw of the bed "Posey". Mother has a wrist alarm that calls a Nurses Aid. After her falls it did no good as she did not remember what it was for. Her mind has cleared up but when she rings the alarm, it can be a very long time until an Aid or Nurse gets free to come to her room to see why she rang it. There is no monitor like a baby cam. Nothing has worked except being here myself or having a private duty Nurses Aid that is truly unaffordable. We used myself 16 hours a day and Nurses Aid an 8 hour shift while Mother was in ininant danger of a fall. She no longer has overnight Nurses Aids. I am with her 12 hours a day. If we didn't do that she would not have recovered to the point where she can balance and use her walker to go to the bathroom at nighttime and her memory has improved. After each fall her memory got worse and worse. It has been approximately 4 months since her last fall.

If Mother takes sick she will again be in danger of falling. Science has come up with so many inventions, what is being done to find a way of keeping the elderly from falling. There are more tools available for babies than for the elderly. Many of the elderly have shrunken in size, they are not that heavy, why can't some of the baby tools be sized up for the elderly to work automatically when they loose balance?

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Actually there IS a thing like what you guys are describing.
It is a chair surrounded by PVC pipe on wheels so they can walk and sit surrounded by something to hold onto. I have seen one in use.
Search the internet for PVC Walker for elderly and look at the images- they do sell them :)
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Further thoughts.... Your observations and queries are insightful, and timely, as we live longer and often must address more medical issues. In many ways, the medical and DME supply professions are still adapting to these changes, as are the elders and families.

The legal profession has adapted quite rapidly, but it doesn't face the fixed costs of production as do DME and other suppliers.

Old age is a growth industry; perhaps a time will come when some companies see this as an advantage, an area in which they can survive with less open market competition.

From the variety of questions I see here, I think we're still learning as families how to handle these challenging situations.
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1. Bone strength deteriorates with age. Brittle bones break more easily. Weight bearing exercise helps maintain bone integrity, but not everyone exercises or wants to walk well into their old age. Weather is a factor as well; seniors in cold weather climates have to go to an indoor area to walk during the winter.

2. Factors involved in balance and stability include eyesight and hearing, the latter of which frequently deteriorates with age. Seniors can be resistant to wearing hearing aids.

A neurologist who presented at one of the Area Agency on Aging expos addressed these factors, including a third which I can't remember.

3. As FF notes, seniors don't always use what already is available to them. There's a (perhaps basic) desire not to present oneself as elderly and frail

4. Any of the toddler devices could be adapted if a company or individual was wiling to front the start-up, production, marketing and perhaps insurance for liability issues, as it's possible some people are going to find fault with the devices if their elders fall and the old adage of "sue 'em!" comes into play.

I suspect that start-ups get more funding from angel investors for tech gadgets than for elderly devices. Angel funds would I think look to the most rewarding businesses, and I doubt that they would find devices involved in Medicare approval and/or payment to be desirable investments.

And people are in love with techno gadgets, not with walkers, canes, rollators or wheelchairs. In addition, marketing to the elder requires learning how to deal with the Medicare coding system. That's like learning another language, especially when you get into the bundling of services.

I'm sorry to read of your frustrations; you do raise some valid issues.

One thing I have seen is more exercise facilities being created in communities, outside of the commercial realm of the Powerhouse and other high impact gyms. These community facilities, including one community college locally, provide scaled rates for seniors and others.

I'm sure though that they require an indemnification from users, as seniors are at higher risk of injury, especially if they try machines that are unfamiliar to them and which they haven't used at supervised PT.
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That's an interesting idea about using items that babies use and create it for adult sizes. Like those round baby walkers where the baby sits in the middle and they can use their legs to scoot around, and there is a round table to use for food, drawings, etc.

Yes, falling is a major concern with seniors. One thing I have noticed is that so many seniors are very stubborn about using what is currently available on the market to keep them more safe. My late Mom refused using a walker, she didn't want anyone to know she was aging.... hello, she was in her 90's. My late Dad on the other hand was thrilled with his rolling walker, it was like the best thing ever.

When my Mom was in a nursing home due to a serious brain injury from a fall, her brain would forget she could no longer walk much less stand. She was always falling. The nursing home couldn't tie her down so falls were the normal, and I accepted that. Eventually the nurses put Mom into a geri-recliner and placed pillows under her knees... and Mom would be rolled out to the nursing station. Mom was quick, she could eventually get those pillows out and try to climb out of that recliner.... [sigh].

Seniors will fall anywhere they are living, as one cannot be glued to the hip 24/7 with the senior. You can run to answer the phone, and with a blink of an eye the elder will fall.
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