Falls: Questions from the Collective

Written By: Tech-enhanced Life webmaster.  Last Updated: Sat, 11/24/2018 - 11:19.

We held an Unconference at one of our Aging in Place Technologies Meetups to think about the following topic. What are the questions to which "you" would like answers with respect to making falls less of a concern?

Make Falls Less of a Concern

We asked the group to think about this from two different perspectives.

  • First from the perspective of a frail 80 year old worried she might fall and hurt herself, suffering all the undesirable consequences that follow (hip replacement and the like).
  • Second, from the perspective of the friends and family of that older adult.

Below are the questions our group decided we wanted to seek answers to. Hopefully you will find the answers to these questions useful too.

Questions for which we seek answers

1. Am I at risk for falling?

  • And is this risk big enough that I should worry about falls more than all the other things I could worry about (heart attacks, high cholesterol, my weight, alcohol intake, earthquakes and tornadoes)?

Comments:

  • And, I want to know this risk on a day by day basis (ie some days because of my health or mood I may be more at risk of falling than others).
  • And I want to see how my falls risk changes over a longer period of time like years.

2. How do I improve my environment enough to significantly reduce my risk of falling?

  • And what sorts of changes make a big difference, compared to other changes that might be more "nice to haves"?

Comments:

  • Be mindful of the type of shoe being worn, as they can help prevent falls.

3. How do I improve me (ie my mind and or body) enough to significantly reduce my risk of falling?

  • And what sorts of changes make a big difference, compared to other changes that might be more "nice to haves"?
  • How much do I need to do to make a difference?
  • How big a risk reduction can I expect?
  • How can I move so I'm less likely to avoid falls?

Comments:

  • Exercise

4. What are the relevant statistics about falls?

  • What types of falls are most likely?
  • What are the major causes of falls?
  • Where do falls typically take place?
  • What typically gets hurt or damaged, and what are the typical consequences?
  • What are the best ways to make falls less likely?
  • What are the medical risk factors for falls?

Comment:

  • So I can prepare for them.

5. If I do fall, how do I fall "safely"?

  • In other words, how can I learn to fall in ways that minimize my chances of hurting myself?
  • How can I know I am about to fall, so I can sit down quickly?
  • What preventative measures might I have taken to make the fall less dangerous (eg widgets I might have or clothes etc)?

6. How can I determine how bad my fall is, immediately after I've fallen?

 

7. After I have fallen, how do I get up again?

 

8. If I fall and can't get up what do I do?

 

9. What "widgets" can I get to help avoid falling in the first place?

Comments:

  • For example, canes, walkers, special shoes, etc etc.
  • Even more importantly perhaps, what "widgets" should I stay away from as they may actually cause harm rather than help.

 

10. What "widgets" can I get to make my falls less likely to hurt me?

 

11. What "widgets" can I get to make it easy to get help if I fall and can't get up?

  • What PERS devices are there, and which ones are right for me?

 

12. How can I get someone else (such as a parent) to want to know if they are at risk of falling? 

  • And, how can I have a conversation (such as with a parent) about how to prepare a body to avoid falls?

Comments:

  • It is a sales job.

13. What should I be asking my doctor?

 

Where are the answers to these questions about falling

We plan to find these answers now, and make them available.

Can you add to the discussion by sharing answers, or sources of answers?

 

 

Contact us to share your ideas, or the questions you would like to see answered by our citizen analysts

 

Help Fund More Research Like This

We hope you found this work useful. Please consider helping to fund more research like this.

We are currently raising contributions from those who find our work valuable to complete some new research initiatives, all targeted at helping older adults live better for longer.

Learn More: Help Fund our Research.

 

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