Jul 22, 2021

Falls are the most common cause of hospitalisation for over-65s – but this solution could help reduce it

Elderly woman walking stick fall

One in three Australians aged 65 or over experience a fall each year, and it is the most common cause of hospitalisation in this age group.

Falls are even more common in residential aged care, mostly due to increased rates of frailty, cognitive and mobility impairment, continence problems and comorbidities. The fall rate in a facility is up to three times higher than in the community, with half the number of residents, on average, experiencing a fall in any given year.

Even if a fall doesn’t lead to serious injury, it can cause a great deal of anxiety and a loss of confidence. Over time, this often leads to a person further limiting their movements, which can increase their risk of falling and impact their quality of life.

Enhancing safety with automatic fall detection

Being able to call for help, no matter where you are, gives those at risk of falling the confidence they need for daily living. It can also help prevent permanent or serious injury, as the longer someone has to wait for emergency assistance, the worse their injuries can become.

The MePACS Mobile Alarm is a small and lightweight device that can be worn around your neck, or clipped to your pants – it’s the ideal safety companion for out and about.

MePACS Mobile Alarm provides an easy and effective way to signal for help in any medical emergency, including falls.

Developed by one of Australia’s leading personal alarm service providers, the small and lightweight device – which can be worn around your neck or clipped to your pants – includes in-built automatic fall detection technology that measures a dramatic change in motion.

When someone falls in an area with mobile phone reception, the device is triggered by the sudden movement and automatic fall detection kicks in, sending a signal for help to the MePACS 24/7 emergency response team without the wearer having to press the button on the personal alarm.

MePACS’ response team will assess the situation, determine the most appropriate help needed at the time, and call either a close family member or triple 0, staying on the line to provide reassurance until help arrives.

This system can significantly reduce the time it takes to call for paramedics – in some instances, it can actually save lives.

The automatic fall detection alarm may not be activated when someone braces themselves after a fall, rolls to the floor, slides down a wall or has their fall broken by an object. In these circumstances, the person can press the help button on the mobile alarm to call for assistance, if needed.

The power of knowing help is at hand

One of the benefits of fall detection technology is the ability to enhance safety without hampering freedom of movement, giving people confidence to go about their daily routine.

When Margaret, a grandmother and avid volunteer from regional Victoria, started experiencing falls, she wore the MePACS mobile alarm so that she could continue her regular activities knowing that help would be at hand if she experienced a fall.

“I completely trust MePACS and they have never let me down. They have given me back my confidence and social life,” said Margaret.

“When I started to have medical issues, I didn’t want to leave the house. I was anxious about going out on my own, even just to see my friends for a social visit, and a lot of things just kept taking away from my normal independent lifestyle. If I fell over, what would happen? Who could I ring if I can’t talk?” Margaret explained.

“Knowing that I have help at hand 24/7 in any location with my MePACS mobile alarm just restores my confidence completely. [It] also means my family are very reassured about my health and wellbeing,” she added.

“I completely trust MePACS and they have never let me down. They have given me back my confidence and social life.”

To find out more about the MePACS Mobile Alarm, phone 1800 685 329 or visit https://mepacs.com.au/mobile/.

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  1. Falls in aged care could be just about eliminated if they had more staff and stopped medicating people , especially those with dementia because from my experience and I’ve had plenty , not by working but by visiting daily for hours and using my skills of observation, they drug them at night so they can employ as few staff as they can get away with, if they had adequate staff and had staff in locked dementia areas 24/7 they could reassure those who walk around at night sit there with them hold their hands hug them for reassurance and also find out why they are waking , in the case of the person I was advocating for I stayed in one night , made sure he had eaten ( another bugbear of mine not enough staff to feed residents who cant feed themselves ) eliminating hunger as a cause, long story short it was snoring so I turned him onto his side problem solved, buzzers on at night and lights so bright when staff do walk down the hallways they come on automatically , these are things which would wake anybody up add dementia to this and its a recipe for disaster , ultimately it all comes down to staff numbers education and a decent wage , these people should earn more than politicians , especially those who go above and beyond with kindness and empathy, I could write all day about this also better education about all dementias not just talking to them about the past , a lot of these poor souls can’t even remember the past and it causes more agitation, have the TV on with the sound not too high, put nice doco’s or old time music videos on for them, not Rage full blast as was the case most of the time on a Saturday at the facility I’m talking about, it’s common knowledge people with dementia don’t like a lot of noise especially conflicting noise and they are incapable of articulating what is bothering them

  2. We have senior family members who had experienced falls and thereafter they are either physically bedbound or is no longer around.

    There are many reasons why the seniors fall, but I can conclude that if a ‘helper’ is by the side, the elderly will not fall. I realized that monitoring, detection and signaling for help is a problem.

    These simple detection and signally if implemented systematically can help helper to provide Just-in-time assistance.


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