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Sensing A Fall

Is sensing a fall just something we can do or can technology help us?

One of the most common worries for people living alone is that they might fall and hurt themselves badly. They would have to lie there until a family member or carer calls in. If they call numerous times a day, it may not be too long. But what if a person falls at 9pm and knows no one will call in until 9am the next morning? Apart from the injury, lying on a hard floor for hours is not good.

Many people now wear an emergency bleep system around their neck. So, if they do fall, they can press a button and the dedicated person will be notified.  Technology has now brought this one step further which is good to know. After all, what if the person was rendered unconscious after the fall or didn’t have their bleeper on that occasion.

We used to think of tracking devices as something that ex-prisoners might have to wear. Now sportspeople, e.g. walkers, runners, and joggers, wear them too to measure their distance and speed.

One step further, these have now been transformed into tracking devices for older people or for those living alone.

What is Care Predict?

Care Predict works by the individual wearing a gadget on their wrist in the same way as a wrist watch. There are sensors on the walls of the home and they can alert family members or carers if a difference in normal movement has been noticed.

The tracker learns of the normal movements of an individual over seven days and each room sensors ‘ learns’ of appropriate movement for that room. For example, it is expected that a person will be lying down in the bedroom for hours but if someone is lying down in the bathroom, that will be seen as abnormal and will be flagged.

It has been reported that people are slow to use these gadgets. They do not want to be seen as losing their independence or appearing frail. Even though the sensors are designed to improve one’s independence when living alone. However, by improving the design of the sensor, more people are starting to wear them.  One design for women is in the shape of a beaded bracelet and they are working on a design to resemble a man’s wristwatch.

Do you think it is a good invention? Would you use one in your home?

Or do you think we should leave sensing a fall up to ourselves?

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