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Rising to the challenge of falling - Care Innovation - Issue #6

Rising to the challenge of falling - Care Innovation - Issue #6
By the team at Yokeru • Issue #6 • View online
Good morning all
The oldest among us are being cared for at home for longer.
It makes sense to do so: Home-care reduces care costs since a hospital or care home is very expensive. However, the longer people hang-out at home, the more likely they are to fall. When you fall at home, you also have a longer ‘lay’, and the longer the lay, the more severe the health-complications.
I’ve gathered from conversations this week that more people at home is leading to more repeat falls. There is a theory that more than half of falls are due to physical unfitness. (Logically, this makes sense). Encouraging fitness is a mitigation strategy that is both good for the soul and has a relatively low cost (relative to hospitalisation).
The paper titled Role of physical activity in the prevention of falls and their consequences in the elderly notes that falls typically happen at home when doing a non-dangerous activity. It goes on to reference studies that:
‘suggest that a moderate level of physical activity can reduce the risk of falls and prevent their consequences like fractures and other injuries [1755]. Even light or vigorous exercise can produce health benefits’
A new piece of research was published last week titled Life after falls prevention exercise – experiences of older people taking part in a clinical trial. The paper concludes with the difficulty of keeping older people engaged in the prescribed activities:
‘Despite good intentions and perceived benefits, on-going participation in falls prevention exercises beyond a structured, supervised intervention was not a priority for these older people. Promoting continuation of falls prevention exercises post-intervention is just as challenging as promoting uptake to and adherence during exercise programmes.’
There is probably a technology play here, to promote regular exercise, but I’m yet to see it.

In response to these falling realities, the wrist-worn ARMED device monitors behaviour to predict falls up to 32 days before they happen. With this knowledge, mitigation can happen. The results are powerful: ARMED achieved 100% reduction in falls for the participants involved in the trial at Loreburn Housing Association. I’ll find out more about this for a future email. 
Have a great weekend all! 
Hector
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