As a former Executive Director for an assisted living and memory care facility, I witnessed aging adults reach a point in their lives when cognitive impairment affects their physical ability to maintain balance causing uncontrollable falls. A fall can become a life changing moment for any senior who is living at home and especially in a healthcare facility. These falls can sometimes result in back-to-back emergency room visits for injuries such as broken bones and severe head trauma.
It is crucial for healthcare professionals and caregivers to understand the nature of falls in order to implement effective Fall Prevention Plans specifically tailored to individuals. Historically, tools such as bracelets and other wearable devices were the go-to solutions for healthcare facilities to monitor such incidents. However, many wearable devices have proven uncomfortable, get easily damaged, or lost.
Recently, we are seeing a smarter, more effective approach to the same problem of addressing falls among seniors. Thanks to Vision AI technology, facilities can have the freedom to confidently continue to monitor their residents without any physical interference. While the concept remains the same — alert healthcare providers and caregivers in the event of a fall — Vision AI uses camera sensors that don’t interfere with daily life, get easily damaged or lost. Plus they only activate when a fall is detected. An alert will then be immediately sent to members of the care team for further evaluation. Thus, allowing our seniors to age in place with dignity.
During my time managing an assisted facility of 100+ residents, one of the most common questions from families whose loved one experienced a fall was how they fell in the middle of the night. Until now, we have only been able to speculate why Ms. Jones* took a hard tumble — perhaps more confusion in the late hours of the night or an object in the way of a walking path. But now, the placement of a Vision AI device over Ms. Jones’ highly trafficked living areas allows the care staff of the facility to see and understand exactly what is contributing to Ms. Jones’ fall pattern. In many cases, the cause can be a slipper left in the walkway or the distance between the bed and restroom is too far. With the help of Vision AI, the care staff can make data-based changes to minimize the risk of future falls.
With the advancement of Vision AI technology, facilities now have the ability to understand and reduce falls for their residents. This type of solution can also be seen as a win-win for all parties involved — residents will be able to obtain a higher quality of life and the facility can retain their client base for a longer period of time. I hope with the introduction of Vision AI into the senior care industry, it will help bridge the gap between healthcare and technology for the future.