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Falling is the leading cause of injury deaths and non-fatal injuries among older adults. Each year about 1,800 people living in nursing homes die from fall-related injuries. This is a problem that I have recently blogged on. However, a new cutting edge fall prevention system is changing the way nursing homes operate by helping to prevent residents from falling.

The Guardian House Alzheimer’s facility in Louisiana is equipped with a Samarion Fall Prevention System in each room. Neal Rider, Guardian House CEO said,

“We have a ‘smart’ system, which is a computer system that will learn patient movement and activity.”

Mr. Rider explains that each resident has an individual profile that determines the risk for potential falls, and if they are categorized as a “fall risk,” the computer and motion sensor devices will monitor their every move and alert the staff if anything is abnormal. He said,

“You can see the unauthorized bed exit alert is coming in and you can see the individual getting out of the bed. It identifies where the person is in the building and where other individuals and staff are located throughout the building.”

The Samarion Fall Prevention System is the first kind of preventative step in alerting staff before a fall happens. Guardian House Quality Assurance manager, Kathy Richard said,

“Our residents each have an electronic wristband, when they do a bed exit or they move – and the computer has programmed that that’s an unauthorized move, it will alert us.”

Mr. Rider said,

“We have shown over the past six months of testing that we have actually eliminated 60 percent of those incidents that would have resulted in a fall.”

The Samarion Prevention System and an attentive staff can greatly reduce falls, as well as prevent abuse in nursing homes. While this state of the art technology is beneficial and can greatly help residents maintain optimal health, it will only work if the staff is attentive and uses it properly. In the past new technology has only worked as well as the employees who are trained to use it.

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