This past April in a suburban community west of Chicago, Lt. Joseph Jung, full-time handyman and part-time Firefighter, saved an elderly woman’s life. The woman, who was one of Lt. Jung’s customers, had fallen down the stairs in her basement and had fractured her hip. Unable to move or call for help, she lied there for two days before being discovered by Lt. Jung. Luckily, the woman had scheduled some repair work with Lt. Jung but when he came to the house early in the morning, no one answered the door and it seemed as though no one was home. Returning to the house again around noon, Lt. Jung again received no response from within the house. It was then that he noticed that two days worth of newspapers were stacked up outside the door, and sensing something was wrong inside the house, Lt. Jung found a way inside. Ultimately, he found his customer on the basement floor, in extreme pain and unable to move. He called an ambulance and stayed with her until the paramedics arrived. After being admitted to her local hospital, it was determined that she had fractured her hip and was extremely dehydrated after lying on the basement floor for two days. Lt. Jung saved her life. While no one ever expects an accident like this to happen in their own home, the reality is that 60% of near-fatal falls occur in the home for people aged 65 or older. Falls also account for 87% of all fractures. Most seniors are hospitalized for about 2 weeks after a hip fracture, and about half of them are unable to return home or live independently once they are released.
Instead of living in fear, you can take the necessary steps to prevent falls, which include:
- Complete exercises that improve strength, mobility and flexibility in seniors
- Limit medications that make you drowsy whenever possible
- Make adjustments to your home, such as installing grab bars, removing tripping obstacles, and maintaining sufficient lighting
And of course, consider purchasing a medical alert device from Medical Guardian. While the pendant won’t be able to prevent you from falling, it will be able to get you immediate and reliable help if you do. As the above story demonstrates, living alone in a house without Medical Guardian might leave you stranded and in pain for days before help finds you.