Wearables Don't Work for Fall Prevention

If you’re an operator at a Senior Living facility, you’re approached by vendors trying to sell fall detection solutions on a daily basis. The majority of these solutions require your residents to wear tracking devices, such as watches or pendents. However, these solution simple don’t work for a number of reasons. In this post, we’ll walk you through how these solutions fail and why onboarding to one of these systems could be a costly mistake for your facility.

1 - Resident Adoption

Most fall detection wearables in the market today were created with caregivers in mind, not the actual residents. Because of this, these devices are (A) bulky, (B) intrusive, and (C) designed for function, not style.

Because of these issues, seniors hate being told to wear these devices. Even when residents are forced against their will to wear devices which require a health professional with a specialized tool to remove them, senior residents still frequently remove their device. When a senior is wearing a medical alert pendant and falls, they press the button for assistance <40% of the time.

Resident happiness and trust are the cornerstones of success for any senior living facility. Forcing residents to wear a device daily erodes these relational pillars.

For a fall prevention system to work optimally, it cannot rely on wearables; such a system must be passive and require no work on the part of residents.

2 - Memory Care

In addition to residents purposely taking off wearable devices, memory care residents often forget the purpose of these devices. Residents in your memory care facility may take the device off to sleep, then forget about it in the morning. In addition, many wearables devices need to be removed for bathing.

Multiple times per day, residents will need to take off their device, then need to remember to put it back on.

As mentioned above, wearables are a sub-optimal solution for fall prevention as they generally do not work for memory care populations.

3 - Maintenance

Wearable devices require frequent maintenance. For example, CarePredict, one of the leading senior wearables, requires devices to be re-charged daily. Do you want your staff to have to remember to charge these devices or for your facility to be potentially liable if these wearable devices are not charged when a fall occurs?

In addition, wearable require daily cleaning to make sure they do not transmit infectious illnesses. During future outbreaks, do you really want your residents wearing devices that need to be regularly cleaned?

Using wearable devices in your facility can significantly increase the amount of operational work for your staff.

4 - Cost

As wearable-based systems require devices for every resident, their costs add up quickly. We’ve found that, on average, wearable-based solutions cost ~$30,000 times than our centralized solution over a single year.

If you want affordable fall prevention in your senior living facility, wearable systems are NOT the solution.

Senior Living Fall Prevention

In order to guarantee their continued success, senior living facilities need to focus on fall prevention. Heron Point’s Fall Prevention System allows assisted living facilities to preemptively and continuously detect residents who are likely to fall. As opposed to most fall-related systems, our system doesn’t detect falls - it stops them from happening in the first place.

Interested in learning more about preventing falls at your senior living or memory care facility? Reach out to to learn more.

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