Fall Detector case study
- In the UK, injuries caused by falls are the most common cause of death in people over the age of 75
- One in three adults over 65, who live at home, will have at least one fall a year
- Falls are common after strokes, especially among people who are unstable and have poor upper limb strength
- In 2010, approximately 21,700 older adults died from accidental fall injuries
- If an elderly person suffers a fall, and no response is provided within an 8 hour window, 95% of cases result in death.
Healthcare professionals take falls by older people very seriously because of the acute impact that they can have. Many of our customers who are prone to or fear falling, have a fall detector fitted in their home. Our fall detector raises an alarm to our 24/7 contact centre if the button on the fall detector is pressed, or if the auto alarm senses that the customer has had a fall which leads to a state of unconsciousness and / or immobility.
Between April 2013 and March 2014, our HomeCall Responders responded to 2,136 emergency calls in less than 15 minutes on average.
The North East Ambulance Service responds to category B calls (of which a domestic fall would be part of) within 19 minutes.
The Telecare Services Association ‘Key Performance Indicator’ requires 90% of emergency calls to be answered within 45 minutes.
In December 2013, we responded to an alarm from a 99 year old customer who had fallen. We were at the customer’s residence within nine minutes of the emergency response request.
Our customer was attended to by our HomeCall Responder, helped to sit on her own sofa and asked about her condition since the fall. In this instance, the customer was not hurt in the fall and did not require an ambulance. After sitting with the customer for another 20 minutes, sharing a cup of coffee and chat, our customer was soon going about their day as planned.
If the customer did not have HomeCall, once the fall had been identified, an ambulance would have been called with precautionary admission into hospital required. The lengths of time until the fall was identified, and time spent in hospital are both unknown.