When Is it Time to Get Medical Alert Protection?

Ann had raised seven children, helped her husband of 51 years plant multiple churches, was known for her world-class casseroles but was having trouble remembering if she’d made lunch today. Her husband was frustrated, but there were bigger concerns.  Ann was also having trouble remembering if she’d left the stove on, needed a coat to go outside or taken her medicine. Ann couldn’t safely care for herself without supervision, and with her husband’s failing health, they needed outside assistance to stay in their home.

Medical Alert Protection Is on the Rise

With the rise of artificial intelligence, seniors and their concerned children have options that were science fiction even a decade ago. Fall detection watches worn by your loved one can be linked to your phone, keeping you informed of how they are doing, keeping them safe, and allowing them freedom and a fuller life despite what would otherwise be limiting health and safety concerns. According to studies, 90% of seniors prefer to stay in their homes, and with a variety of systems, it’s important to weigh the right factors. 

What to Look for in Your System:

  1. Complete Package

Having a system that covers every area of need is essential. Door alarms, bed sensors, and in-home motion detectors can turn your loved one’s residence into a safer place that they can stay in longer. You and your loved one can set it up to meet their needs, and it can be tweaked as their situation changes. 

  1. Affordable

High-quality sensors and monitoring is now realistic and attainable. For less then a trip to the Urgent Care, a UTI sensor can monitor and alert seniors and their loved ones instantly of infections. In the home, monitors can be hooked up or existing security systems, and pre-programmed dashboards can analyze data and sense concerns. 

  1. Easy-to Use

The ideal system also needs to be user-friendly and simple with a minimal number of buttons to worry about. Finally, it needs to be low-maintenance so once it’s installed; you and your loved one can get back to what’s important.

  1. Cell Service over Wi-Fi

If your medical alert system is connected to a cell signal, you can easily check on your loved one when they leave the house. If they get lost or need help, you can see their coordinates right in your phone app and easily send help. 

  1. Grows with the Medical Needs of the Patient

Eventually, Anne’s husband passed away of cancer, and her own condition digressed. She was able to live with her son and daughter-in-law, but her safety and health were a constant stress point. Her daughter-in-law once commented that getting Anne to eat was challenging. “She just eats Teddy Grahams all day,” she said. “But at least she’s eating! They were in survival mode. If it worked, it was enough.  There comes a point where just fall detection and door sensors are not enough, and seniors need medical monitoring. Sadly, this is where many seniors lose their independence and have to enter nursing homes. However, this is where non-intrusive medical monitoring comes in. It allows seniors to age in place, in their own houses and surrounded by the people they love.

Technology like a watch sensor that monitors heart rate - sensing spikes and potential strokes, UTI sensors in the toilet and a monitoring system that analyzes would-be health risks are all vital to keeping seniors where they want to be longer. What would have been the equivalent of a live-in nurse a few years ago, now allows seniors to have their vitals checked by staff instantly simply by a device worn on their wrist. 

This is why Zanthion has developed a system for seniors that will help their families and caretakers ensure their safety, monitor their symptoms and allow them to stay active longer. Complete and user-friendly, the Zanthion system will adjust to individual needs, help caretakers perform better, and allow seniors and to live fuller and richer lives in their homes and close to the people they care about.

 

A Day in the Life of a Zanthion Senior Community

Zanthion

Zanthion

Quality of Life for Everyone

A Day in the Life of a Zanthion Community

By Philip Regenie on August 18, 2018

 

Soft Senior Protective Pants

Wednesday is a busy day in the Zanthion community, after waking from a good night sleep residents can enjoy the breakfast of the day, participate in afternoon activities, and dine with their family, all with the support of community staff enabled by Zanthion.  When Agnus wakes up after a great night sleep in a Zanthion Community her Android Large Screen TV turns on automatically, her bed exit alarm has indicated she is awake,  and shows her the breakfast of the day and images of her family. Agnus reaches over and takes her Zanthion Protective Pants off the clothes rack near her bed, highly breathable stain resistant pants with an elastic waistband for a comfortable fit.  Although overweight she was diagnosed as Frail, using the Frailty Index for Elders, and slips into her Zanthion SMART Pants with an internal reinforced glut and waist strap for easy stand assists. 

Her pants have a Zanthion SMART Activity sensor built into them ensuring that if she forgets her necklace or doesn’t wear her watch she is still confident that help will arrive if she slips and can’t get up.  The Zanthion Platform will inform her circle of help that she has fallen and requires help. 

Bed Exit and Temperature Sensor
Mi Box Android TV

Today is difficult strength morning so she says, “OK Zanthion, I need help,” requesting an assist getting off the bed and into her walker. The Full Android Zanthion Gateway and responds to verbal commands. On the main event monitor for the assisted living community Agnus’s HELP request scrolls to the top of the dashboard and turn red.  At the same time the total number of help requests for the community and for Agnus is incremented by one. The number of help requests, falls, soiling events, window opens, and bed exits are all displayed per period of time.

The Staff of the Community and her friends get the request for help on their mobile devices.  The main dashboard for the community shows a request for help. Her friend in the room next door and George on staff both indicate they are responding to help Agnus.  All other staff can see they have responded and how long it will take them to aid her. Her friend arrives first pressing ARRIVED on her mobile phone and greets Agnus as she always does with, “How’s it going girl?”,  and sits down in the chair near the bed. George arrives 1 minute later pressing ARRIVED on his tablet and greets Agnes and Dorothy her friend. George asks Agnus how he can help and she indicates help up from the bed.

Agnus Requests Help

George presses the HELP UP radio button on the assessment form popped up on his tablet when he pressed ARRIVED. George is a professional setting up the walker and positioning himself to use the help straps located at the hip on Agnus’s pants.  Since the pants have begun to be used in the community workman's comp claims have decreased by over 80% and breaks due to falls have decreased by 40%. 

George wishes Agnus and Dorothy a good day and RESPONDS to the new CHANGE REQUIRED event on his tablet from Susie, another resident.  A change required event is sent when a community member is wearing pull ups and the Zanthion SMART Adult Pull Up. The pull up has a Zanthion SMART Sensor attached to it which sends a CHANGE REQUEST event when there is a soiling event.  Lucy, another staff member,  also RESPONDED to the request from Susie.  Lucy and Susie have been friends for years.  She initiates a chat with George and writes, “I got this.”  George checks in on his tablet to see how Susie is doing. She completed the change required in just 2 minutes.  Very impressive results lowering the number of sepsis incidents in the community by over 30% in two years.

Susie and Agnus head off towards the special breakfast of the day, eggs benedict.  As they move down the hallway images of what they are interested in and their family appear on the TVs mounted on the walls.  Their BLE sensors act as tags uniquely identifying them so that streaming images from their personal folders arrive at the monitors as they pass by.  All hallway TVs are voice activated allowing any resident to request help or ask for a weather report as they pass by. 

As Agnus and Dorothy are walking Dorothy slips and falls, as is the case with seniors.  Agnus asks her, “Are you alright, dear?” Dorothy says, “These pants are incredible. It hurt a little bit but no problem.” On the community dashboard the FALL alert lit up and all the staff are notified. In fact Agnus’s watch is ringing telling her that Dorothy fell.

Hawaii

 George is just around the corner so RESPONDS to the alert and shows up within 1 minute. His response time is recorded and aggregated as a performance metric for himself for the day, week and year and for the whole community as a whole. His average response time is 43 seconds.  He is the top performer in the community and in fact, the company as a whole. That wins George an all expense paid vacation to Hawaii every year for he and his wife. The automation of event data, when they occurred, who responded, how quickly they responded, and their assessments have saved the community 4% on their liability insurance payments for the last 3 years.  More importantly, the families of the community members, are informed of incidents as they occur along with the response data, and have responded by lowering the number of legal actions against the community by 30%.

George helps Dorothy up, fills out the fall assessment,  and get’s her on her way without incidence. It’s 8:30 am and time for the morning staff meeting in the community.  

Dashboard Activity

Every morning the Zanthion Community has a staff meeting reviewing data from the previous day.  The report shows number of falls, reasons for falls, help requests, reasons for help requests, number of showers, number of changes, false help requests, injuries to residents, staff reported injuries, and satisfaction assessments, residents whose activity is decreasing, residents who are no longer going as far from their center, and residents who are starting to wander or suffer cognitive impairment.  The time to resolution is 1:23 seconds with a community target of 1 minute. Staff and administration discuss ways to achieve the best performance in the industry based on assessment data and resource allocation. They also discuss residents who need special supervision and how to optimize their health.

When Aguns and Dorothy arrive at the breakfast hall everyone is excited about the Fashion Show at 10:00am.  A Zanthion Independent Consultant is putting on a fashion show followed by a sleep education seminar. Both Agnus and Dorothy are in the fashion show sporting Zanthion SMART Skirts, Pants, and Sweaters.  Each fashion show has a different theme with a red carpet, music from their generation, great lighting, models from the community and the independent consultant as an announcer. Seniors can sign up to be consultants and buy new jewelry with embedded sensors, protective clothing with sensors, and participate in educational programs about nutrition, sleep and exercise.

ReSound LiNX Quattro ™

New products such as the ReSound LiNX Quattro™ hearing aid that is completely integrated in the Zanthion environment or the new voice commands to request a ride or help a child learn to read are discussed. Harry, who sits at their breakfast table, has been listening intently to their conversation and tells them, “Ever since I got these new hearing aids and the Zanthion Watch my life has changed.  I can hear everything everyone says. The watch listens to the conversation and sends the enhanced signal to my ReSound hearing aids. It’s changed my life.”

 Harry pushes the help button in his pocket so that someone can walk with him back to his room. He has macular degeneration and doesn’t see as well as he used to. He is looking forward to listening to some jazz and listening a chapter of “On Walden Pond” one of his favorite books.  All has to do when he gets back to his room is ask Alexa for Miles Davis and ask google to read “On Walden Pond”.

Amazon Echo 2

After the fashion show Agnus and Dorothy head back to their rooms where they usually request Android connect to their sons and daughters and have a video call.  As Agnus opens the door to her room the lights and TV come on. She says, “Alexa, Play Beethoven,” and soft Beethoven comes on in the background. She then says, “Ok Google, Call Johnny,” her son.  Android TV uses Google Duo loaded by Zanthion on her player. Johnny answers and watches his mom sit down slowly in the chair in front of the TV.

Johnny checks the Zanthion Dashboard on his phone everyday to see how his mom is doing and has noticed that she has not been walking as much lately and says, “Good afternoon mom.  I am coming over taking you for a walk after work today. Are you up for that?”

Agnus says, “That would be great.  I need it.”

Down the hall from Agnus is Tom who has been showing signs of mental deterioration.  The Zanthion Community has organized his room to look like his home. Android TV has been programmed with Channels for TV series that he enjoyed while a young man along with images from his family.  Tom wears the Zanthion SMART Watch with GPS and geo-fencing. He has access to the outdoors and even short walks about the neighborhood. Management likes to watch his activity and is informed when he leaves his room and wanders past a perimeter outside the resident facilities.  When he has been gone more than an hour an alarm is sent to staff who can see where he is located on their phones and give him a call to see if he is alright. Tom can answer the call on his watch with voice commands. The Zanthion Community sends someone out to collect Tom and bring him home when he does not answer.  Some of the neighbors Tom knows in the neighborhood have the Zanthion Client loaded on their phones and are notified he is out and about also. Occasionally they go outside and walk him back to the community.

That evening Johnny showed up to take his mom for a walk.  Agnus loves to keep track of her activity and heart rate so she put on her watch and off they went.  Johnny knows to take it easy on her and when her heart rate gets over 130 beats a minute.

Neighbor Wandering Warning
Zanthion SMART Motion

Showers and nighttime are challenging times for most communities.   This particular evening Agnus entered the shower at 9:30 pm as registered by the motion detectors in the bathroom.  At 10:15 pm there was not movement in the shower or her rain and the door to bathroom was still closed. All these were indicated on the main dashboard for the community.  An alarm was fired off to the friends of Agnus and staff at 10:16 pm. Dorothy was the first to find her friend on the floor of the bathroom. She held her hand till George arrived.  George requested emergency services when Agnus was unresponsive. Johnny showed up at the hospital at the same time as the ambulance and was happy to see his mom awake and aware. She had passed out getting out of the shower.  Fortunately she suffered no major injuries when falling to the floor. Everyone was thankful that the Zanthion Motion sensors protected her privacy while notifying concerned that something must be wrong.

 

This technology is available today with complete support throughout the lifecycle of ownership.

 

A Better Life Now and in the Future

Quality of Life for Everyone

A Better Life Now and in the Future

There is a higher burden that is very challenging for low income families taking care  the elderly.

Without the financial resources to support elderly parents in an assisted living community or in home care, adult children are forced to either live with or close by a parent. In their care, there is a constant threat of an elderly parent having an event that might affect their health or safety. What if they are not there to help them?  They might fall in the middle of the night or wander into the neighborhood and get hurt or miss an appointment. Family, friends, and neighbors often help when caregivers are not available due to work or other commitments.  There is a community burden that is sometimes unmet?

One of the most threatening events for the elderly are injuries due to falls.

The Zanthion SMART Senior Home Care System is an extremely low cost, high value, solution for monitoring your parents or loved ones.  Our platform is an end-to-end service that uses sensors to securely collect the data (we never transport sensor data with personal data), and applications that communicate to multiple stakeholders such as family, friends, and neighbors. As America’s elderly population growth accelerates exponentially, remediating the impact of falls, bed sores/sepsis, etc., has significant ethical and financial impact.

With Zanthion setup time is a snap.  You can easily monitor your parents activity and there is a fall event, you can have multiple people notified via sms text, email, and a smart phone application.

We have a very high accuracy rate and minimize false positives or a false negative where someone falls and the system is not aware.  Any person in your  “community” can respond to an event and the application notifies everyone so there is coordination and communication.  Emergency services can also be requested via the app or via the attractive jewelry we provide with built in sensors.

Some shocking numbers

  • $30 billion is spent annually on healthcare related to falls. Medicare costs alone for hip fractures as a result of falls is projected to be 240 billion dollars by 2040.
  • The average cost of a fall injury was $19,440 (including hospital, nursing home, emergency room and home health care, but not physician services).
  • The Elder Fall Prevention Act has been passed by Congress for the development of effective public education, expansion of services and research on best practices.
  • About one third of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually.
  • As alarming as they are, these documented statistics fall short of the actual number since many incidents are unreported by seniors and unrecognized by family members or caregivers.
  • Frequent falling. Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again.
  • About half (53%) of the older adults who are discharged for fall-related hip fractures will experience another fall with in six months.

Fall Prevention

Some people think that the best thing to do if you’ve fallen, or if you’re afraid of falling, is to be less active. Why take the chance of falling again, right?  Research shows that seniors who are less active are more likely to fall, they lack the strength and balance and they need to resist falls.  This is why healthcare professionals recommend starting a regular exercise routine of any kind – even if you start by taking only a few steps every day.

Trazer Anticipated Costs of Senior Falls 2020 by http://www.trazer.com/applications/senior-health/
  • Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly 87% of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls.
  • Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living; 25% die within a year.
  • Many falls do not result in injuries, yet a large percentage of non-injured fallers (47%) cannot get up without assistance.
  • For the elderly who fall and are unable to get up on their own, the period of time spent immobile often affects their health outcome. Muscle cell breakdown starts to occur within 30-60 minutes of compression due to falling. Dehydration, pressure sores, hypothermia, and pneumonia are other complications that may result.
  • Getting help after an immobilizing fall improves the chance of survival by 80% and increases the likelihood of a return to independent living.Up to 40% of people who have a stroke have a serious fall within the next year.

IoT: The Burden of Elderly Care and Falls for Low Income Families

More at www.zanthion.com

The Burden of Elderly Care and Falls for Low Income Families

There is a higher burden that is very challenging for low income families taking care  the elderly.

Without the financial resources to support elderly parents in an assisted living community or in home care, adult children are forced to either live with or close by a parent. In their care, there is a constant threat of an elderly parent having an event that might affect their health or safety. What if they are not there to help them?  They might fall in the middle of the night or wander into the neighborhood and get hurt or miss an appointment. Family, friends, and neighbors often help when caregivers are not available due to work or other commitments.  There is a community burden that is sometimes unmet?

One of the most threatening events for the elderly are injuries due to falls.

The Zanthion SMART Senior Home Care System is an extremely low cost, high value, solution for monitoring your parents or loved ones.  Our platform is an end-to-end service that uses sensors to securely collect the data (we never transport sensor data with personal data), and applications that communicate to multiple stakeholders such as family, friends, and neighbors. As America’s elderly population growth accelerates exponentially, remediating the impact of falls, bed sores/sepsis, etc., has significant ethical and financial impact.

With Zanthion setup time is a snap.  You can easily monitor your parents activity and there is a fall event, you can have multiple people notified via sms text, email, and a smart phone application.

We have a very high accuracy rate and minimize false positives or a false negative where someone falls and the system is not aware.  Any person in your  “community” can respond to an event and the application notifies everyone so there is coordination and communication.  Emergency services can also be requested via the app or via the attractive jewelry we provide with built in sensors.

Some shocking numbers

  • $30 billion is spent annually on healthcare related to falls. Medicare costs alone for hip fractures as a result of falls is projected to be 240 billion dollars by 2040.
  • The average cost of a fall injury was $19,440 (including hospital, nursing home, emergency room and home health care, but not physician services).
  • The Elder Fall Prevention Act has been passed by Congress for the development of effective public education, expansion of services and research on best practices.
  • About one third of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually.
  • As alarming as they are, these documented statistics fall short of the actual number since many incidents are unreported by seniors and unrecognized by family members or caregivers.
  • Frequent falling. Those who fall are two to three times more likely to fall again.
  • About half (53%) of the older adults who are discharged for fall-related hip fractures will experience another fall with in six months.

Fall Prevention

Some people think that the best thing to do if you’ve fallen, or if you’re afraid of falling, is to be less active. Why take the chance of falling again, right?  Research shows that seniors who are less active are more likely to fall, they lack the strength and balance and they need to resist falls.  This is why healthcare professionals recommend starting a regular exercise routine of any kind – even if you start by taking only a few steps every day.

Trazer Anticipated Costs of Senior Falls 2020 by http://www.trazer.com/applications/senior-health/
  • Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly 87% of all fractures in the elderly are due to falls.
  • Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions, and 40% of all nursing home admissions 40% of those admitted do not return to independent living; 25% die within a year.
  • Many falls do not result in injuries, yet a large percentage of non-injured fallers (47%) cannot get up without assistance.
  • For the elderly who fall and are unable to get up on their own, the period of time spent immobile often affects their health outcome. Muscle cell breakdown starts to occur within 30-60 minutes of compression due to falling. Dehydration, pressure sores, hypothermia, and pneumonia are other complications that may result.
  • Getting help after an immobilizing fall improves the chance of survival by 80% and increases the likelihood of a return to independent living.Up to 40% of people who have a stroke have a serious fall within the next year.

Mind, Body, Spirit – The Cultural Value of Seniors – Part 2 Our Minds

Mind, Body, Spirit - The Cultural Value of Seniors - Part 2 Our Minds

by Philip Regenie

Dementia is an avalanche ripping itself through societies worldwide enslaving the young and embittering the old.  It is cruel and stealing our most valuable resource: wisdom.

So, how do we deal with this avalanche that could affect as many as two-thirds of our senior population? We must adopt a culture that promotes mental health to avoid the catastrophic health care consequences of a society riddled with dementia.  The problem is understood and solutions are readily available.

World Alzheimer Report 2015

Physical minds

Seniors are arguably our greatest source of wisdom. They have seen and experienced the full dimensionality of life and the history of the world for upwards of a 100 years. Their health and happiness is in large part determined by the health of their mind.  We are not speaking of their attitude, but of their physical mind: the electrical connections, the chemical makeup, the cellular communications, and the flow of materials in and out of their cranium. The mind, is our bastion of consciousness and is the reason for our heart beating, our lungs breathing, and all the activity that manifests itself as life.  The mind is responsible for the commands that create the habits of:

  • Eating for proper nourishment, avoidance of poisons, and the balance of nutrients for metabolic activity
  • Exercising the body to maximize bone density, blood flow, oxygen diffusion, and detoxifying the buildup of toxins in our mind and body
  • Sleep that controls metabolic activity, removes toxins from the mind, and organize short and long term memory
  • Mental exercise, learning, and awareness that construct the network of neurons that maximize our potential for understanding relationships between seemingly disassociated mechanisms
  • Meditation which calms the heart, controls the breath, and cleanses the mind
  • Happiness which is often a consequence of appropriate levels of dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins

Brain chemicals

For all of us, and especially for seniors, we need an ecosystem of humanity that promotes high-quality mental health by focusing on  the production of key chemicals in our brains. Clark Buckner wrote an article about the 4 Chemicals That Activate Happiness, and How to Gamify Them using Nicole Lazzaro's research on fun.  Here is how we promote the chemical well-being of our seniors.

Dopamine, often thought of as the pleasure chemical is now thought of more as the anticipation and motivation molecule.  Dopamine is a neurotrasmitter moving between the synaptic clefts between the 86 billion neurons in our brain binding to dopamine receptors.  It acts as both an excitatory and inhibitory molecule. Dopamine:

  • boosts your drive, focus, and concentration
  • enables you to plan ahead and resist impulses so you can achieve your goals
  • gives you that “I did it!” lift when you accomplish what you set out to do
  • gets your competitive juices flowing and provides the thrill of the chase in all aspects of life — business, sports, and love
  • is in charge of your pleasure-reward system
  • allows you to experience feelings of enjoyment, bliss and even euphoria

Here is an excellent article on How to Increase Dopamine Naturally by Deane Alban.  

We can increase dopamine in seniors with things such as exercise, meditation, music, touch, sleep and diet.  Here is a list of foods that increase either tyrosine for dopamine directly:

  • animal by products
  • almonds
  • apples
  • avocados
  • bananas
  • beets
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • fava beans
  • green leafy vegetables
  • green tea
  • lima beans
  • oatmeal
  • olive oil
  • oregano
  • peanuts
  • rosemary
  • sea vegetables
  • sesame and pumpkin seeds
  • soy products
  • turmeric
  • watermelon
  • wheat germ

SMART Communities

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Alzheimer’s and other dementias cost $236 billion annually. We can significantly reduce that number with lifestyle changes in senior environments including environmental changes, diet, exercise, meditation, and anxiety reduction.

Zanthion’s innovations focus on creating SMART Communities -- those that use technology to promote safety, mental and physical health, activity, rest, and togetherness.  If your assisted living community shares our vision to create SMART Communities, please connect with us. Let’s work together to truly improve quality of life for everyone (#QOLFE).

Why Hip Fractures Occur and How to Limit Them?

In the US, health care costs related to hip fractures are expected to double (from $17 to $25 Billion) between 2005 and 2025. 90% of hip fractures are due to falls, yet only 2% of falls result in a hip fracture.  Approximately 20% of older adults hospitalized for a hip fracture are expected to die within a year, and about 50% suffer a major decline in independence.

The questions are:

  • Who breaks their hips when they fall?
  • Why do they break their hip?
  • How can we lower the 2% of falls resulting in breaks to 1%?

Who Breaks Their Hips

The primary mechanisms of falling (≈30%) in older patients are slipping, tripping, and stumbling.  Less than half of older patients who fall tell their clinician they’ve had a fall. Frailty describes a senior's decreased physiologic reserve; assessing an older person's frailty may include evaluating their ability to walk up a flight of stairs or carry a bag of groceries. Some seniors will seem frail in their 70s, whereas others may remain active and vital into their 90s. An elder who is frail has a higher likelihood of falling and a greater risk of injury from a fall.[14]

The highest risk of hip fractures due to falls is with anyone who scores high on the frailty index.  The frailty index can be calculated using the Frailty Index for Elders (FIFE).

Why Do They Fracture Their Hips?

When someone falls only 1/16th of the entire available energy in the fall is translated into forces causing a hip fracture.  Body dynamics create a system of tensegrity where the body parts are stable in constant tension and distribute forces effectively throughout the body.  The hip joint is a ball-and-socket joint, where the head of femur rests in the cup-like acetabulum (socket) of the pelvis. Various muscles span the hip joint and contribute to the hip joint movement and consequently distribute falling forces throughout the body.   The average pelvis impact velocity is ~2.08 meters per second and the forces applied generally look like the image below.

A intuitive look at the diagram makes us think that breaks probably occur most often where the bone is thinnest and in most cases this is true.  The vast majority of hips are broken because the individual in question either lacks the robust musculature to distribute the force or has a lack of bone density which allows much less force force to break or fracture the bone.  This is called frailty.  The problems of aging come as a package and as such represent an accumulation of health deficits.  A fall resulting in a fractured hip is an outcome of those deficits that can be a painful cycle that end in mortality at a very high cost to the frail.  

 

How to Lower the Incidence of Fractures

Lowering fracture incidents in seniors is a prioritization and marketing problem starting with the identification of those who are considered frail.  The prioritization is:

  • Identify the frail
  • Modify the environment to enhance livability
  • Institute processes that ensure safety
  • Protect the frail with protective clothing
  • Use technology to measure status
  • Use technology to provide immediate on-site care and resolution

Identify the Frail

The vast majority of all hip fractures occur in the frail.  Identifying them allows us to concentrate our time and resources on those who will most benefit from our efforts.  You can read more about the frailty index for elders (FIFE) and take the survey at https://zanthion.com/frailty-survey/.

Modifying the Environment

Environmental design is a major factor in safety and livability.  This is particularly true for seniors and the frail. Familiarity, ease of access, ease of use, and lack of small injuries and frustrations empowers frail seniors to be more active and either stabilize their condition or enhance their health.  Some examples of environmental factors are:

  1. Removing all throw rugs
  2. Ensuring that all surfaces are not slick
  3. Having wide, clear paths of travel within the home
  4. Removing all sharp corners and hard impact surfaces
  5. Raising all seating and tables
  6. Providing plugs that are elevated for ease of access
  7. Ensuring that resistance heating elements have automatic shut-off and are plugged into GFI sockets
  8. Ensuring that all door handles are lever arms
  9. Providing simple easy communications mechanisms for times of need (always with them)
  10. Making sure that all pharmaceuticals are taken in a controlled fashion with complete accountability
  11. Health information readily available with medical contacts, current drug dosages and schedule, emergency contacts, and vital signs

You can read more about environmental assessment and take the survey  at https://zanthion.com/safe-environment-survey/.

Institute processes that ensure safety

Environmental safety requires that there be processes to ensure their effectiveness.  This is especially true when emergencies occur like flooding, fire, and accidents. In all of these situations access to doorways, readiness of drugs, and methods of escape and home entry are very important.  You can read more about processes to ensure safety and take the quiz at https://zanthion.com/processes-for-safety/.

Protect the frail with protective clothing

Deaths due to falls has risen 31% in the last 10 years.  There are many reasons for the increase in mortality such as an older population who are more frail.  It is obvious, however, that much more must be done to protect our frail. Zanthion has introduced stylish SMART Protective Clothing to minimize the number of fatalities directly due to falls.  The frail do not have either the level of tensegrity or bone density to absorb the forces that affect their bones during falls.  Modern elastomeric materials used for extreme sports and built into fashionable senior clothing can distribute that force by up to 50% and still be comfortable.   

Use technology to measure status

Technology has improved every market sector performance it has touched in the last 50 years and protecting frail seniors is no exception.   Since 2014 El Camino Hospital in California has reduced their falls by 39% using predictive analytics.  In their case they are using data acquired in the healthcare setting.  This same technique using real time data collected in senior communities is being implemented by Zanthion to inform caregivers and stakeholders of a need for intervention to limit falls and other problems such as urinary tract infections.  You can find out more about real time measurement at https://zanthion.com/realtime-measurement/.

SMART Help Locket
Zanthion Mobile Client

Use technology to bring resources to an immediate need

There is no lack of systems to notify emergency services in case of emergencies with respect to seniors.  The problem with all the current systems is the prioritization of notification and the method by which they are employed.  Current systems like Medical Guardian and GreatCall use a central dispatch system much like emergency services. These in turn use systems that distribute calls to various authorities and relations in order to achieve their desired goal.  Unfortunately, seniors often feel very uncomfortable with the dispatch of services when they are not sure of the level of their need. They often feel uncomfortable with strangers. In fact, the most important response requirement is time and the second most important is familiarity.  In order to achieve this end result a stratified system is required that notifies neighbors, friends, physicians, and families and then notifies emergency services. Find out how Zanthion achieves these results at https://zanthion.com/crowdsourced-notification/.

 

Happiness for You, and Your Parents

Happiness Is

All of us can be happy and healthy. Get a good nights sleep. Eat well, but not too much. Exercise as a part of your daily life. Take care of yourself. Be social. And most of all, make the decision to be happy. Happiness for you and your parents is a habit away.

Zanthion helped Hillside Haven become a SMART Community

Hillside Haven Retirement Residence

A five-part series on how Zanthion enhanced the lives of our residents by improving their Safety, Mental health, Activity, Rest and Togetherness.

Michael Gestetner

Director

Hillside Haven Retirement Residence

Of all the many people that inquire about, tour and move into Hillside Haven, most have one major concern – safety. The concerned party can be the senior themselves, loved ones, a health care provider or most commonly a combination of them. The concern usually stems from the fact that with age comes an increase in medical issues.

According to the Center for Disease Control, over 90% of seniors in a 30-day period have been on at least one prescription drug to treat a medical issue, more than 65% on three or more. Along with increased medical issues, seniors are also much more susceptible to sudden medical events that require immediate action. These events can be caused by illness or disease, but ironically are often caused by adverse reactions or side effects to their medications.

At Hillside Haven, safety is the number one concern. Residents and their loved ones rest assured knowing that full time professional staff are always on hand to ensure their safety and respond immediately to emergencies. With Zanthion, Hillside Haven staff members get immediate and automatic notification of emergencies delivered directly to them, shaving precious minutes off their response time which can be all the difference. Studies show that the quicker the response, the greater the likelihood of a favorable outcome.

The Zanthion system also has two unique tracking features. It can track residents’ daily activity levels and staff response times. Tracking daily activity gives staff a unique insight that can help them proactively respond to health issues that are hinted to in sudden declines or changes in activity. Tracking staff response times assures residents and their loved ones that in an emergency, help will be provided immediately.  

Three ways Zanthion allows Hillside Haven Retirement Residence to ensure resident safety:

  1. Zanthion alerts staff to falls and other emergencies that occur in and around the building.
  2. Staff response time tracking ensures that staff are always lightning quick in their responses. Quicker responses mean better outcomes.
  3. Resident activity tracking provides added insight into potential health issues, allowing staff to pick up and respond to problems early.

Hillside Haven is proud to be a SMART community.