According to researchers from the University of Illinois, subconscious training may be the “vaccine against falls” elderly people are looking for. The team, headed by physical therapy professor Clive Pai, is currently working on a custom treadmill that may be used to implicitly train seniors how to not fall by tripping them on purpose, while they’re rigged to a safety harness. Headlines & Global News takes a closer look at this study, which aims to improve senior care:
Scientists tried the experiment with 81-year-old Mary Kaye. Little sensors in her arms and legs allowed her movements to be tracked and analyzed and she was also hooked to a harness that would keep her from falling if she needed help.
While on the walkway, Kaye stumbled a few times when the walkway slid but she kept her balance. Then Kaye went on a treadmill that was interrupted by sudden skips. She stumbled but still managed not to fall. According to Pai, Kaye’s previous study training may have helped her from falling the second time around.
Admittedly, the researchers still have a long way to go before they could reach a breakthrough, as only 50 percent of the subjects were able to catch themselves. The researchers have a good cause, though: according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), accidental slips and falls are the leading causes of injuries at home among seniors.
As families eagerly wait for a revolutionary system that can help their elderly loved ones move about, they can turn to reliable providers of senior care in Chicago, like those from Comfort Keepers of Chicagoland Area, IL, who can offer support to seniors to prevent them from falling, as well as providing first aid and immediately calling for medical assistance if a fall does happen.
Professional caregivers from reputable facilities have been well trained to meet the various needs of seniors in the comfort of their own homes, ranging from nutrition and personal hygiene to transportation and companionship.
In addition to giving assistance in cases of slips and falls, some trusted Chicago senior care providers offer technologically advanced products and fixtures that can prevent falls, and/or facilitate calling for immediate help. These in-house safety devices include alarms, grab bars, and walking canes.
Family members can also lend a hand in various ways. They can install additional lighting fixtures at home to help their loved ones move around better at night. Some products can identify and fix water leaks in a home, and eliminate puddles. If the seniors’ bedroom is located at a higher floor, the family can move it downstairs for their loved ones’ convenience, especially since power stair lifts aren’t really that popular among elderly people.
(Source: Senior Falls Prevented by Purposely Falling?, Headlines & Global News, August 28, 2014)