New technology such as smart watches is often associated with the young but increasingly, services are being added which are geared towards the older generation too.
This has never been more evident than with the new functionality that’s available on the Apple Watch. But what exactly is this life-saving technology and how could it help? Keep reading to find out why it’s so special.
A significant problem
Falls can be one of the biggest problems for the elderly, especially for those who live alone. Unless they take a tumble within reaching distance of their mobile phone, it’s almost impossible to reach out for help.
Around three million older people wind up in Accident and Emergency every year due to a fall. And in one out of every five falls, a serious injury occurs such as a head injury or a broken bone.
According to research, the inability to get up after a fall or call for help can lead to more complications and poorer recovery. It’s therefore essential to minimize the amount of time spent on the floor, not just to preserve dignity but to provide a better outcome too.
The Apple alert
Apple has recognized the risk of falling represents a real threat to the long-term health of older individuals, and have created an alert system on the Apple Watch. It needs to be set up in advance, but it’s simple to do and could be a life-saver, quite literally.
If a person falls while wearing their Apple Watch, they can use the Emergency SOS app to make a call. When this is activated, the Apple Watch will automatically ring the local emergency services number, alerting them to the situation.
Once the emergency call has finished, if you’ve entered emergency contacts it will also send them a text. This notifies them where you are and for a short period, will also send them updates with any changes in your location.
To be able to use this service on the Apple Watch, your iPhone needs to be in the vicinity. If it’s not, your Watch must be hooked up to a WiFi network and WiFi calling must have been enabled. If you usually have Location Services switched off, when the Emergency SOS is used, Location Services will temporarily be switched back on.
Other ways the Apple Watch can help
Providing help in an emergency situation is just one of the ways the Apple watch can help with falls.
Falls in older people are most commonly caused by poor muscle tone, weakness and overall lack of fitness. Prevention is better than treatment; you might not be able to completely eradicate the likelihood of a fall, but it is possible to reduce the possibility.
The Apple watch is an easy way to track your activity and with its suite of fitness apps, it’s simple to customize your workout and track progress against goals. You don’t need to be an elite athlete to use the fitness apps on your watch, every program can be easily amended to reflect your own personal targets.
The Apple watch is smart and stylish, yet could also be the thing that saves your life. Many falls in the elderly are fatal and the watch could help prevent you become a statistic.
Physical therapy is essential too, and we can help you to stay fit, healthy and mobile. Get in touch with us today if you want to find out more about physical therapy and how we can provide a tailored program.