4 Seniors: New technology that can help keep seniors safe at home

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Each year, more than one out of four seniors fall, making it the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those age 65 and older.

While a fall can happen anywhere, 80 percent of all home falls happen in the bathroom. To help protect you or your elder loved one from this potential problem are two new innovative devices that provide voice-enabled emergency assistance or fall detection technology that automatically call for help, without a wearable pendant.

Bathroom Safety Problem

To help keep seniors safe at home, medical alert systems, which have been around for more than 30 years, have long been the tool of choice.

These systems provide a wearable “help button,” so if you were to fall or need assistance, at the press of a button, you could call and talk to a trained operator at a 24/7 monitoring center who would find out what’s wrong, and notify family members, a neighbor, friend or emergency services as needed.

But medical alert systems have several shortcomings. One major concern is that seniors don’t always wear their pendant help button, especially when they’re bathing or if they have to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

Voice-Enabled Assistance

To overcome this challenge, Cox Communications is now offering a new medical alert system called Homelife Care that has a voice-enabled device that attaches to the bathroom wall that lets you call for help by simply saying “call 911” three consecutive times. No other medical alert system currently offers this capability.

Homelife Care also includes a mobile app for family members and caregivers that sends real-time notifications whenever the alert system is triggered.

Homelife Care is available at Cox.com/HomelifeCare or 800-556-7709, costs $35 per month, and you don’t have to be a Cox customer to get it.

Automatic Fall Detection

Another new technology that helps seniors call for help if they fall – without using a wearable pendant button – is Walabot Home.

This device attaches to your bathroom wall and uses low-power radio waves to detect falls. If you do take a tumble, Walabot calls your emergency contacts to let them know. It does not offer a 24/7 call monitoring center, and home WiFi is required.

This device works even when your bathroom is steamy or dark and can sense falls through shower curtains and glass walls.

The Wallabot is available for $150 plus a $10 monthly service fee, at Walabot.com or 800-834-1590.

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