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.

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/.