Falls among elderly individuals pose a significant health problem impacting their quality of life. As the population ages, it becomes increasingly important to focus on prevention and knowledge sharing to support older adults.
Falls have various causes, including environmental factors such as obstacles in their surroundings and physical aspects like loss of muscle strength. Cognitive impairments and medication usage also contribute to fall incidents. It is important to note that falls in elderly individuals extend beyond immediate physical injuries; they have a psychological aspect that significantly affects overall well-being and independence. When older people experience a fall, it can lead to a loss of confidence in their ability to move safely. The fear of falling again can result in excessive apprehension, limiting their mobility. Psychological consequences may include frustration, sadness, and a sense of loss of control. The inability to perform previously simple tasks can also lead to decreased self-esteem.
To address this issue, Mintt teams have developed an autonomous and non-intrusive fall detection system that enhances the quality of care in institutions. Installing a fall sensor triggers real-time alerts to caregivers, automatically recording each incident. This approach allows for prompt intervention, preventing further injuries as individuals attempt to get up or fall again. Moreover, it instils a sense of security among residents, knowing that immediate assistance will be provided in the event of a fall. This solution ensures effective monitoring and facilitates coordination among caregivers, enhancing the institution’s reputation as a responsive and attentive facility.
In addition to fall detection, the Mintt sensor incorporates fall prevention functionalities. For example, it records pseudonymised sequences leading up to a fall, enabling the caregiving team to analyse walking and movement patterns and identify risk factors. Based on this information, staff can implement preventive measures such as physical exercises, environmental modifications, or appropriate support equipment. This proactive approach to fall prevention demonstrates the institution’s commitment to promoting safety and well-being, an aspect highly valued by families.
Mintt emphasises strict adherence to the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation. The solution employs advanced technologies, such as 3D sensors, which differ from traditional cameras. The sensor captures pseudonymised images using colour dots, and the recorded fall-related information is limited to two minutes before and after the incident. No images are stored outside of this specific interval. Mintt ensures compliance with the highest standards of security and confidentiality while providing caregivers access to relevant information to enhance the care and safety of those involved.
While technology undoubtedly serves as a valuable tool in fall prevention and analysis, it is crucial to recognise that it alone is not a comprehensive solution. A multidisciplinary approach is essential, involving the residents themselves, their families, and the caregiving staff. Each stakeholder plays a critical role in promoting the safety and well-being of the elderly. Residents must actively participate in the process by being aware of the risks, adopting safe behaviours, and following fall prevention recommendations. Families also play a vital role by offering emotional support, encouraging preventive measures, and creating a secure home environment. Caregivers must receive proper training and be aware of the risks associated with falls in elderly individuals. They should be able to identify individual risk factors, conduct regular assessments, and implement appropriate prevention strategies.
Fall prevention remains a significant public health challenge for vulnerable elderly individuals. While technology cannot replace a multidisciplinary approach, it can be essential in fall prevention and analysis. Mintt’s goal is to support healthcare professionals in their daily work, preserve the independence of our elders, and we firmly believe that through collaboration, we can address and ultimately overcome the issue of falls.