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How Dangerous Are Long Lie Times For Seniors After A Fall?

Falling is an often overlooked danger to seniors, especially the risks and long-term damaging effects that are associated with prolonged lie times following a fall. Research has shown that one in three individuals over the age of 65 experiences a fall annually, and the repercussions of extended lie times can be both physically and psychologically devastating. The average wait time for assistance after a fall can range from under ten minutes to sometimes, in unfortunate circumstances, hours. And that difference can have life-changing repercussions. The need for effective fall prevention measures and timely intervention is paramount to the overall health and well-being of older adults.

Dangers Of Prolonged Lie Times

Lying on the ground for a long time can have a cascading effect on one's health. We might find ourselves asking “what’s the worst that can happen if I lie on the ground?” We think that eventually we will be able to get up, but many people can’t get up on their own and the stress of figuring out when/ how help will arrive can be very traumatic.

At Victoria Lifeline, we often hear older adults tell us that they “have a plan”, or that their “kid comes by or calls them everyday”. We can tell you from experience that plans such as those don’t always yield the best outcomes. If your daughter checks on you everyday at noon, and you just happen to fall shortly after she calls, you could be on the floor until the following day. The longer it takes for you to get help, the more at risk you are for complications. So what are some implications of prolonged lie times?

  • Delayed medical treatment

  • Loss of consciousness

  • Broken bones/ hip fracture

  • Dehydration

  • Muscle & Tissue Damage (Rhabdomyolysis)

  • Hypothermia and/or Pneumonia

  • Internal organ damage (if impact on sharp/hard surface occurred)

  • Infections

Psychological Damage Of Falls

Additionally, the psychological toll can also weigh heavy on somebody for years after a fall. Often a serious fall with a long lie time can result in heightened fear, restricted mobility, constant worry and a diminished sense of independence. The fear of falling can also contribute to more falls.

How To Protect Yourself From Long Lie Times

Thankfully, most falls are preventable! Apart from incorporating preventative lifestyle changes such as getting your eyes checked, making your home safer, and taking care of your health, solutions such as Victoria Lifeline's Medical Alert Devices emerge as indispensable tools in safeguarding seniors and minimizing the risks associated with prolonged lie times. 

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) like our HomeSafe with Fall Detection, are an immediate lifeline to seniors in distress, enabling them to swiftly summon assistance at the press of a button. This prompt access to a 24/7 response center staffed with trained professionals can significantly reduce the duration of lie times, ensuring that seniors receive the aid they need without unnecessary delays. 

With the added protection of Fall Detection, special sensors inside the device immediately detect a fall* and begin the call response process. The Response Associate will make sure you get assistance, even if you are unable to verbally communicate (in the case of you being unconscious or are going through a panic attack). 

Using an emergency response service like ours allows older adults to have a comprehensive fall prevention strategy that serves as a proactive measure to address the dangers of extended lie times. It is extremely important to empower seniors with a reliable and easy-to-use means of calling for help after a serious fall.

Be Prepared For When A Fall Occurs

It is important to foster awareness about the risks of prolonged lie times and the role that effective fall prevention measures can play in mitigating these risks. By adapting various fall prevention tips into your day-to-day lifestyle, you can significantly reduce your risk and lead a healthier and happier life.

This article is meant to be informational in nature and should not replace the advice of a trained healthcare professional or financial professional. What works for some individuals, might be harmful to others. Consult a professional before making any significant changes. Fall Detection does not detect 100% of falls. If able you should always press your button if you need help.

By: Maor Tsitrin, Marketing Communications Assistant
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