I’m very encouraged whenever I hear from people who contact me after they purchase or learn of the ResQUp as a floor recovery device. Very recently I spoke to an elderly gentleman from Mesa, AZ, who wanted to know why the ResQUp is not made available to his community of elderly people? They are known to be frequent fallers and fall recovery from the floor is a real problem. He went on to say:
“Wouldn’t it make better sense to provide those who fall a device like the ResQUp to help themselves back up after a [non-traumatic] fall? And wouldn’t it free up emergency services from responding to call in which nobody was hurt, but needs a little help getting off the floor?”
I strongly agreed with his thinking about the problem of fall recovery.
Fortunately, most senior falls do not result in significant injuries, but an estimated 20% do result in some form of trauma to the fallen. Being a Physical Therapist, I always prefer that the fallen person find a way off the floor themselves when able to do so. This is far better than having their caregiver or loved one risk getting hurt while assisting the fallen person in floor recovery.
I also explained to the kind gentleman, that many hospitals across the country have minimal or ‘no lift policies’ because research has identified that regularly lifting in excess of 30 pounds of body weight results in cumulative trauma to the spine of the health care worker. Hoyer Lifts and other mechanical lifts are being made available to hospital workers to help reduce the prevalence of injuries and promote safe patient handling.
Why aren’t fall recovery devices like the ResQUp being made available for those in the home setting where most falls occur? About 60% of all falls occur at home and only about 15% occur at the hospital. Shouldn’t more be done to protect those attempting to age in place in their home with their loved ones? As a physical therapist, I believe that we need to protect the caregiver in the home setting just as much as the healthcare worker in the hospital setting.
Elderly people who need fall recovery devices will continue to be a growing concern as our aging community also continues to grow. How we manage our limited resources in an effort to respond to fall recovery issues outside the hospital will need to be continually monitored and evaluated.