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Safety Products

Plum® Keeps Seniors Safe with Fall Protection Helmets and Hip Protectors

Fall injuries in medical facilities and nursing homes are a noteworthy threat to the life and well-being of their residents. Some fall injuries in older adults can cause traumatic brain damage leading to temporary unconsciousness, seizures and in even result in death. During an overview of fall risks and how to avoid them, Merck Manuals noted that “falls reportedly contribute to over 40% of nursing home admissions … And, at least 50% of nursing home residents fall.” 

Considering the fact that falls are a dangerous and possibly life-threatening form of injury for seniors, many nursing homes and other long-term care facilities take preventive measures to reduce fall injuries. Indeed many patients are prone to suffer severe fall injuries if the facilities do not take necessary precautions.

People who have fallen before are at a higher risk of falling again. Even though repetitive falls in these individuals are often caused by the same things, the falls can also be a sign of disease progression in cases like Parkinson’s and dementia, or other intense problems. A majority of seniors in healthcare facilities are fall risks for several reasons. Those factors include but are not limited to conditions like gait and balance problems, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, poor vision, muscle weakness and medications. 

Many healthcare facilities take proactive measures to prevent fall injuries by installing bed alarms. However, the reality is that it is not always possible for a healthcare worker to reach the patient in time.  Moreover, healthcare workers often risk injury to themselves when trying to break a patient’s fall, and can even inadvertently cause greater harm to the patient.

The two most common and dangerous areas of injury from a fall in older adults are the head and hip area. A proven way to prevent fall injuries is with  protective headgear and hip protectors, specifically Plum’s® ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® protective headgear and ProtectaHip® hip protectors,  proven superior in both fall protection as well as amazing comfort for compliance.

While we are on the topic of preventing falls and maintaining balance with Parkinson’s disease, it’s absolutely necessary to mention that falls are the second most common cause of hospitalization in Parkinson’s patients. Some frequent injuries sustained during these falls include not only head and traumatic brain injuries but also hip and pelvic fractures, broken bones, and spinal injuries.

The objective is not just a matter of eliminating falls altogether because the reality is that falls happen in life and particularly with increasing age, apart from the fact that some conditions can increase the prospect. For that reason, the focus shouldn’t be on prevention only but importantly on diminishing the scope of the impact of the falls. As stated by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Prevention program emphasis should shift away from a focus on preventing falls as a measure of quality care to decreasing Fall-related injuries (FRIs).” 

At this point, there has been plenty of evidence supporting the benefits of physical exercise for the elderly, and the activities do not need to be too aggressive. The types of exercises that are best suited for older adults are often characterized as ‘moderate’. Even so, it’s always recommended that you speak with a health professional prior to starting any new physical activities to determine your limits. Besides Plum’s® protective helmets and hip protectors, Plum’s® ProtectaWrap® protective splints provide targeted extremity fall  protection for knees, elbows, shins and forearms. It is never too late to adopt a  healthier lifestyle with proactive fall protection to improve your balance, reduce your fall risk and maintain your healthy active lifestyle.
Fall injuries are preventable and do not have to be a normal part of aging.

Plum's® ProtectaCap® and ProtectaCap+Plus® Helmets for head in jury prevention

Many caregivers and guardians frequently assume that only children with special needs are at risk for falling but the same can be true for adolescent and older adults as a result fall injuries. No age group is completely safe from head trauma, and the utilization of dependable safety headgear is of extreme importance for both children and adults, particularly those individuals with certain medical conditions, special needs, balance concerns, epilepsy or seizures.

There has been extensive research conducted on the impacts of wearing a protective cap to reduce the risk of head injuries originated as a result of a collision. In actuality, even a fall from a low elevated surface such as a bed can result in head trauma. 

To determine the best type of helmet, begin by remembering that a good helmet also needs to be adjustable so that it is snug, lightweight, stays put and is very comfortable. Regardless of the direction in which the individual falls, the protective helmet should minimize the impact so it is crucial that the headgear stays on securely during the fall. 

Some types of epilepsy make the person inclined to drop attacks, these seizures lead to individuals falling wherever it occurs. Those people should protective helmets to protect their heads in the event that they fall against concrete or any other hard surface. In fact, Plum’s® ProtectaCap® custom-fitting protective headgear is recommended by the Epilepsy Foundation. Protective headgear is also important for individuals with hemophilia, autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, people who are at risk for head injuries and for post surgery following craniotomy, craniotomy and shunts.  The most important criteria for choosing a protective helmet are its proven superior safety effectiveness and a lightweight comfortable fit.  Plum’s® ProtectaCap® custom-fitting protective headgear and ProtectaCap+Plus® advanced fall safety protective helmet meet those criteria.

Sometimes a protective helmet can make a huge difference between a minor fall and a trip to the emergency room at the hospital. As the Boston Medical Center indicated “For children who have frequent seizures that cause them to fall to the ground, helmets are recommended”.