Elderly rural residents face unique fall risks

Kevin Magna

June 15, 2011

Seniors who live independently in isolated towns and areas may want to consider personal emergency response systems that could help them in case they fall and injure themselves. Rural areas are often poorly lit and may not have sidewalks or stable surfaces, which could increase the risk of an accident for older adults who spend time outdoors, according to researchers from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The scientists recently studied older people who live in rural areas, and found that these individuals are more likely to be overweight and physically inactive, which increases their risk of falling.

Populations of rural towns are often small and homes can be spread out over long distances, and if an individual were to fall and cry out for help, their call may go unanswered, states The New York Times. However, an elderly alert system would allow him or her to get help. This technology can allow older people to continue living on their own – even if they live in a rural area – by giving them added security that help is not far if something goes wrong.