Originally Published in VoiceFriend Newsletter, February 2016

The seniors in your care are at risk for falls or other episodic events. How do we know this? About one third of the elder population over the age of 65 falls each year, and the risk of falls increases proportionately with age. At 80 years, over half of seniors fall annually. Getting help after an immobilizing fall improves the chance of survival by 80% and increases the likelihood of a return to independent living.

Despite all of the technology available to caregivers, a report from the Centers for Disease Control (Click here to read the CDC report) noted that the unintentional death rate from falls for seniors 65+ has increased 41% for the 10-year period 2004-2013. This statistic is surprising and alarming, and begs the question – do you have a plan to keep your seniors safe?

Safety and peace of mind often drives many seniors and/or their caregivers to seek housing at senior living communities or to participate in Adult Day programs. One simple way to offer seniors and their families the peace of mind they seek is to provide daily wellness check-ins. These check-ins ensure that the seniors are ‘up and about’ in the mornings and that they are well during the day.

To perform wellness checks, many communities use manual processes such as: phone calls, door tags, flippers, mailbox cards, door-to-door checks and dining room attendance. These manual wellness check-ins are often inaccurate and time-consuming for the staff. At VoiceFriend, we encourage wellness check-ins and have developed an easy to use automated calling service to ensure wellness checks are simple, convenient and cost effective.

The Summit at First Hill, a leading Independent and Assisted Living Community in Seattle Washington, uses VoiceFriend’s automated messaging solution to perform resident wellness check-ins. The Summit at First Hill finds that the automated wellness checks are easy to set up, enables staff to spend more time on other tasks and most importantly, are more accurate than manual processes. Says Leta Medina, Executive Director at The Summit at First Hill, “VoiceFriend has enabled our team to easily ensure that all of our residents are safely up in the morning and ready for the day. It has made the wellness check-in process less cumbersome – for both residents and staff – than anything we had previously investigated.”

Falls and other episodic events can be tragic for seniors. Automated wellness check-ins can offer eldercare providers an effective and productive solution to ensure the seniors in your care are safe and healthy.