How Combining AI with Human Intelligence Can Effectively Reduce Falls in Seniors

It’s reassuring to think about the possibilities of using artificial intelligence (AI) to help reduce falls among America’s aging population. Although the statistics show that nearly 3 million U.S. seniors experience severe falls every year, technology offers a ray of hope. 

Today, systems that combine AI with human intelligence are the best solution to reduce falls in senior living communities. These powerful fall prevention systems are creating safer places to live, improving communities’ financial stability, and easing the minds of loved ones. 

How Does AI Help Reduce Falls? 

The world’s safest fall prevention systems use a blend of human expertise and technological innovation. A digital live feed monitors vulnerable seniors, plus trained nurses keep an eye out for the warning signs of impending falls and other dangers. 

Along the way, the system gathers important data regarding the safety and well-being of senior living residents. The system can track data points like the time of day, lighting conditions, temperature, and nearby risks of falls and other injuries. 

For example, research shows that the majority of senior living falls happen overnight between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. With this information in mind, the AI and human monitors with nurse oversight can work together to stay especially vigilant for fall risks during nighttime hours and intervene when a senior with dementia is at risk of an imminent fall.  

However, a basic system that uses only AI – with no live monitors – is inadequate for this task. Today’s basic AI is simply not adaptable enough to consistently predict dangerous situations in the same flexible way that a human monitoring agent uses their training to avoid disasters. 

As an example, reconsider the example above where a senior with dementia is disoriented at night. The AI system should be smart enough to know that most falls occur at night and can ensure there is proper night lighting, but it wouldn’t be well-trained enough to see another special circumstance arising.  

A trained monitoring agent with nurse oversight would know the best way to assure that resident and be able to anticipate exactly what’s happening. If the nurse can tell that the person with dementia is about to have a bathroom emergency, the monitoring agent can immediately connect with the resident to redirect them while alerting their living community. Thus, the monitoring agent helps avoid a fall before it ever happens. 

What are the Benefits of Reducing Falls Among Seniors? 

By reducing fall risk, we can protect vulnerable seniors and prevent long-lasting harm to their health. Fall reduction improves their quality of life and eases the burden of worry and financial implications among their concerned family members. 

In senior living communities, this reduction in falls comes with a strong positive impact on the bottom line. Fall prevention lowers costs and prevents expensive lawsuits and medical care.

  • A study from MedGroup Proof , Senior Care Coded Case Analysis with 1,100 senior living incidents found that the average fall costs $165,000 or more than $250,000 for certain types of incidents. 
  • In assisted living communities, the average cost of a claim is $267,000 in the CNA Aging Services Claim Report: 11th Edition and has been steadily rising since 2018.  
  • Falls account for two-thirds of all injury-related claims in senior living settings. 

Senior living communities that can prevent falls improve their reputations and reassure their residents and loved ones that they offer safe places to live. These communities also lower operational costs of move outs due to a fall as well as aiding the care teams by alerting them to these potential falls and resident distress. Plus, fall prevention sets the stage for benefits like higher occupancy and increased length of stay. 

Prevention and the Power of AI/Human Monitoring 

Prevention is a powerful part of preserving seniors’ health. The health factors and environmental factors that lead to senior falls are well-studied and widely known:  

Health Factors Associated with Falls 

  • Dementia 
  • Medication side effects  
  • Poor eyesight, including cataracts and glaucoma 
  • Hearing problems 
  • History of trembling or shaking 
  • Problems with balance/mobility or dizziness 
  • Trouble with urination/bowels 
  • Foot pain and sores 
  • New use of a cane, walker, or wheelchair 
  • High or low blood pressure  

Environmental Factors Associated with Falls 

  • Low and inadequate lighting 
  • Rugs, electrical cords, and other floor-level hazards 
  • Protruding hip-level hazards 
  • Loose, crumbling, and uneven flooring 
  • Wet and slippery floors 
  • Missing and broken handrails/hand-holds 
  • Unstable furniture

One of the best predictors of future falls is a history of previous falls. In fact, CNA Aging Services Claim Report: 11th Edition states 59% of all new fall claims involve senior living residents who have already experienced falls in the past.  

A monitoring system helps track and calculate the risks of falls in certain settings. When the system combines this AI with skilled and trained human monitoring agents with nurse oversight, there’s a high chance of identifying and preventing falls from occurring. 

EyeWatch LIVE™ is a type of in-room fall prevention platform that combines the advantages of technology with oversight from trained monitoring agents with nurse oversight. In this setup, the AI provides a first line of defense by creating a safety zone and monitoring the environment for potentially risky situations. Meanwhile, a live virtual monitoring agent with nurse oversight stays on guard for safety risks and provides a dual layer of protection for senior living residents. 

Reduce Falls with EyeWatch LIVE™ 

Falls are now more predictable and preventable than ever. Avoid dangerous falls and create safer places to live with the help of EyeWatch LIVE™. Please click the link below to learn more. 

See How EyeWatch LIVE™ Works 

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