YOUR HEALTH: You’ve fallen and you can’t get up!

DALLAS, Texas – You've heard the commercial and seen the woman.

She's fallen and she can't get up.

It's serious business.

One in four Americans 65 and older will fall this year.

Every 11-seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room from a fall and every 19 minutes an older adult dies from a fall.

Three years ago, 70-year-old Sandy Craven had a major stroke.

She lives alone, and since then, she's fallen more than a dozen times.   Sometimes she can't get up.

"One time I fell and I drug myself from the utility room into the den where I could get up in the recliner."

Sandy fell so often that she needed a Lifeline.

She tried several medical alert systems, but didn't like that they notified a call center and even called 9-1-1 before knowing if it was a real emergency.

Then she found My-Notifi, which she wears on her wrist like a watch.   It detects falls, uses GPS and is connected to her cell phone.
The device sends a text to her loved ones if she falls.

If she can't speak, they will know to call 9-1-1 immediately.

"If you fall, you just instantly tap your phone. In just a minute, my daughter's phone will ring."

"So I just received a notification that my mom has fallen," says Craven's daughter Annissa King.

Seniors often lose core strength, which contributes to instability.  The My-Notifi app also suggests exercises to improve strength and reduce falls.

"They become more problematic as we get older because we take it for granted that it's going to happen rather than fight it," said orthopedic surgeon Dr. John Early with Texas Orthopedic Associates.

MY-NOTIFI:  This device comes in the form of a wristband or waistband clip.   One of the main differences is that it is connected to a mobile phone, not a land line.   This means that the user can use it outside the home.   The device is waterproof and is encouraged to be worn everywhere. MyNotifi meets Class I device standards and is also HIPAA secured so that all information is private.   The family members supporting the senior simply download the MyNotifi app and allow notifications.   Once this is done, the family is connected to their loved one using the device.

"You just feel helpless, but I don't feel helpless now," said Craven.

The cost of the My-Notifi is $299.

Since it does not use a call center there is no monthly monitoring fee.

While the user can initiate a call by tapping on the device, the My-Notifi also uses an algorithm to detect if a person has fallen and alerts the people in the wearers network.

If this story has impacted your life or someone you know to seek or change treatments, please let us know by contacting  Jim Mertens at jim.mertens@wqad.com or Marjorie Bekaert Thomas at mthomas@ivanhoe.com.