The incidence of preventable falls in older Australians has grown at an alarming rate, with the costs of injury and death from falls estimated at $500 million a year and rising.
Aged care providers and hospital administrators can now be part of the solution to this tragic and growing problem by incorporating the Balance Mat into their duty of care protocols.
The good news is that aged care providers and hospital administrators can now be part of the solution to this tragic problem.
A world-first, Australian-made, sensor-based objective balance measuring system is now available that can help nurses and carers identify who is at risk of falling since poor balance is correlated with a heightened falls risk in older adults.
Powered by BalanceMetrix technology, the Unimetric Balance Mat comprises a small, lightweight nylon mat with an embedded sensor, internal mesh of optical fibre and online score information system.
The system works by sensing and recording the continuous postural adjustments of a person standing on the mat during a simple sixty-second test: the higher the score, the poorer the person’s balance.
Balance data is displayed on a Windows 10 computer or Android device as a dynamic graph and score. The final graph, score, biodata, health status and relevant notes are captured in the score information system for later use.
Any score of 0.6 or above signals a falls risk, enabling falls prevention measures such as increased out-of-bed monitoring, hip protectors or balance exercises to be taken.
The product is designed to complement national best practice tools such as the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care Falls Guidelines, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services Falls Risk Assessment Tool(FRAT) and Western Australia Health Falls Risk Assessment and Management Plan(FRAMP). These tools advocate balance measurement upon admission and at appropriate intervals to ensure patient and resident safety, wellbeing and longevity.
• Takes the guesswork out of measuring balance
• Presents as non-threatening, safe and comfortable for older people to stand on
• Gives families confidence that everything that can be done is being done to keep their loved ones safe from falling
• Strengthens awareness of the facility as an enlightened, caring organisation
• Helps mitigate any previous duty of care reputational damage
• Gives residential aged care facilities an advantage over their competitors
• Provides regulators with evidence of falls prevention activities
• Can be incorporated easily into standard duty of care protocols