On a mission to protect senior hips

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Iris Grant Onrot
Iris Grant Onrot

Every 15 seconds, an older adult is seen in an Emergency Department for a fall-related injury. Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those aged 65 and over. September 22 is National Fall Prevention Awareness Day, promoting awareness of preventing falls in the older adult population.

The National Council on Aging is to be applauded for bringing this very real health risk to the forefront. 

It's of vital importance for seniors and their families to take proactive steps to prevent falls and stay independent for as long as possible. However, we must be realistic and acknowledge that we can't take for granted that a fall will not occur. The reality is that falls happen.  With estimates that one of every three adults over 65 will fall every year, it is important to be prepared should a fall occur, to reduce the risk of hip fractures and other serious complications.

When I learned that one out of four people who fall and break their hips will die within the first year, I was determined to reduce this statistic.  It became my goal to lower the incidence of hip fractures in the elderly if they do fall. 

As a first step, I set out to examine what products existed to cushion hips in the event of a fall. I gathered samples and began to explore. The hip protectors on the market seemed both clunky and embarrassing to wear, or just some foam inserted into an undergarment. I thought: If I can pinch my two fingers together through the hip cushion, how can this product protect frail hip joints?  With all the technology and modern materials available, can't we do better for our parents and patients?

This is how the ComfiHips® brand was born.

I called on my husband, an expert in medical equipment, to join me in developing a technology that is extremely effective and can be worn under clothing, to ensure that people would wear the product both day and night. And so we oversaw the invention of the patented ComfiHips® hip protectors. Now there is a wearable, unobtrusive lightweight product that is extremely effective. They're so light and thin that people around you every day might be wearing them undetected. In fact, I now wear ComfiHips protectors all the time.

ComfiHips® technology was developed and perfected after 4 1/2 years of research and development and rigorous impact testing in conjunction with the Department of Physiology and Kinesiology at the University of Florida. On the market in Canada since 2009, they were introduced to North America in 2012. The product is so effective that Brookdale Senior Living's new “Brookdale Marketplace” endorses the product to be the only hip protector it offers and uses.

I encourage everyone to take advantage of the protection that the ComfiHips® product offers.  While we consider fall-related injuries to be a serious matter, we thought we might add some humor to help get the message across in this video. I hope you enjoy it!

Iris Grant Onrot is the creator of ComfiHips.

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