Hip Hope: Cushioning Hips During Falls

Hip Hope

Award Date: 2017

Project Lead(s): Linda Truong, Project Manager

Project Title: Hip Hope

What is the issue? 

Falls are common in older adults. Currently available hip protector devices have pads that attach to the hip or use air-filled cushions. But people don’t like them and tend not to use them.   

What did we do? 

We tested device called Hip-Hope. It is made of a belt that holds two airbags that only inflate right before a person hits the ground. The device weighs only 2.5 pounds. Sensors detect a fall and calculate when to inflate the airbagsSixteen people tested the device for ten days and provided their feedback. We also conducted focus groups with six staff members at Baycrest 

What did we find?  

People who tested the device and care staff were neutral to very enthusiastic about itThe fit and appearance were satisfactory. Users mostly wore the device around the house and found it uncomfortable to wear during transportation. They were confused by the indictor lights and sensors that didn’t work well all the time. The clasp and charger were easy to use. The device successfully inflated when one person fell. There was also one instance where the device inflated when a person was not falling.