Your Feet and Falling
Falling can result in bone breaks or worse, and they are especially prevalent among older people. While there are many causes of falls, such as poor eyesight, hearing, slowing of reflexes, or side effects from medication, foot problems can also impact balance and gait and result in falls. Those with diabetes or circulatory problems need to be particularly careful to examine their feet for problems they might not feel. Simple things one can do to help avoid falling include checking environments for safety hazards, wearing properly fitted and supportive footwear, staying physically active, having regular examinations of ears and eyes, limiting alcohol consumption, using canes or other assistive devices if called for, and being aware of unusual ground conditions. Meeting with a podiatrist to check your feet, help assess risks for falls, and inform you of how to minimize this from happening in the future.
Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from InStride Family Foot Care. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.
How to Prevent Falls
Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:
- Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
- Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
- Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
- Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
- Utilizing a walker or cane
- Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
- Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness
Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in Concord, Charlotte, and Salisbury, NC . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.