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Preventing Falls in Older People

Tuesday, 02 July 2024 00:00

Falls are a significant concern for older adults, often resulting in serious injuries and decreased independence. Factors contributing to falls can include poor balance, muscle weakness, and foot problems such as neuropathy, arthritis, or wearing improperly fitted footwear. As we age, changes in vision and the side effects of medications can also increase the risk of falling. Preventing falls requires a proactive approach focusing on foot health. Older adults should regularly check their feet for any abnormalities and wear shoes that provide adequate support and have non-slip soles. Keeping floors clear of clutter, installing grab bars in bathrooms, and ensuring adequate lighting throughout the home can also help reduce fall risks. Engaging in regular physical activity, such as balance exercises and strength training, can improve stability and coordination. Additionally, reviewing medications with a healthcare provider can help identify those that may affect balance. If you are elderly and want to prevent the risk of falls and get help for any foot problems that might play a role, it is suggested that you visit a podiatrist regularly to maintain good foot health.

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 Coastal Foot & Ankle Wellness Center, LLC. 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 one of our offices located in St. Augustine, and Palatka, FL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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