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Ways to Prevent Falls in the Elderly

Tuesday, 10 May 2022 00:00 Written by 

According to the CDC, one out of four seniors over 65 experiences a fall, and the odds are that once you have fallen, it will happen again. This often occurs as the result of diminishing balance, mobility and coordination as you age. Five simple ways to help prevent falls, and the injuries that may follow, include removing tripping hazards around the home, making stairs and bathrooms safer, wearing proper shoes and slippers, using a cane or walker, and doing exercises that both strengthen legs and feet and improve balance and coordination. First, it is suggested that you remove area rugs or mats that can be tripped over or that slide too easily, and clear hallways and walkways of clutter or other objects. Second, have railings installed on all stairways, including those on porches or home entry areas. Also, add grab bars to bathroom tubs and showers and make sure to use non-slip mats. Third, find shoes that provide support and fit well. Avoid going barefoot and walking around in socks at home. Instead get shoes and slippers with non-skid soles for safety both inside and out of the house. Fourth, it is amazing how many seniors refuse to use a walking aid out of vanity, but using a cane or walker is one of the best ways to avoid falls. Finally, see your podiatrist for information on how to strengthen your ankles and feet with exercises you can do at home.  A podiatrist can answer any questions you may have on ways to prevent falling.  

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 Dr. Barbara Davis from Gilbert Podiatry. Our doctor 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 office located in Gilbert, PA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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