The risk of falling increases with age due to declining physical health, greater mobility issues, a more sedentary lifestyle, vision problems, hazards in the home, and side effects of medications. Falling can be serious for older people and is one of the leading causes of injury, disability, or even death in this age group. Stability and balance can be issues for seniors, which makes falling a risk. Because vision declines with age and older people have more eye-related diseases, seeing and judging distances becomes harder and it is easier to fall over obstacles in their environments. Issues with poor lighting, clutter, and improper maintenance in homes are more likely in this population, which also contribute to falling. Sadly, an elderly person is also more likely to fall for no obvious reason, but this can happen from a medical condition, such as a heart issue, circulation problems, or dehydration. To minimize falling and the consequences it might have, if you are a senior, it would be wise to assess and tend to home risks, get regular physical and eye exams, wear supportive and well-fitting shoes, use walking devices as needed, and try to stay as active as possible. Including a podiatrist among the health care professionals you see for routine foot exams and treatment of any current or brewing issues can increase your confidence that your mobility and independence will continue unharmed.
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 Leonard Talarico, DPM from Georgia. 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 Pooler, GA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.