At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that at every age, patients face different podiatric challenges. September 23rd is Falls Prevention Awareness Day, and this is a topic that’s very important for our senior patients and those who love them. Each year, one in four adults over the age of 65 will suffer a fall. These injuries can be quite debilitating, and in fact, are the leading cause of trauma-related hospital admissions for older patients, as well as the number one cause of fatal injuries to seniors.
Fortunately, there are many ways to lower your fall risk. Below is a checklist for senior patients. Use it to ensure that you are doing everything you can to make sure you prevent falls.
- Keep feet healthy. Don’t delay seeking treatment for foot pain. Foot pain changes the way you walk and can cause a fall. Our podiatrists, Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah, will thoroughly examine your feet and provide a prompt diagnosis and treatment plan.
- Wear shoes that fit properly. Shoes that make your feet uncomfortable can cause you to trip. Be sure that you replace shoes when they are stretched out, torn, or show other signs of wear.
- Get a medical checkup each year. Several health conditions can cause dizziness, balance issues, and leg pain and lead to a fall. Manage chronic conditions such as diabetes, which can cause neuropathy and loss of feeling in your feet.
- Stay current with eye exams. Make an appointment to see your eye doctor between visits if you feel that your vision is decreasing.
- Review your medication list periodically with your physician or pharmacist. Certain medications or interactions can cause you to feel lightheaded or dizzy.
- Add strength training and activities that improve balance to your fitness regimen.
- Do a home inspection, and make repairs of broken or loose steps and carpet that is not firmly tacked down. Remove obstacles like magazine racks and electrical cords from pathways where you walk. Add non-slip strips to bathtub floors; grab rails around the toilet and shower, a second handrail on staircases and additional lighting to dark areas around your home.
Falls are not a natural part of aging. If you have questions about reducing your risk or are experiencing any foot discomfort, contact our Edison (732-204-6630), Monroe (732-204-6802) or Monmouth Junction (732-204-6945) office today.