May is Older Americans Month. Every 11 seconds an adult over the age of 65 is treated in the emergency room for a fall. At Affiliated Foot & Ankle Care, we know that falls can result in an injury to the feet or ankles that can leave you with limited mobility and long-term disability. Many falls occur right in your own home. By making some simple changes you can significantly decrease your chance of falling.
In general, remove clutter from the floors in your home. Get rid of throw rugs and make sure carpeting is securely nailed with no loose edges. Keep electrical and computer cords out of pathways. Below are some makeover tips for specific areas of your home.
Entryway—check the approach to your front door. Make sure pavement and steps are in good repair and free from cracks and loose cement. Good lighting, preferably motion activated, will ensure that you can see clearly to enter your home.
Stairways—don’t leave items on the stairs like shoes, clothing or other items you plan to take up or down. Consider putting colored strips of tape on stair edges in a bright color to make it clear where each new step begins. Make sure lights can be turned on both at the top and bottom of stairs so you never have to walk in the dark. Install handrails on both sides of staircases for additional balance.
Bathroom—install grab bars near the toilet and tub. Towel bars are not meant to support your weight. Put a non-stick mat or strips in your shower or tub. Consider a shower chair if you have trouble maintaining your balance.
Kitchen—keep items you use frequently low and within easy reach. Clean up spills immediately to prevent floors from becoming slippery.
Another cause of falls for seniors is undiagnosed foot pain. If your feet hurt, it can cause you to change the way you walk to avoid pain. This creates balance issues and can cause a fall. Contact our Edison, Monroe or Monmouth Junction office for an appointment by calling: 732-662-3050 so that our podiatrists, Dr. Varun Gujral and Dr. Nrupa Shah can diagnose and help you get relief from foot pain.