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Avoiding Falls as You Age

One of the most common causes of serious injury in the elderly is falling. Among the reasons are chronic health conditions such as neuropathy (or numbness) in the feet, decreased bone density, being overweight, and reduced strength. In addition, certain medications and medical procedures can contribute to a general loss of balance. Falls at home can be prevented by making a few simple changes, such as removing throw rugs and loose carpeting, installing handrails, and wearing shoes with non-skid soles on slippery floors in your kitchen and bathrooms. Other measures include exercising to increase strength and improve balance, adequately lighting hallways, and removing clutter that is easy to trip over. Further, if your feet are frequently numb or it is painful to walk, falling may be a threat to your health. It may be a good idea to make an appointment with a podiatrist to evaluate your condition and discuss treatment options. 

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 of The Foot and Ankle Associates of North Carolina, PLLC. 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 Ahoskie, Durham, Raleigh, and Rocky Mount, NC. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.

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