Research has shown that falling is common among people who are sixty-five years and older. Severe falls can result in broken bones or head injuries, and a fear of falling may deter the individual from staying active. Many older people have diminished coordination and flexibility, and this may make it easier to fall. Additionally, dizziness may be caused by certain medications, and objects may be harder to see as a result of fading eyesight. It may be beneficial to make some changes to the living environment. These may include securing railings on the steps, and increasing the amount of lighting throughout the house. Many patients find it safer to have grab bars installed in the bathroom and shower area, or it may be helpful to use a shower chair. Using a walker or cane may also be beneficial in preventing falls. If you would like additional information about falls prevention, then it is recommended you speak to a podiatrist to learn about more helpful methods.
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.