Helping Older Patients Avoid Falls
Did you know that 1 in 4 older Americans will fall this year and sustain serious injuries as a result? At NY Foot Health our studies have shown that with the proper podiatric intervention we can reduce the incidence of falls by 36% among high-risk patients. In recognition of National Fall Prevention Awareness Day, which happens this month, we’d like to offer some ways that our senior patients and those who care about them can help prevent falls.
Seek Podiatric Treatment Promptly
Foot pain is one of the primary reasons for falls. When your foot or ankle hurts you try to walk in such a way as to avoid the pain. This changes your gait and can throw off your balance causing you to stumble and fall. Many patients mistakenly think they should take a “wait and see” approach to foot pain. The best choice, however, is to get foot problems checked out as soon as possible by your podiatrist. Don’t have a podiatrist? Check our online directory for a highly trained foot doctor near you.
Maintain a Healthy Diet and Exercise Regularly
Oftentimes we hear, “So and so fell and broke a hip.” In reality, what often happens is a bone breaks and that causes a fall to occur. Talk to our physician about your risk of osteoporosis. Be sure that your diet is rich in calcium or take a supplement if your doctor recommends it. Weight-bearing exercise, like walking, will also help you build and maintain strong bones.
Choose Good Shoes
Your choice of footwear has a big impact on your foot health and your fall risk. Shoes that are too big or worn out can become a tripping hazard. Foot size can change over time. Get your feet professionally measured at a shoe store and invest in good quality shoes. Look for ones with a no-slip tread to further decrease your chances of taking a tumble.