Because older adults often deal with balance and mobility issues, their risk of falling is increased. Proper footwear can help reduce that risk, even in those with diabetes, arthritis and neurodegenerative diseases. High heels and sling-back or backless shoes can be particularly hazardous as they reduce a person’s ability to maintain balance. While older adults with diabetes or foot pain are often more familiar with foot care practices, all older adults can benefit from contacting a podiatrist to learn more about foot and ankle health and what shoes are best for improving balance and reducing their risk of falling and serious injury.
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 Matthew McQuaid, DPM from Lake Mendocino Podiatry. Our doctor 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.