One of the main reasons seniors fall is because of a loss of balance. This can be caused by dizziness, muscle weakness, or side effects of certain medications. One fall prevention technique is embarking on an exercise program specifically designed to increase balance and stability. Before taking on any new exercise regime, it is a good idea to check with a medical professional. Among the ways to improve balance are gait training, which is designed to improve the way you walk, and resistance training in a pool to help strengthen the leg and foot muscles. Walking backward and heel-to-toe walking are other methods of improving balance. Standing on one foot for a few seconds, then switching feet is another technique. Caution should be taken when performing these exercises to be near a wall that you can touch if needed. Also, it is wise to have a friend or caregiver present. Further, it may be necessary to invest in an assistive device, such as a cane or walker, to help you complete your daily activities. For more information on preventing falls, please consult a podiatrist.
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 from the Foot & Ankle Center. 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 our office located in Marrero, LA . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.