In June, we at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM recognize our senior patients during Older Americans Month. Falls are a significant health threat for older adults. In fact, one in four seniors falls each year. Unfortunately, in over 50% of those cases, patients do not report the fall to their doctors. This is a mistake because once you fall, your chances of falling again are doubled. Although a fall may seem completely random, there is usually a reason for the tumble that if left unresolved will only lead to more falls in the future.
Below are 5 common causes of falls:
- Foot pain—when your foot hurts, you alter the way you walk without even thinking about it to minimize the pain you are experiencing. This can cause you to be off balance and increases the risk of tripping and falling. Get foot discomfort evaluated promptly by our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco. Delaying seeking treatment can result in a worse injury or permanent damage to your feet.
- Low vision problems—get your eyes checked regularly. Changes in vision can increase fall risk. If you wear bi-focals or progressive glasses, you may want to consider getting a distance only prescription for walking and other outdoor activities as these types of lenses can distort your depth perception.
- Poorly fitting shoes—if your sneakers or shoes have become stretched out or you are wearing the wrong shoe size for your feet, it may pose a tripping hazard. Always get your foot measured professionally and replace shoes when worn out.
- Medication issues—ask your pharmacist or physician to check your medications and make sure that none of them (or an interaction between them) is causing dizziness or light headness.
- Hazards around the home—piles of books or magazines, pet beds, electrical cords and other low to the ground items may cause you to trip and fall. You can further reduce your risk by installing hand rails on both sides of staircases and increasing lighting inside and outside your home.
To analyze your fall risk, make an appointment at our Cape May County office by calling: (973) 595-1555.