5 Ways to Prevent Falls
Did you know that 1 in 3 older Americans fall every year? In fact, for people over the age of 65, falls are the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we want to offer some tips on preventing falls in honor of Falls Prevention Day on Sept. 22nd.
1. Don’t ignore foot pain. Although this is good advice for patients of any age, it’s particularly important for older adults. If you have foot pain, you’re likely to alter the way you walk to try to avoid the discomfort and that can lead to trips and spills. Don’t wait--if you have foot pain contact our Somers Point office so our podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, can examine your feet and treat any conditions that have developed.
2. Clear the decks (and stairs, and rooms). Be sure the living space of older adults is not cluttered with piles of papers, plants, small pieces of furniture, etc. While you’re doing a home evaluation, check that stairs have railings on both sides and that showers and tubs have anti-stick strips on the floors. All areas of the home should be well lit. Move frequently used items to easily accessible places that don’t require climbing or reaching.
3. Check up on medications. It’s a good idea to have a doctor or pharmacist periodically review the medications a senior is taking. Sometimes medications can interact in a way that causes dizziness or lightheadedness. In addition, some medications need to be taken with food or at certain times of the day to avoid negative effects such as nausea. Be sure you or your loved one is taking medications properly.
4. Consider a balance class. There are specific exercises, such as Tai Chi, that can help improve balance and stability. Getting regular exercise such as walking or swimming can also help keep muscles and ligaments flexible and stiffness to a minimum—all of which can help reduce the risk of falls.
5. Keep up with eye exams. For seniors it’s especially important to not miss regularly scheduled eye exams. As we age our vision changes and there are certain eye conditions that are more likely to affect older adults. Reducing instances of tripping and stumbling may be as easy as updating an eyeglass prescription.
If you have other questions about senior foot care, don’t hesitate to contact us at: (609) 927-4894.