“It Won’t Happen to Me” and Other Fall Myths

fall prevention

At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we treat patients of all ages. During the month of September, we celebrate Fall Prevention Awareness Day , and it’s a good opportunity for us to address this serious concern for our senior patients.

Facts about Falls

Some sobering statistics about falls:

  • Every 11 seconds an older adult is seen in the emergency room for a fall injury
  • Falls are the number one cause of fatal injuries and trauma-related hospital admissions for senior citizens
  • Each year, one fourth of all Americans aged 65 and older will fall
  • Falls can lead to a decrease in quality of life for older adults causing fear, depression, physical decline and social isolation

There is much that can be done to prevent senior falls. The first step is debunking common myths and changing the mindset of at-risk patients. Some of the more common fallacies about falls include:

“Falling is just a normal part of getting old.” Not so. For every senior who falls there are three that don’t. Staying active, wearing shoes that fit properly, getting your vision and other medical issues checked regularly and managing medications properly are just a few ways to reduce fall risk.

“If my feet hurt, I just need to be extra careful when I walk.” Foot pain is primary cause of fall injuries. When you are in pain, you naturally alter the way you walk to protect the vulnerable area. This, in turn, can throw off your balance and cause you to stumble. Get foot pain checked out promptly by our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria M. Foley or Dr. Constance Ornelas. The foot doctor can diagnose your podiatric problem and prescribe the necessary treatment to bring relief from pain.

“Using a cane or walker will really make me look old and lead to loss of independence.” If the foot doctor or physical therapist prescribes a walking aid, it will actually help you preserve your independence by enabling you to walk safely. Follow instructions for use and be sure the cane or walker is fitted for you.

“If I stay home, I’ll be safe.” The truth is that over half of all falls happen at home. Reduce the chances of taking a spill by getting rid of clutter on the floor and throw rugs. Add grab bars in the bathroom and a second handrail on stairs. Increase lighting in hallways and by the entrances to your home.

Don’t be embarrassed to share concerns about falling with the podiatrist at your next appointment. If you have questions, contact our Long Beach office in Douglas Park, CA by calling: (562) 420-9800.