At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center, we know that one of the major fears our Douglas Park/Los Angeles County area senior patients have is falling. And with good reason: falls are the number one cause of fatal injuries to older people. It’s estimated that up to 50% of all patients 65 and older will suffer a fall in the upcoming year. There’s no reason to let fear keep you in your armchair, however. Much can be done to prevent falls. Below are six suggestions.
- Know your risk. Some factors indicate you have an elevated risk of falling. These include:
- Falling within the last year
- Having impaired vision
- Recent foot or ankle surgery
- Balance problems
- Decreased sensation or weakness in your lower extremities
- Take care of your feet. Our podiatrists, Victoria M. Foley and Dr. Constance Ornelas specialize in senior foot care and are your partners in preventing falls. A major reason for falls is putting off getting foot or ankle pain evaluated and treated. Schedule regular appointments at our Long Beach office so that the foot doctor can monitor chronic problems you have such as bunions and hammertoes, which can become more painful over time. If a new podiatric problem develops or an old gets worse, contact us immediately by calling: (562) 420-9800.
- Re-evaluate your footwear. Your shoes can cause or prevent a fall. Don’t wear high or unstable spiky heels. Don’t choose styles that have smooth soles but instead look for a non-slip tread. Avoid flip-flops and slippers that don’t securely fit on your feet. Discard old, stretched out shoes and those with holes or damage.
- Conduct a home safety inspection. Remove tripping hazards like throw rugs, magazine stands and electrical cords from walkways. Be sure there is adequate lighting throughout the house and stair and grab rails where needed.
- Stay on top of medical conditions. Changes in vision, medications that cause you to feel dizzy, heart, blood pressure or other conditions that can make you pass out all need to be monitored with regular checkups. Report any symptoms that affect your balance to your doctor promptly.
- Be active. Regular exercise helps reduce stiffness and keeps your feet and legs limber and flexible. Focus on exercises that increase balance as well.
If you have additional questions about foot health for seniors, contact us today.