Once you reach the age of 65, you are much more likely to fall and suffer a serious injury. With most people in this age group taking a tumble in their own home, it makes sense to keep your own dwelling as safe as possible to avoid “falling” into this category yourself. First, make sure there is an adequate amount of lighting throughout your home. You’ll also want to remove tripping hazards such as clutter, loose rugs, unsecured wires, and unstable furniture. Fix any uneven surfaces in and around your home. Install grab bars in the shower and next to the commode, as well as non-slip mats in the bathroom and kitchen. Keep stairs clear of clutter, make sure the handrails on your stairs are secure and that you use them, and always take your time walking up and down the stairs. Be mindful of your steps and try not to rush around. It is also important to identify any medically related risk factors such as gait abnormalities or other foot conditions that may affect your balance and sure-footedness. Make an appointment with a podiatrist who can offer advice on proper footwear, and fix any foot or ankle conditions that may be compromising your foot health.
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 Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Elderly Americans are very susceptible to falls as they get older. Everyone experiences decreases in flexibility, balance, strength, and the senses as they age. This correlates to some eye-opening statistics. 1 in 4 Americans aged 65 and older fall each year. An elderly American is being treated for a fall in an emergency room every 11 seconds, and every 19 minutes, an older person dies from falling. In light of these striking statistics, one can see the importance of taking steps to prevent falls.
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 one of our offices located in Lake in the Hills, Cary, Fox Lake, Crystal Lake, Hoffman Estates, Chicago, Elgin, and Hinsdale, IL . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.