Do’s and Don’ts for Reducing Fall Risk
At Goldsmith Podiatry, we treat patients of all ages. In recognition of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day, which takes place in September, we’d like to address this threat to our senior patients and the family members who care about them. Falls are the leading cause of injuries—both fatal and non-fatal—among people age 65 and older. Even one fall can have devastating consequences that can greatly impact your quality of life. Fortunately, most falls can be prevented if you take the proper precautions. Below are some do’s and don’ts to help lower fall risk:
Don’t: ignore foot or ankle pain. It sounds obvious but having pain or discomfort in your feet is a common cause of stumbles. In order to avoid or lessen the pain, you alter the way you walk. This in turns throws you off balance and increases your risk of falling. Many patients mistakenly wait to seek treatment, hoping the pain will go away on its own. Make an appointment to see one of our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia to get foot pain resolved promptly.
Do: a home inspection. Did you know that half of all falls happen at home? Some causes include: inadequate lighting, commonly used items stored out of reach, throw rugs, electrical cords or clutter on the floor, lack of grab rails in the bathroom. Ask a family member or friend to walk through your house and pinpoint areas that could be modified to increase safety.
Don’t: skip your annual eye exam. Your vision can change in a way that may be imperceptible but enough to cause you to misstep and stumble. Ditto for other medical appointments. Dizziness or lightheadedness can be a symptom of many chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and hypertension. Keeping current on all health care issues will reduce your risk of falling.
Do: check with your doctor when starting a new medication. Ask if there are any potential side effects that might impair your balance. Also, check if there are any potential interactions with other medications you are already taking.
Do: stay active. The more your move, the better you are able to move. Regular exercise helps maintain range of motion and flexibility in your feet. Look for fitness classes specifically designed to improve balance.
If you have other questions about senior foot health, contact Goldsmith Podiatry in New York City today by calling: (212) 877-1002.