Keeping Seniors Safe from Falls
Each year it’s estimated that about a third of all seniors 65 and over will fall, resulting in injuries and fractures. At Goldsmith Podiatry, we know that foot fractures can be particularly debilitating because they can decrease your ability to be mobile, which in turn can cause you to lose bone strength and mass throughout your body. Stress fractures are not always obvious.
May is both National Osteoporosis Month and Older Americans Month. In recognition of both of these, we offer these tips on preventing falls—an important step in protecting bones and reducing the risk of injury to senior patients.
Exercise regularly. Engaging in activities that are muscle strengthening and weight bearing will help build and maintain bone strength. In addition, look for exercise that improves balance, such as Tai Chi.
Stay current with your medical appointments. Osteoporosis is often associated with other diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. Your risk of falling can also be the result of a change in vision or dizziness from medications or medical conditions. Being proactive and managing any current conditions will help prevent falls too.
Keep items you use frequently within easy reach, not on high shelves or other places that require you climb or over extend and lose your balance.
Make sure you have adequate lighting in stairwells, outdoor walkways and hallways near bathrooms where you may be walking in the dark.
Remove clutter from floors including stacks of magazines, shoes and other small items, such as magazine racks, potted plants, etc.
Install hand rails in the bathroom for showers and toilets.
Get rid of throw rugs and check that carpets are securely nailed down with no loose edges that could trip you.
If you have noticed a pain in your forefoot accompanied by swelling or bruising or you are finding it difficult to put weight on your foot it’s important that you contact our Upper West Side office (212-877-1002) so that our podiatrists, Dr. Howard Goldsmith or Dr. Rosanna Troia can examine your foot and determine if a fracture has occurred.