Each second of each day in the United States, an elderly person falls. This statistic is why falls are the number one cause of injuries and death among older adults according to the CDC. Since over 10,000 Americans turn 65 each day, the number of fall-related deaths and injuries suffered is expected to increase. Some of the risk factors that influence the amount of falls experienced by the elderly are reduced muscle strength, decreased activity, more severe chronic health conditions, and increased use of medications. One of the main causes of falls are deterioration in balance and strength. A solution to this issue could be found by taking vitamin D supplements to improve bone, muscle, and nerve health. If you are an older adult, you should practice strength and balance training. Activities such as Tai Chi are recommended because they will help make your legs stronger and improve your balance.
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 Dr. John Hoy from Seattle Foot and Ankle Center. Our doctor will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
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 our office located in Seattle, WA. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.
Footcare and diagnosis and treatment of painful foot conditions by a podiatrist is very important in the elderly population to prevent falls that may be due to painful feet.
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.
Finding an exercise program for the elderly is an excellent way to reduce the likelihood of falls. Look for an exercise program that improves strength and balance. Elderly people who live a more sedentary lifestyle, with little physical activity, are at an increased risk of falling. Proper foot care from Dr. Hoy is very important as there are conditions that can cause pain and falling. Wearing well-fitted footwear that provides good foot support and cushion will help prevent falls from poorly fitted shoes. Talking to Dr. Hoy about your susceptibility to falls and about inspecting your prescriptions will help to avoid any medication that could make falls more likely. Due to a decline in the senses among the elderly, having your eyes and hearing checked is recommended.
Around half of all falls occur in the household. Removing tripping hazards in the home and making it more accommodating to older persons can significantly reduce falls. Some notable household changes include increasing lighting around the house, installing grab bars in the shower and bathroom, and making sure the floor is clear of clutter. Other smart options include installing a shower chair, using rubber-bottomed rugs, and placing railings on both sides of stairwells.
Finally, discuss with a doctor and your family about your fear of falling. This will help to increase awareness among the population on the need for fall prevention. A lack of awareness on the matter, and a downplaying of importance are what increase the risks of falling. Following these tips can help to reduce the risk for yourself and your loved ones.