A simple accident like slipping on a wet floor or tripping on a rug can change your life. Thousands of older adults fall each year, with some resulting in fractures and other injuries. For seniors, a broken bone can be the beginning of more serious health issues that can lead to long-term disability. So because September is Falls Prevention Month, Dr. Mucinskas at Feet First Foot Care Specialists is sharing the top causes of falls in older people.
Many seniors fear falling, even if they haven’t fallen. This fear sometimes leads them to avoid shopping, participating in social activities, or walking. But staying active is important to keep your body healthy and helps prevent falls.
The following are some common causes of older people falling:
- Certain disorders, such as heart disease, diabetes, or issues with your nerves, feet, blood vessels, or thyroid, can affect your balance and cause you to fall.
- Your hearing, reflexes, or eyesight might not be as sharp as before.
- Older adults with certain types of dementia or mild cognitive impairment are more likely to fall.
- Conditions such as incontinence that cause rushed movement to the bathroom may also elevate the chance of falling.
- Unsafe footwear such as high heels or backless shoes and foot problems that cause pain can also increase your risk of falling.
- Risk factors include problems with gait and balance, blood pressure that drops too much when you get up from sitting or lying down, and age-related loss of muscle mass.
- Safety hazards in the community or home environment can also cause falls.
- Some medications can elevate a person’s risk of falling because they cause side effects such as confusion or dizziness.
A sudden fall can be upsetting and shocking; if you do fall, take the following steps:
- Remain still on the ground or floor and take several deep breaths to relax.
- Try to determine if you are hurt, and don’t try to get up too quickly.
- Make your way to a sturdy chair as best as you can.
- Place your hands on the seat, slide one foot forward so it’s flat on the floor, and slowly sit in the chair. The other leg should remain bent, so the knee stays on the floor.
- If you’re hurt or can’t get up alone, ask someone for help or call 911.
- Always keep a charged mobile or cordless phone with you and schedule daily contact with a friend or family member.
- Consider investing in an emergency response system.
If you fall, contact Dr. Mucinskas at Feet First Foot Care Specialists. Schedule a visit by calling our office at 860-632-5499 or by clicking here to make your appointment online.