In May we celebrate Older Americans Month. At Feet First Foot Care Specialists, one of our goals is to educate our patients about the best ways to be proactive about their podiatric health. For senior patients, falls are a problem that can cause debilitating injuries like fractures and ankle sprains to the feet (or the rest of your body). You may be shocked to learn that every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall. Below are some fall risks you may have never thought about.
Foot Pain that’s Untreated—when your feet or ankles hurt, it can cause you to alter the way you walk to avoid the pain. This can throw you off balance and cause a trip or fall. This is why it’s essential that you don’t put off seeking treatment for foot pain or other symptoms like stiffness or numbness. If you are experiencing any discomfort in your lower extremities, contact our Cromwell office by calling: (860) 632-5499 so that our podiatrist Dr. Adam Mucinskas can diagnose your problem and prescribe the correct treatment.
Medication Changes—certain drugs or combinations of drugs can cause dizziness or lightheadedness. It’s a good idea to periodically review the complete list of medications you are taking with the pharmacist or doctor to find out if there are any negative interactions or side effects that could lead to a fall.
Neglecting Eye and Ear Checkups—poor vision or hearing loss will definitely contribute to your ability to navigate your environment safely. Follow your doctor’s recommended schedule of checkups and update prescriptions for glasses and/or hearing aids promptly.
Lack of Exercise—the less active you become, the more likely that joints will stiffen and range of motion in your knees and feet will decrease. This can cause you to stumble. In addition to your regular exercise regimen, consider a class that specifically focuses on building balance to further reduce your risk of falls.
Inadequate Lighting—stairways that are dim or hallways you need to use at night to get to the bathroom should all be properly lit so that you can see clearly – even at night.
Worn Out Shoes—shoes that are stretched out or have holes or worn treads can be a tripping hazard. Toss shoes when they no longer fit properly.
Preventing falls is just one way to protect your foot health. If you have questions about other foot care issues, contact us today.