Emergency room statistics tell us that when older Americans get injured, it’s often from taking a fall. But even though falling down is extremely common, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. Older adults and those who care for them can take advantage of National Falls Prevention Awareness Day (September 22 – the first day of fall) to learn about some steps they can take to prevent senior citizens from experiencing dangerous falls.
- Fix problems with your feet
Podiatrists Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM and Heidi M. Christie, DPM of Montgomery Foot Care Specialists can assure you that healthy feet play a tremendous role in helping us stay upright. Feet can’t act the part if they’re damaged and pained. Things like chronic ankle instability, painful arthritic joints, bunions and other toe deformities, and complications of diabetes such as nerve damage are foot ailments that can contribute to older people losing their balance. Older adults should contact us for an appointment to have their feet treated for any compromising conditions.
- Update your shoes
As we age, our feet may change size or shape. It’s important for older Americans to take inventory of their shoes and make sure they still fit. A qualified shoe salesperson can measure your foot and recommend a good, supportive style. Worn-out shoes should be tossed and replaced with comfortable new shoes with nonskid soles.
- Keep the lights on
Walking in the dark, even in a familiar environment, is never a good idea. Older adults should always turn on lights at night and also make sure all areas of the house have enough lighting.
- Follow your doctor’s advice
In order to stay on their feet, older Americans may need to be encouraged to follow their doctor’s recommendations for things like keeping appointments for physical and occupational therapy or using a cane or walker.
- Don’t hide a first fall
If you do fall and are lucky enough not to get hurt, tell somebody. Many senior citizens will try to brush off a fall as nothing, but the truth is if you fall once, you’re at higher risk of falling again. Be proactive by sharing what happened with someone who can help you figure out why and help you prevent a second fall that could make you one of those emergency room statistics.
Older adults in the river region should consider making an annual appointment to have their feet examined by our qualified podiatrists. If you have diabetes, this annual exam is essential. Contact us online or call us in Montgomery, AL at (334) 396-3668.