Reducing Falling Risk in the Elderly
Injuries from falls in the elderly population are unfortunately extremely common and often result in debilitating and life changing injuries. Nearly three million senior citizens are treated in emergency rooms for falls every year, with over 300,000 of those being for hip fractures. But injuries to the feet and ankles are also very common. These can range from minor ankle sprains and strains and muscle pulls, to more severe injuries including fractures, a torn Achilles tendon, and ligament damage.
Why do older folks fall so much?
A variety of factors including balance issues, poor vision, and lower body weakness can contribute to the risk of falls. Older individuals also are more prone to developing systemic diseases like diabetes that can cause nerve damage in the extremities resulting in numbness and loss of feeling which can make it more difficult to walk without risking a fall. Balance problems are also often a side effect of many of the medications taken by elderly patients. Consuming too much alcohol can also increase the risk of falling.
How to reduce falling risk
Some steps you can take to reduce falling risk include staying in good shape through exercising to help increase your strength and balance. Getting regular eye exams, new glasses, and wearing supportive shoes with extra ankle support are essential to mitigating the risk. Small, slippery throw rugs should be donated or tossed. Installing grab bars in bathrooms and showers can greatly decrease bathroom fall accidents. Make sure you have good lighting in hallways and stairwells, where many falls occur. Keep wires and extension cords tied up and out of the way of walking areas.
If you have experienced a foot or ankle injury from falling, consult with our board certified podiatrists at Foot and Ankle Center of Fort Lee, LLC. The center offers convenient locations in Fort Lee NJ, Ringwood NJ, Flushing Queens NY, Woodhaven NY, Brooklyn NY, and Forest Hills NY. Contact us at (201) 363-9844 and schedule an appointment today!