It’s a fact: 1 in 4 people age 65 and older will fall this year. Many of these falls are preventable. In recognition of National Falls Prevention Day which occurs in September, we at Long Island Foot & Ankle Group, PC would like to encourage our senior patients and those who love them to consider these 3 areas and make changes to reduce fall risk:
Did you know that half of all falls happen at home? There are several ways you can fall-proof where you live:
- Add safety features such as grab bars in the bathroom and non-stick treads in the shower and tub.
- Increase lighting inside and out and install night lights in the bedroom, hallway and bathroom.
- De-clutter your living space. Clear out low-to-the-floor items such as planters and magazine racks. Avoid stacking piles of papers or mail on the floor.
- Remove throw rugs. Tack down carpet edges.
There are several ways that medical issues can impact your risk of falling. Let’s start with the obvious: foot pain. When you are experiencing pain or discomfort anywhere in your feet or ankles, you will start to change the way you walk in order to avoid the pain. Unfortunately, this can cause you to more easily lose your balance, trip and fall. Don’t put off getting foot pain evaluated. If a new foot problem has developed or a chronic one has become worse, make an appointment at our Valley Stream (516) 825-4070 or Lake Success (516) 327-0074 office today. Our foot and ankle surgeons Dr. Russell Caprioli, Dr. Mary Ann Bilotti, Dr. John Haight and Dr. Marzana Mleczko can devise a treatment plan that will alleviate your pain.
Staying current with other medical concerns such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure is important too. You can drive down your risk of taking a tumble by managing these and any other health issues you have. Many conditions can have dizziness and fainting as symptoms if not controlled. Be sure to ask your pharmacist when getting a new medication if you need to be concerned about interactions with other drugs you are currently taking.
Your lifestyle choices can also help you decrease fall risk. Staying hydrated, for example, reduces the chances of becoming light-headed. Regular exercise can help maintain flexibility and balance. Staying at a healthy weight makes it easier to get around and be active.
Take steps today to reduce your risk of falling. If you have additional questions about the health of your feet and how to be proactive in preventing falls, don’t hesitate to contact us.