Falls are the leading cause of injuries among older adults. Fall prevention measures reduce your risk of falls that cause injuries. At Best Foot Forward in Festus and St. Louis, Missouri, Franklin Harry, DPM, ABMSP, and Tim Davydov, DPM, ABPM, develop fall prevention strategies you can do at home. They also diagnose and treat many common injuries caused by falls. To learn more, call Best Foot Forward today or schedule an appointment online.
As we get older, changes to our physical abilities and health conditions increase our likelihood of falling. Fall prevention efforts help people avoid falling.
If you take over-the-counter medications, supplements, or prescription medications, you should consider taking steps to prevent falls. Some medicines cause side effects like dizziness or tiredness, which increase the risk of falls. Your health conditions contribute to your risk of falling. For example, some eye and ear disorders cause balance problems.
Falls are also more likely if you have balance problems or lower body weakness.
If you have fallen before, visit Best Foot Forward with the details of when, where, and how you fell. The experienced providers use these details to identify specific fall-prevention strategies that help your unique situation.
You can try several strategies to reduce your risk of falls, including:
Staying active with gentle exercises, like walking, tai chi, or water workouts, can improve your strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility. Improving these areas reduces your risk of falls.
If you avoid exercise because you’re afraid you’ll fall, Best Foot Forward will refer you to a physical therapist who’ll help build strength and balance and help you improve your gait (the way you walk).
Avoid high heels, flip-flops, and shoes with slick soles. All of these footwear increase your risk of falling. Wear properly fitting shoes with nonskid soles.
Install night lights in your home or turn on the lights to minimize the risk of tripping over items you can’t see when moving around your house at night. Always turn on the lights before using the stairs.
Walk around your home and look for things that could cause you to trip and fall. Keep electrical cords off walkways, and pick up items that are on the floor. Secure loose rugs and carpeting with slip-resistant backing or double-sided tape. Repair loose floorboards.
The providers at Best Foot Forward will suggest using a cane or walker to keep you steady when walking. Other assistive devices you might need include:
If needed, your Best Foot Forward provider will refer you to an occupational therapist or physical therapist who’ll teach you other fall prevention strategies. Call Best Foot Forward today or schedule an appointment online to find out how you can prevent falls.