Every 11 seconds an older adult is treated in the emergency room for a fall. Falls are also the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries to senior citizens. At Texas Foot Specialists, we want to protect our senior patients and give those who love them some information about how to help them lower their fall risk. Join us in recognition of National Fall Prevention Awareness Day this month by taking steps to help those you love stay safe and active.
Be Observant—notice if an older person you care about seems to be showing signs of having difficulty walking or keeping their balance. These might include:
- Holding onto furniture or walls while they walk
- Looking to take someone’s arm or hand when walking
- Stumbling or tripping
- Having difficulty getting up from a chair
Have the Talk—address your concerns lovingly and positively. Studies show that many seniors don’t tell family members about their worries about falling because they fear losing their independence. Be encouraging and let them know that you share the same goals. Brainstorm ways to reduce the risk of falling.
Improve Home Safety—walk through the home together and remedy any potential tripping hazards such as planters on the floor, loose throw rugs and computer or electrical cords in walking paths. Add lighting to dark parts of the home, grab rails in the bathroom and additional lighting outdoors as well.
Check in about Medical Issues—has your loved one had his or her eyes examined recently? Poor vision is a significant factor when it comes to falls. Other medical conditions, such as blood pressure and diabetes if not managed, can cause symptoms such as dizziness or feeling lightheaded. Ditto for certain prescription medications. Staying current with medical appointments and periodically running a check on all medications the person is taking can reduce the risk of falls substantially.
Make an Appointment with the Podiatrist—if an older person you love has a chronic foot condition such as bunions or gout, it is essential to make sure these problems are being monitored. If new foot pain or discomfort has developed, urge them to get it evaluated promptly by our podiatrists Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller. If you put off getting foot issues diagnosed and treated, the discomfort can cause you to alter the way you walk and result in a fall. Make an appointment today at our Pasadena (281) 991-0600, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Houston (713) 664-6677 office.