Weak muscles and lack of strength are one of the main causes of falling, especially among seniors whose lifestyle has become more sedentary. One way to prevent falling is to perform exercises that improve foot strength and balance. It’s a good idea to have someone with you while performing such exercises and to do them while lightly touching a wall, countertop, or chairback. Start with a few repetitions and gradually increase them as your muscles and confidence get stronger. Heel raises are specifically designed to build ankle strength, which is essential in keeping your balance. Raise the heels by rising up onto the ball of the feet and hold for a few seconds. Then slowly lower the heels. Repeat. Toe raises help to strengthen the muscles in the front of the foot, which is used when stepping over obstacles. Holding onto the chairback, raise the toes up as far as you can while also standing tall and keeping the stomach muscles tight. Lower and repeat. For more information on exercises to prevent falling, it is suggested that you consult a podiatrist.
Preventing falls among the elderly is very important. If you are older and have fallen or fear that you are prone to falling, consult with one of our podiatrists from Centers for Foot & Ankle Care. Our doctors will assess your condition and provide you with quality advice and care.
Every 11 seconds, an elderly American is being treated in an emergency room for a fall related injury. Falls are the leading cause of head and hip injuries for those 65 and older. Due to decreases in strength, balance, senses, and lack of awareness, elderly persons are very susceptible to falling. Thankfully, there are a number of things older persons can do to prevent falls.
How to Prevent Falls
Some effective methods that older persons can do to prevent falls include:
- Enrolling in strength and balance exercise program to increase balance and strength
- Periodically having your sight and hearing checked
- Discuss any medications you have with a doctor to see if it increases the risk of falling
- Clearing the house of falling hazards and installing devices like grab bars and railings
- Utilizing a walker or cane
- Wearing shoes that provide good support and cushioning
- Talking to family members about falling and increasing awareness
Falling can be a traumatic and embarrassing experience for elderly persons; this can make them less willing to leave the house, and less willing to talk to someone about their fears of falling. Doing such things, however, will increase the likelihood of tripping or losing one’s balance. Knowing the causes of falling and how to prevent them is the best way to mitigate the risk of serious injury.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Merrillville, Portage, Michigan City/LaPorte, and Schererville, IN . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.