Preventing Falls in the Elderly

Stephen D. Lasday, DPM Podiatrist Sarasota and Bradenton

Fall Prevention in the ElderlyStaying on your feet as you age is critical to living out your golden years in health and vitality. Falls can often signal the beginning of the end for many elders, or a very diminished quality of life.

Susan Ann Talley, a physical therapy professor at Wayne State University, shared the following recently in an article in the Herald-Tribune.

“It’s becoming more apparent how serious an issue this is…among older people who are injured in a fall and go to a hospital, less than 50 percent ever go home again.”

Less than 50%—let that sink in. Make staying on your feet a priority as you age. Here are some ways to do that.

Exercise regularly.

Focus on exercises that increase overall body strength, including leg strength. Balance exercises are important too. Tai Chi programs are especially good. And interestingly enough, the Wii Fit offers a host of exercises to challenge your strength and balance. 

Have Your Medicines Reviewed

This can often be overlooked by individuals who take prescription medications. Please ask your pharmacist to review your medicines—both prescription and over-the counter—to identify potential side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness.

Get Regular Eye Exams

Have your eyes examined regularly by an eye doctor and be sure to update your eyeglass prescriptions as needed. Consider getting a pair with single vision distance lenses for some activities such as walking outside.

Do a Home Safety Inspection

Make your home safer by looking for things that might make you trip, such as fraying carpets, uneven steps, etc. Also consider adding grab bars inside and outside your  tub or shower. And don’t forget to add railings to both sides of stairways. Proper  lighting is also a must-have throughout your house to be able to see where you are going!

Taking time to add these simple steps in your life can go a long way in keeping you on your feet and living longer!

If you are noticing anything unusual with your feet or are experiencing ankle or heel problems, Sarasota or Bradenton is the place to be! Please schedule an appointment with Dr. Lasday, Dr. Zdancewicz, or Dr. Goecker for a thorough and professional evaluation, either in our Bradenton Podiatry office at (941) 753-9599 or our Sarasota Podiatry office at (941) 366-2627.

Oh, and one more thing…if you haven’t already, please like us on Facebook where we share foot tips, great pictures, and fun facts!

To lower their hip fracture risk, older adults can:

  • Get adequate calcium and vitamin D—from food and/or from supplements.
  • Do weight bearing exercise.
  • Get screened and, if needed, treated for osteoporosis.