More and more people are living beyond the age of 65 thanks to increased attention towards healthy eating, exercising and lifestyle changes. However, with aging comes a fear--a fear of falling. This fear affects the patient, their families and health practitioners involved.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four Americans over 65 will fall each year. Falls are the leading cause of injury in the aging population and fifth leading cause of death. Whether falls result in injury or not, they definitely affect one's quality of life! Because of the fear of falling, older adults limit their activities and social gatherings which results in physical decline and depression from isolation.
It is important to recognize your risks of falling and seek help/medical attention instead of staying at home in fear. One of the major risk factors of falling is history of a previous fall. It is an important question any health care practitioner should ask the patient. Medications that cause fatigue, drowsiness and lightheadedness should be taken seriously and not consumed if a patient is alone or planning on driving. Other risk factors for falls include: impaired vision, recent lower extremity surgery or illnesses that cause numbness or tingling in the lower extremities. A wide array of balance problems can also lead to falls so it is important to seek medical attention if you feel dizzy or unsteady.
If you feel like you have any of the above risk factors and are afraid of falling, speak to your podiatrist. The foot and ankle specialists at Advanced Podiatry are here to listen to you and provide a helping hand at enhancing your quality of life. Whether this involves recommending more supportive shoe gear to performing strengthening exercises or recommending gait assistive devices, come in for an evaluation and see how we can keep you standing on your feet!