Fall Prevention

Nobody wakes up saying today is the day I’m going to fall. It’s just a built-in confidence in ourselves accrued over decades of life that our bodies won’t allow us to fall unexpectedly. We often think “a fall won’t happen to me”, and that only people older than yourself fall. The problem is falls do happen and more often than you think.

  • Falls are the leading cause of injury related deaths in people over 65
  • Falls are the #1 cause of hip fractures (95% as a result of falls)
  • Falls are the #1 cause of hospitalizations for injuries
  • Falls are the #1 cause of admissions to nursing homes
  • 67% of fall victims (65+) are discharged to nursing facilities; 50% will never live independently again
  • Direct medical costs associated with falls >$30 Billion annually

The problem with falls is they can happen at any time, at any place and to anybody. People rarely know that they are at risk for them until it is too late. Many factors and conditions put you at risk for falls:

  • Vestibular issues such as dizziness
  • Neuropathy
  • Poor vision
  • Balance issues with standing and while walking
  • Decrease ankle joint range of motion
  • Certain medications
  • Certain predisposing conditions
  • Foot/ankle deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, etc

Fall prevention is all about being aware of the risks, minimizing the risks and taking the necessary precautions to potentially avoid a fall. Everyone can play a role in fall prevention from family members, to the receptionist at a doctor’s office that sees a patient struggling to get out of their car, to the nurse who has to help the patient to the chair and the doctor who can perform a fall risk assessment. Once a problem is recognized it is critical that steps are taken to help avoid a potential fall:

  • Shoegear- Fits properly, supportive, light weight and a non-slip sole
  • Foot/ankle balance support that patient can wear in their shoes that is proven to help reduce falls
  • Strength and balance therapy (PT/OT)
    • Range of motion exercises
    • Improving strength in lower and upper extremities
    • Evaluating living area for potential fall risks
    • Providing aid with daily living activities
  • Referring a patient to the proper physician if any vision or dizziness complaints

Falls do happen and are a growing risk to the elderly population’s health and independence. Fall risk prevention, at its core, is about improving mobility and quality of life for people at risk for falls. At Toe-Tal Foot & Ankle Care we take fall prevention seriously and developed our own Safe Step Program to help ensure our patients are always receiving the most comprehensive care we can provide them. For more information on the risk of falls and prevention that can be taken, please visit our website at www.toetalfootandanklecare.com or call our office at (817) 656-0303.

Watauga Podiatrist
Written by Dr. Daniel Cairns
Contact us today to schedule an appointment!