In honor of Older Americans Month we at Gentle Professional Foot Care want to offer some tips on a matter of importance to your feet as well as your overall health: preventing falls. On average, about 2.5 million falls are treated in the emergency room each year. Of the 250,000 hip fractures reported each year, 95% are the result of a fall. Falls can cause foot fractures, sprains, dislocations and damage to the ligaments and tendons in your feet and ankles. Do a walk-through inspection of the home of your older loved ones and reduce the risk of falls with the following suggestions:
- Get rid of throw rugs and make sure carpets are tacked securely to the floors.
- Arrange furniture in a way that allows wide paths for walking.
- Eliminate small items and clutter at floor level such as magazine racks, plant stands, piles of papers, etc.
- Be sure all electrical and computer cords are connected behind furniture and are running across walking areas.
- Improve the safety of stairs by using non-slip adhesive strips on the treads and installing railings on both sides.
- In the bathroom, put grab bars in the shower and tub and near the toilet.
- Use a skid-free mat or appliqués in the shower and bathtub.
- Put nightlights in bathrooms and hallways.
- Make sure frequently used items are accessible so no step stool or ladder climbing is necessary.
- Do a lighting check and make sure that all rooms and stairways are well illuminated at night.
Fall injuries need prompt medical treatment. Bones, ligaments and muscles in your feet that are injured and not rehabilitated fully and properly can cause permanent disability. If someone you love has suffered a fall and there are troubling symptoms or concerns about the feet, contact our Venice office by calling: 941-493-7999. Our podiatrist, Dr. Charles A. Suleskey, will do a complete examination of the feet and recommend any necessary treatment to ensure an active lifestyle for years to come.