Keep Yourself Balanced During Fall Prevention Awareness Month

10010434_S_stairs_senior_hand_rail.jpg

September is Fall Prevention Awareness Month, a month dedicated to discussing the risks associated with falls in our senior citizens. According to the National Council on Aging, falls are the “leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries in older Americans.”

Reasons senior citizens fall

  • Slipping in the shower

  • Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or don’t have non-slip soles

  • Osteoarthritis making their joints less supportive.

  • Atrophied muscles from lack of exercise

  • Waning vision

  • Medications with a dizzying side effect

  • Dangers in their own home such as rugs without non-slip surfaces on the bottom, lighting issues, no grab bars in the bath, electrical cords or other things that could cause someone to trip.

Often, elderly people fall when they’ve simply lost their balance. Even if you’ve slipped or tripped, your balance skills can help you from hitting the floor. An elderly person’s reflexes might not be as spry as when they were younger.

Balancing exercises to prevent falls

Dr. David R. Sullivan here at Westfield Foot and Ankle, LLC, recommends that you try some balancing exercises to retain your balance and reduce your risk of falling. Have something nearby that you can grab if you need while practicing these exercises! A workout buddy also goes a long way with motivation and safety!

Try these exercises:

  • Practice standing up from a seated position in a chair without using your hands at all. Sit down again, then repeat.

  • Balance on one of your feet. This is an exercise you can do literally anywhere! If you’re talking on the phone at home or even in line at the grocery store you can try this!

  • Shift your body’s weight from one foot to the other.

  • Sign up for a group exercise class that is designed to improve your balance. Tai Chi and yoga are great options.

Finally, keep up with your podiatrist! Your feet and your ankles are your body’s foundation and a relationship with your podiatrist goes a long way in keeping you balanced. If you notice your balance waning or any instability or pain in your feet or ankles, call us today. Our office utilizes state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques and cutting-edge technologies to treat any foot or ankle woes. You can reach our conveniently located Westfield, IN office at 317-896-6655.