Fall Risk for the Elderly

Fall risk for the elderly is a serious risk to consider. For many elderly patient’s, when they fall, there can be major consequences to consider. One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. At Frederick Foot & Ankle, as podiatrist’s, it is our duty to keep are patient’s safe and avoid falls caused by imbalance.

Some common issues that lead to falls are:

  • Muscle weakness: weak legs and feet make it harder to carry your own weight and move over obstacles.
  • Flexibility: When you are more rigid it makes it more difficult to recover from potential falls.
  • Balance: Better balance keeps you upright walking on flat surfaces and uneven terrain.
  • Gait: Walking with an untreated gait problem can be hazardous.
  • Drastic changes in blood pressure: drastic changes in blood pressure can make cause headaches and vision changes.
  • Footwear: shoes or sandals that do not fit your feet or support your gait can do more harm than good.
  • Foot problems: Foot deformities and painful feet can make walking less enjoyable and troublesome.
  • Loss of sensation: Those with nerve damage in their feet have a harder time navigating with their feet because they cannot accurately detect the ground.
  • Vision: Decreased vision prevents being able to assess potential walking hazards.
  • Medications: Some medications have side effects such as dizziness that makes an even strut near impossible.
  • Physical Hazards: Loose rugs, unkempt homes, carrying items that block you vision, uneven/slippery surfaces, and stairs without railings.

What Frederick Foot & Ankle can do to minimize your fall risk

  • Moore Balance Braces are casted for patients by our trained medical staff. The braces are contain custom arch supports, ankle stabilizers and heel supports. Moore Balance Braces are securely attached to the ankle and worn inside of shoes.
  • Physical therapy: Our physical therapist, Alli Giddings works closely with our podiatrist to offer a complete evaluation and treatment program. Physical therapists are known to treat balance issues by helping increase ankle range of motion and joint stiffness.
  • Personal training: Heather Fleishell takes care of our patients by challenging them with agility and balance exercises. Adding weight training and flexibility drills will not only decrease your chances of a fall but increase your overall health.

It is important to keep falling to a minimum to prevent serious damage including a head injury, or a broken bone. For the elderly, head injuries or broken bones can lead to a long hospital stay and immobility that can rob them of their independence temporarily or worse permanently.

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