In honor of Fall Prevention Awareness Day, which not coincidentally occurs on the first day of fall, it’s important to raise awareness of the risk of severe injury and even death from falls in older adults.
Falls are the leading cause of injury in those over 65, so knowing how to reduce your chances of falling is paramount to staying healthy. Many older individuals also suffer from osteoporosis, which is a condition that affects over 60 million people in the US alone. Osteoporosis causes a weakening of the bones and makes them more likely to break in a fall, often resulting in injuries like sprained ankles or severe complications such as those found with compound fractures.
To minimize bone loss and help reduce the risk of falling and permanent injury, there are a variety of steps you can take. Some of these include the following:
- Consume a diet that is high in calcium. Yogurt, kale, and broccoli are three excellent sources.
- Get sufficient vitamin D in your diet and through sunlight and/or supplements to prevent bone loss.
- Perform daily exercise to strengthen the muscles, tissues and tendons surrounding your foot and ankle bones. Exercise also helps improve flexibility and balance.
- Install railings, lighting, and remove any tripping hazards to make your home safer.
- Stop smoking, which is essential for the optimum good health of your bones and the rest of your body.
- Avoid alcohol. It causes dehydration and instability that may lead to a severe fall.
- Talk to your foot doctor about any balance problems and consider using custom orthotics that can help improve ankle stability.
If you need help determining ways to increase the strength of your feet and ankles to avoid falls, schedule an appointment with the Foot First Podiatry in New Albany, IN. Our highly qualified podiatrist Dr. Zahid Ladha, D.P.M. is dedicated to providing the best diagnostic care and medical treatment for you and your feet. Contact us at (812) 945-9221 and schedule an appointment today!