No senior citizen wakes up in the morning and says, “I think maybe I’d like to fall and hurt myself today.” And yet, every year a full 25% of people aged 65+ do just that.
Falling is costly, not only in terms of dollars, but in a person’s quality of life. Older adults who sustain a fall injury double their risk of falling again! They’re also likely to gain a fear of falling. And that fear can be crippling. Many seniors restrict their activities out of fear that they might fall. They remain isolated in their own homes and may become depressed.
So the risks of falling, along with the fear of falling, are serious problems among the elderly. We at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center are concerned about the quality of life of our elderly patients here in Fairfax County. That’s why we’ve put together this list of questions senior citizens should ask themselves to assess their risk of falling.
- Have I eliminated danger in my own home? Those dangers include darkly-lit hallways, steps that need repair, lack of railings on stairways, missing grab bars in the shower, and throw rugs that slip out from under your feet.
- Are essential items difficult to reach? Make sure you can comfortably reach items that you use every day such as reading materials, pots and pans, and medications. Having to reach high or low can cause you to lose your balance and fall.
- Do my medications make me dizzy? Speak with your doctor immediately about changing prescription medications that cause brain fog, confusion, or dizziness.
- Am I having trouble seeing? If yes, see your eye physician. When you can see clearly, you’re less likely to run into things that bring on a fall.
- Am I in pain? Pain anywhere in your body can cause you to walk erratically and lose your balance. This is especially true of the body parts that bear most of your weight- your feet. Improve or eliminate foot pain, swelling, or numbness by making an appointment with our board-certified podiatrist, Kenneth R. Wilhelm at our office in Centreville, Virginia. Call us at (703) 996-3000 or schedule an appointment online.