Each year, millions of people aged 65 and over suffer a fall. In fact, studies indicate that one out of three older adults falls each year. More often than not, this results in severe injuries, such as fractures and traumas, which can change a life in the blink of an eye. A single fall can lead to difficulty getting around or living independently, which can actually increase the risk of early death. The truth is, falls in the elderly are the most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, as well as fractures of the spine, hip, forearm, leg, ankle, pelvis, upper arm, and hand. In addition, many people develop a fear of falling after falling once. This fear limits activities, which in turn increases the risk of falling. It’s a dangerous cycle that you don’t want to start! Fortunately, falls in the elderly can be prevented by knowing the risks and being pro-active.
It’s important to keep in mind that falls do not occur just because of aging. Often, there is an underlying risk factor or cause, which makes you more susceptible. As you get older, these risk factors rise, increasing your chances of taking a spill. Here are some signs that you could be at risk:
- Muscle weakness in your legs.
- Blood pressure that drops too much when you stand up from lying down or sitting – this condition is called postural hypotension and can cause dizziness
- Foot pain.
- Vision problems.
- Cognitive problems such as confusion.
- Balance and gait issues.
- Urinary incontinence.
It’s important to contact Foot Specialists of Long Island if you notice any of these warning signs. Once we determine if you are at risk, the next step is developing a prevention plan. Coming up in one of our next blogs, we will talk about how to prevent falls in the elderly and the pro-active steps you can take to stay on your feet. To find out more, call Mark Gasparini, D.P.M. at (516) 804-9038 or contact us online. You can also reach us at our office in Massapequa, NY.
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