It’s Falls Prevention Month, and many people don’t know it, but if you take care of your overall health, you can reduce your chances of falling, especially as you age. In today’s post, Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA, shares tips to help reduce your risk of falls and fractures.
- Try strength training and balance exercises: Pilates, tai chi, and yoga can all improve muscle strength and balance. You can also lift weights or use resistance bands to build strength.
- Stay active: Put together an exercise program that’s customized for you. Regular exercise strengthens your body and helps keep your tendons, joints, and ligaments flexible.
- Have your hearing and vision tested regularly: Even minor changes in hearing and vision are connected to an elevated fall risk.
- Get sufficient sleep: If you’re tired, you’re more likely to fall.
- Research the side effects of any medications you take: Tell your doctor or pharmacist if a drug makes you light-headed or drowsy.
- Stand up slowly: Getting up too fast can make your blood pressure drop, making you feel unsteady.
- Limit or avoid alcohol: Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can lead to balance problems, resulting in falls and, consequently, arm and hip fractures and other injuries.
- Exercise special caution when walking on icy or wet surfaces: These surfaces can be very slippery, so use sand or an ice melt product to clear icy areas by your walkways.
- Use an assistive device if you feel unsteady when walking: Using walkers and canes properly can help avoid falls. An occupational or physical therapist can help you determine which devices might be best for you.
- Wear proper footwear: Wear rubber-soled, low-heeled, and nonskid shoes to support your feet properly. Avoid walking on floors or stairs in socks or wearing slippers and shoes with smooth soles.
- Keep your hands accessible: Use a fanny pack, backpack, or shoulder bag to keep your hands free to hold onto railings.
- Always inform your doctor if you’ve fallen since your last check-up: A fall can make your doctor aware of any new medical issues, problems with your eyesight, or medications that can be corrected. Your doctor may recommend a walking aid, physical therapy, or other steps to help avoid future falls.
- Consider staying home during bad weather: In some communities, some services provide 24-hour delivery of groceries and prescriptions, and many take orders over the phone.
If you or a loved one falls, contact Dr. Hubert Lee at CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists in Bellevue, WA. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling us at 425-455-0936. We can diagnose your condition and present you with treatment options before proceeding.