It’s Falls Prevention Month! Stay Safe With These 5 Tips

All of September, we’d like to bring attention to Falls Prevention Awareness Month. Falls can put you at serious risk for injury and it’s important to do all you can to prevent that. Here at Step By Step Family Foot Care, we want you to stay safe every month with this simple guide:

  1. Visit your doctor’s office to assess and discuss your risk of falling. This includes any past falls, conditions you have that may increase the likelihood of falling, medications you’re taking, and their side effects.
  2. Exercise is an important factor in preventing a dangerous fall. Walking, swimming, and any other gentle exercises can help improve your strength, balance, flexibility, and coordination. If exercise makes you nervous, look into monitored exercises.
  3. Wearing comfortable shoes is key to maintaining healthy feet. They also play a role in fall prevention. Choosing well-fitting, sensible shoes for everyday use can lessen your risk. Flip flops, sandals, and heels are more dangerous to walk in and can easily lead to an accident. Instead, choose flat shoes like sneakers.
  4. It’s common to fall in your own home, either by tripping over furniture or slipping on the stairs. Take a look around your house and assess your risk. Ensure that there aren’t any power plugs or cords laying loose on the floor. Place furniture in your rooms with enough space to walk through without bumping into tables or decor. Secure any loose rugs to the floor and fix any tricky floorboards or carpeting. If something spills on your floor, clean it up right away to avoid slipping. You can also invest in non-slip rugs and mats for your bathroom and kitchen.
  5. Be sure that you keep enough lights on in your house to be able to see where you’re going. Bring a flashlight with you if you’re walking outside in the dark, this way you can clearly survey your surroundings.

Prevention is necessary for those at an older age, but it doesn’t hurt to keep these tips in mind, since falls can happen at any point in your life.

Step By Step Family Foot Care is here to assist you with any of your podiatry needs! To make an appointment with Dr. Debra Manheim, call us at (973) 917-3785 or visit our site to schedule an appointment. The staff at our Parsippany office is ready and eager to help.

Preventing Falls at Any Age

fall prevention

Falling is a painful thing, and it can cause damage later. There are things that make us more susceptible to this issue, such as age, health, or underlying medical conditions. You can also be at risk because of the shoes you wear and your lifestyle choices. However, there are things that you can do to ensure that you stand a more substantial chance of avoiding a dangerous fall, no matter your age.

  • Ensure you are at your best: if you have trouble seeing or hearing, this is a problematic issue that needs to be rectified. If you need glasses, let yourself get used to them. If you need a hearing aid, you must remember to wear it properly and don’t skip it. Neglecting to use these items can cause disorientation and can lead to a fall.
  • Avoid alcohol: alcohol in any form or dosage can impair you and cause you to sway or experience dizziness. This can lead to having trouble staying upright and walking correctly. Cutting alcohol completely from your diet will ensure better health which is also vital to avoid a fall.
  • Be careful in different weather: in the winter, you can experience snow and ice, which causes slippery areas, and water on the ground can cause slick regions. Be careful in these areas and ensure that you are walking around the mess to avoid getting hurt.
  • Don’t jump up: standing quickly or jumping up after sitting can cause a drop in your blood pressure. This is what causes the ‘head rush.’ You can also experience dizziness or a near-immediate fall as your legs buckle.
  • Avoid improper shoes: high heels make ankles wobble, toes cramp, and feet sweat. All these issues can cause an imbalance and unsteadiness on your feet. Choose non-skid shoes with a low heel and rubber soles.  These will help you walk on various surfaces with confidence.

If you have concerns about your foot health, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care, in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information, answers to your questions, and to schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.

4 Tips for Reducing Fall Risk in Older Adults

fall prevention, senior foot care

As we get older, our bodies tend to lose strength, balance, and flexibility, thus increasing the risk of falling and injury. Anyone can have a fall, but older individuals are most vulnerable. Seniors need to be proactive with their foot health to diminish the risk of falls.

September is National Falls Prevention Month, and at Step by Step Family Foot Care, we know how your foot health can play a significant role in preventing dangerous falls.

Here are some tips to help people reduce their risk of falling.

  1. Stay in shape. Regular exercise improves overall foot health. It strengthens the muscles and improves balance and flexibility, making injuries and falls less likely. Keeping a healthy weight also helps to reduce the stress on your feet.
  2. Annual eye exam. Low vision can increase the risk of falling and injury. An annual eye exam from your optometrists can play a significant role in reducing falls. Don’t ignore foot pain. If your feet hurt, you risk losing your balance as you try to alter the way you walk to avoid the problem. Foot pain is not normal – be sure to discuss any pains, aches, and symptoms with your podiatrist.
  3. Remove hazards at home. Over half of all falls occur at home. Inspect your home for any risks that could lead to a fall or injury. Make sure you have good lighting all around the house. Clear any clutter such as cords or small furniture items from the main living space. Make sure to clean up any spills on the floor immediately. Install handrails for the stairways and grab bars for the toilets and showers.

If you think that you or your loved one are at risk for falls, visit our office in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, can evaluate you for any risk factors and provide you the best advice on fall risk prevention so that you can get back to the life and activities you enjoy. Contact us at (973) 917-3785 to schedule your appointment today.