Senior citizens: when it comes to preventing falls, it’s not enough for you simply to say, “I’m cautious.” Falling is the number one cause of injury and deaths from injury in older Americans, says the Centers for Disease Control. Sure, you can say you’re cautious. You can move around slowly. But if your vision’s impaired and you don’t see something in your path, you can still go down fast. We at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland strongly encourage seniors to keep pathways clear, keep canes and walkers handy, install grab bars in the shower, removing slippery area rugs, and apply all the additional ways to make your homes safe.
So first, look around and remove obstacles in your home. Then, look inward. How equipped is your own body? Is it strong enough to contribute to proper balance, an essential component of fall prevention? Start by examining two crucial areas of your body:
- Your core. Your “core” includes the muscles in your abdomen, sides, and lower back. The entire midsection acts as a stabilizer for the whole body. Prevent a fall by quickly engaging your core muscles. It’s much easier to fall if those muscles are weak and unable to spring into action when needed. Core exercises are essential for older adults. Strengthen your core by walking, stretching, yoga, and Tai-chi.
- Your feet and ankles. Thick calluses, bunions, and ankles that turn inward are examples of foot problems that can easily make you lose your balance and fall.
A strong core helps seniors with stability, balance, coordination, and posture. Healthy feet and ankles provide a firm, stable foundation for the whole body. Visit us in the great community of Solon, Ohio, for help fixing your foot problems. Seniors in Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, and Geauga Counties can call (440) 903-1041 or contact us online for an appointment with Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann.