Taking Steps to Prevent Falling

The kids are back in school, leaves are beginning to turn colors, and the stores are full of merchandise in shades of brown and rust, gold and persimmon. Ah, autumn has returned!

The National Council on Aging has designated September 22 – the first day of fall – as Falls Prevention Awareness Day. All of us at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland want to take this opportunity to talk about the various ways you can avoid making “the first day of fall” a medical issue instead of a changing season.

Here are 7 questions to ask as a kind of personal fall risk assessment. If you have aging parents, think about using Falls Prevention Awareness Day and these 7 questions as springboards for discussion with them.

    1. Have you fallen in the past? Studies show that the risk of falling is greater in those who already have a history of falling.
    2. Are you in control of your medications? It’s important to work closely with your doctor to make sure your medications are up to date in terms of dosage, frequency, and need.Are you wearing the proper shoes?
    3. The size shoe you wore at age 35 may not be the same size you wear at 65. Shoes that you’ve had for a long time may not be providing enough support.
    4. Do you feel steady on your feet? Feeling awkward or off-balance greatly increases your risk of falling. Problems with your feet may be to blame.
    5. How’s your vision? Maintain a close relationship with your eye doctor. Be sure to quickly address any issues with your vision – and wear your glasses!
    6. Have you remained active? Keeping active not only keeps you stronger and more stable, it can stave off depression as well.
    7. Can you improve the condition of your house? Look around for loose wires or rugs that could trip you up; remove extra furniture that’s hard to navigate around; make sure there is enough light so you can see; install hand rails on all stairs and in bathrooms.

Take steps to address any concerns that these 7 questions have raised, and remember that our qualified podiatrists, Dr. Megan L. Oltmann and Dr. Craig B. Frey are your partners in keeping your feet and ankles in tip-top shape. Make caring for them a part of your overall plan for preventing dangerous falls. Visit us on a regular basis, and make a special trip if you’re feeling unsteady.  Call us at our office in Solon, OH at (440) 903-1041, or make an appointment online.