As Fall Prevention Awareness Day approaches, it’s time to assess our own risk for falls or the risk of someone we love. For the past several months since the Foot and Ankle Center has implemented our new program “In Balance” we’ve screened hundreds of our senior and at risk patients to make sure that they have the information and tools they need to prevent a fall.
Screening starts with a very simple 12 question test. Very likely if you’ve over 65 and have been in to see us in the past few months, we’ve asked you to take the test when you check in.
This is so important! Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for those 65 years of age and over. In fact, every 14 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Unfortunately as we age the chance of falling increases the older we get.
There are many myths about falls according to the National Council on Aging. Here are just a few.
If I limit my activity, I won’t fall– although this might seem logical, the opposite is actually true. Physical activity actually helps with balance because you stay strong and maintain a fuller range of motion. We recommend our patients keep active by walking or taking classes in yoga, tai chi, or strength building.
Once a couch potato, always a couch potato –just because you’ve never exercised or have given it up in recent years doesn’t mean you can’t regain strength and balance that you’ve lost. It’s never too late to get off the couch!
I don’t need to worry about my vision. It stays the same each year– vision problems can be a big risk factor for falls. Even if you haven’t had a change in your vision for awhile, it’s always a good idea to get an annual vision check just to be sure.
So if you haven’t already done so, take the test! If you’re over 65 haven’t taken the screening test at the Foot and Ankle Center of Lake City, as your Seattle podiatrist I highly recommend that you go online and checking our site Fall Prevention for Older Adults. There you’ll find the 12 questions at the bottom of the page. If you answer 4 or more question “Yes”, call us today at 206-368-7000 and let us know the results of this test. From there Dr. Berg and Dr. Paloian will further assess your risk and provide you with the tools and information you need to stay in balance.