September is Falls Prevention Awareness Month. For Americans over the age of 65, a fall is the leading cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries. This month, the doctors at New England Podiatry Associates want to share ways to help our seniors prevent falls and avoid injuries like broken bones.
Start the conversation today by talking with an older loved one and asking these questions:
When was the last time you had your vision checked?
Visits to the optometrist are about more than getting new frames. Regular visits can alert patients to make lifestyle changes as they adjust to their aging eyes. For older Americans, less light reaches the retina. It makes it more difficult to see tripping hazards.
Do you know the side effects of your medication?
Medication can sometimes have side effects, and older Americans may have a few daily prescriptions. From dizziness to dehydration, all of these symptoms can increase the risk of a fall. Additional side effects can also occur when one medication interacts with another.
Have you fallen before?
Some older loved ones may have fallen before, but they were ashamed to share with their family members. If someone has fallen before, they might fall again. Encourage your family member to schedule an appointment with their physician to learn what caused the fall. Conditions like neuropathy also make it dangerous for patients with diabetes; they may not know if they’ve been injured.
How can I help you at home?
Many older Americans have lived in the same home for decades. While they don’t have to move, they may need to make some changes. It includes adding handrails or increasing lighting in hallways and bathrooms. Ask them how you can help with home improvements or other simple tasks around the house.
Showing care and concern is the first step to supporting older loved ones. We’re here to help with any questions you may have about mobility or foot or ankle injuries. Call us at 617-232-1752 to make an appointment. Our Newton-Wellesley office location is open with limited hours. Our Chestnut Hill office is open during regular business hours. We are still offering a telemedicine option.