Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury for Canadians aged 65 and older? Nearly one in four seniors in Canada experience a fall each year. As we age, the more we are at risk falling due to decreased balance, declining muscle and bone strength, and reduced vision. Aging isn’t the only factor. Chronic pain, illness, swelling, and joint replacements are just a few factors that contribute towards putting you at a greater risk of a fall-related injury.
Falls are a serious matter that can have some serious outcomes, including hospitalization, injury, and even death. And that’s why fall prevention is so important as we begin to age. Here is a quick guide on fall prevention to help you steer clear and lower the risk of taking any tumbles.
Avoid walking with only socks or slippers
About half of all falls causing hospitalization occur in the home. Walking around in socks or slippers, or even barefoot is something that should always be avoided, even at home. Socks can easily increase your chances of sliding and slipping along the surface of the floor or losing your footing on the stairs. Keep a comfortable pair of indoor shoes so you are not wearing only socks or non-supportive slippers and helping to reduce the risk of falls.
Choose good footwear
When it comes to the shoes you wear every day, it is important to be very selective with what you wear. Take the time and effort to find a good pair of shoes that fit your feet properly. It’s also wise to go for shoes that have great support for your feet, as well as some form of gripped sole to decrease any potentials slips or falls.
Once you’ve found those perfect shoes, your feet may still require some extra support, especially if you have severely flat or arched feet or are prone to foot, heel, or ankle pain. Orthotics can provide that extra level of comfort, support, and balance that will reduce the risk of falling and help you take each step with confidence.
Replace and update worn shoes and orthotics
We know how challenging it can be to find that pair of shoes that make your feet feel as though you’re walking on air. Once you find them, you never want to let them go. But you must realize that once they have been worn out and the support that they use to provide is no longer there, they can increase your risk of falling. So always replace and update worn out shoes and orthotics when necessary. You are more likely to slip and fall if wearing shoes with worn soles, and more likely to endure pain if the support has weakened.
Reduce the risk of falling by taking good care of your feet and body. When you provide the right amount of support to make your feet stable, you can take each step forward with confidence.