By Dr. James J. DiResta and Dr. Angela Barnes
Dr. DiResta & Associates
Did you know that one in three senior adults fall each year, but less than half talk to their healthcare providers about it? Falls result in millions of moderate to severe injuries each year and can increase the risk of early death for seniors.
The good news - falls can be prevented. The Podiatric Health Section of the American Public Health Association, chaired by AJH podiatrist Dr. James DiResta, has joined forces with other stakeholders to educate providers and patients on common risks and preventative measures.
Here is a simple tip when considering purchasing footwear that can help in preventing falls - the 1-2-3 test:
1: Press on both sides of the heel area to ensure the heel is stiff and won't collapse.
2: Bend the shoe to check for toe flexibility. The shoe shouldn't bend too much in the toe box area, but it shouldn't be too stiff and inflexible either.
3: Try twisting the shoe; it shouldn't twist in the middle.
A combination of interventions can significantly reduce falls among older adults including: physical activity with a focus on balance; talking to your doctor; having medications reviewed; getting eyes checked annually; having an annual hearing test; making sure your home is safe and supportive.
Source: CDC: Center for Disease Control and Prevention