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Reducing the Risk of Falling for Senior Citizens

Have you or a family member fallen recently? Millions of senior citizens fall each year – and one out of every five falls results in a serious injury. Balance and gait problems can cause a fall, as can poorly-fitting footwear.

Many falls can be prevented! Here are a few easy tips to reduce the chance of a serious injury from a fall:

  • Good vision is essential – have your eyes examined every year.
  • Eliminate tripping hazards in your home such as throw rugs and excess wiring.
  • Improve lighting and add railings on both sides of staircases.
  • Continue a good exercise program to increase leg strength and improve balance. Tai Chi is a good way to boost stability.

Be a Smart Shoe Shopper

Avoid shopping for shoes at discount retailers where your feet are not professionally measured. An improperly-fitting shoe not only is uncomfortable but can be hazardous for anyone with mobility and balance problems.

Try the 1 – 2 – 3 test on your shoes:

Step #1: press each side of the heel to see if it’s stiff and won’t collapse.

Step #2: twist the shoe – it should not twist too easily in the center.

Step #3: check for good flexibility in the toe area by bending the shoe.

Do your shoes pass the 1 – 2 – 3 test? If not, time to go shopping!

  • Have both feet measured each time you shop.
  • Try to shop later in the day when your feet are largest.
  • Bring your own orthotic devices and socks for trying on shoes.
  • New shoes should be comfortable right away – there should be no “breaking-in” period.

Contact Us for any Balance Issues

Dr. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM, has extensive experience in analyzing balance and gait issues. If you are having a problem keeping your balance, come in to our Chicago office for a complete foot examination. Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist, will check your feet and ankles for any structural problem and observe how you walk. We can recommend orthotics to improve the function of your foot and counsel you on the best shoes for your foot type. Please call us at 773-561-8100 for an appointment or contact us via the website.