Fall Prevention in the Aging Population

From time to time I like to feature local experts with tips and advice for improving senior’s lives. This week’s blog is written by my colleague, Dr. Don Pelto of Central Massachusetts Podiatry. Dr. Pelto specializes in many foot ailments and writes about how you can be proactive by avoiding falls among elders.

Falls are a  major causes of injury in elderly people.  Hip fractures account for approximately 25 percent of injury deaths among those 65+, and 34 percent of injury deaths among those 85+.

Most falls happen in or around your house and can be life threatening.  For example, Mary Smith was seen in my office for a footcare visit.  I asked her, “Mary have you fallen recently?”  She said, “Well in fact I was walking around my house and was only going a short distance and not using my walker and I fell and hurt my hand but thankfully nothing was broken.” Mary said that she lost her balance quite frequently and that she had nearly fallen a number of times.

Mary’s situation is very common. Many times a fall can cause other problems that lead to problems that can be fatal over time.  There are many devices such as canes and walkers that can help the elderly live safer at home.  However, a new fall-prevention device has been developed that can be worn in regular shoes has been shown to decrease falls by 30-60 percent in the elderly.  It is typically covered by Medicare and Medicaid and is light weight.

If you would like to learn more about these braces visit www.fallpreventionbrace.com or if you would like to make an appointment to see a physician regarding obtaining these braces please contact Dr. Donald Pelto at Central Massachusetts Podiatry at 508.757.4003 or www.drpelto.com.  Dr. Pelto is a podiatrist working in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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