One out of every three people over the age of 65 falls annually in the United States, and by the age of 80 falling at least once a year is almost inevitable. Falls often lead to hospitalizations, disability, or even death. Because falls are so common there are many devices made to help prevent falls, especially in the elderly.
Balance is the key to preventing falls, and there are many devices that help with balance. Canes and walkers are some of the most common devices used to help people maintain independence and be able to walk more safely. Some Podiatrists make custom Ankle Foot Orthotics that provide ankle stability and help by improving walking speed, stride length, and gait pattern. Tai Chi is an exercise technique that has helped people to improve their balance, and also maintain a healthy lifestyle. Most of these devices and techniques have been used for many years, but there have been some new developments on a shoe that will help the elderly with balance, and potentially prevent falls. This new tech savvy shoe is called the B-shoe (A.K.A. Balancing Shoe), which is made by a company in Israel. The shoe can sense when a person is losing their balance, and performs a backward step to allow the person to regain balance. One of the lead scientists began the project because his own father had fallen, and he was determined to find a solution. The company is working on adding a feature to the shoe that will alert the wearer if there is an object coming up that will cause them to lose their balance. These shoes are not yet available to the public, but may be another option in the future for those that are prone to falls. Until then, here are a few tips to prevent falls:
- Exercise regularly
- Have your eyes checked once a year to make sure you are able to see any potential hazards
- Have your doctor or pharmacist review your medications to ensure that your medications won’t cause dizziness
- Wear shoes that provide adequate support and balance
- Talk with your doctor about using a cane or walker
- Reduce hazards in your home, and have grab bars installed if necessary
- Get screened for osteoporosis
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.
Columbus Podiatry & Surgery in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.