Proper footwear, bunion correction may prevent falls in seniors
Older people need to pay special attention to their feet.
Falls are one of the leading causes of disability among the elderly. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that injuries relating to falls cost $349 million in healthcare costs in 2005.
A question-and-answer post in the Detroit Free Press quotes a Harvard Medical School advisor as saying that seniors are more prone to falls because of changes that occur in the feet with age – such as bunions and hammer toe – that can cause poor balancing abilities.
Prevention efforts begin with proper footwear. Choosing shoes that are the correct size, have slip-resistant soles and are tied or fastened may help the elderly retain stability.
Additionally, the news source reported that orthotics may help correct imbalanced landing mechanics, which may prevent falls. Moreover, the devices are known to slow or stop the progression of bunions or hammer toe.Elderly individuals with bunions or hammer toe should avoid bunion surgery, which can be costly and painful. Instead, this population may want to consider bunion splints to help reduce the appearance of bony deformities.