Shoes Play a Major Role in Preventing Falls

Accidental falls in the elderly population has been targeted as a major focus on preventative healthcare by both the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control. One in three seniors over age 55 have suffered a fall and the cost of treating falls will grow to over $50 billion by 2020.

While some falls are unavoidable, there is much we can do to prevent many accidental falls. The first is to focus on the shoes worn by seniors. It is very important that shoes are properly fitted. The feet should be measured each time you are being fitted for shoes, since the foot size can change. Resist buying shoes by size alone, since the sizes are not always consistent. The front of the shoe should have about 1/2" between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe.

To help prevent falls, the foot should be stable in the shoes. They should be securely fastened with laces or Velcro. The sole should be solid and non-skid. People with any imbalance or risk for falls should avoid shoes with rocker soles, such as Skechers Shape-ups or MBT. These shoes are designed to promote instability and change the center of gravity. Not the right shoe if balance is an issue.

When selecting an appropriate shoe, lightweight is better. The shoe should have extra depth, especially if you are trying to accommodate an AFO to improve balance, such as the Moore Balance Brace. The shoe should have a stable heel counter and should never be slip on.

Talking precautions to prevent a fall is an investment that will pay dividends. Houston Podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider and his team are committed to identifying risk factors making you or your loved one prone to a fall. We will suggest the proper shoes to be sure that you are stable and safe.

Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
1 Comments
nice blog. l like it
by Nike Dunk High Heel September 8, 2011 at 10:30 AM
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