Falls are common and costly, especially among Americans age 65 and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every second of every day, an older adult suffers a fall in the U.S. – making falls the leading cause for injury and injury-related deaths. Older adults often experience a combination of factors leading to falls, but one easily modifiable factor is footwear.
Wearing the right shoes is an important “step” for preventing falls at home. Here are a few tips when selecting footwear:
Soles: Use only non-slip soles. The better the grip, the lower chance of falling. Also, avoid soles that are too thick. Foot clearance is an issue for some adults, and thick soles can be a tripping hazard.
Heel Cup: Use shoes with a high firm back that supports the heel and provides needed stability.
Velcro: Velcro proves easier to manage than laces and may result in shoes being fastened most of the time.
Size: Size is very important! If shoes are too large, they can become problematic for walking. If shoes are too small, this can cause a variety of foot problems including corns, calluses, and bunions.
While not every fall can be prevented, looking for ways to reduce risks is the key goal. Wearing the right shoes can help older loved ones maintain their balance, improve their gait, and reduce their risk of a dangerous fall.