HAGERSTOWN, MD - Most people don't think of falling as something deadly, but for seniors it's a common cause.
"Several studies have been done on falls and out of all the injury- related deaths to seniors half of them are due to falls," says Dr. Dan Michaels, a podiatrist at the Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Institute.
For Mildred Reese, it was something she feared every day after never fully recovering from her knee surgery.
"I used to walk around the house doing what I had to do but I always had to hold on to the railing to go upstairs," says Reese.
However, falling is one less worry on her mind now.
"We take a fiber glass mold of the patients foot, ankle and lower leg to capture the exact contour and that produces a devise that fits perfectly," says Dr. Michaels.
A leg brace specifically designed to help prevent falls offered Reese renewed mobility.
"They're everything that I wanted and needed and they're so soft," says Reese. "I love them and walk good in them."
"I had one gentleman who was leaning over to tie his shoe and he was losing his balance and he had these on and they caught him because of this "L" design called posterior leaf design," says Dr. Michaels. He says the brace should be worn with a flat-based quality shoe to work its best.
Our Fall Prevention Center is designed to help protect you and is the only center in the area that does this for the senior population in central Maryland.
Why is There a Need for a Fall Prevention Center?
- Falls and fall related injuries are the leading cause of accidental deaths in older people.
- Three in 10 seniors fall each year.
- Half of seniors, who fall, will fall again within the next year.
- 40% of nursing home residents fall each year, some more than once.
- Nearly half of the seniors who fall reduce their activity after a fall.
- Most fractures among older adults are caused by falls.
- In 2010 over 20,000 seniors died from unintentional fall injuries.
Services Offered in our Fall Prevention Center:
- One of our Physicians will do a risk assessment on you by having you answer several questions and observe you walk and get up from a seated position. If you are at risk we can help you with many things.
- We offer a special brace used to help you keep your balance called the Moore Balance Brace.
- We will coordinate care with you for your physical and occupational therapy if needed.
- We can have one of our construction specialists come to your house and build you handicap ramps, redo your bathroom with handles, safety bars and custom tub and bath enclosures to keep you safe and install elevators that go up your stair wells so you don’t run the risk of falling down your stairs.
Do You Have a Balance Problem?
Have you fallen in the past?
Do you often slip, trip or have near falls?
Do you have a fear of falling?
Do you stumble or Shuffle when walking?
Do you drag your feet when you walk causing you to trip?
Do you have to touch or hold on to the wall or furniture while walking?
Do your legs or ankles feel weak or unsteady?
If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have a balance problem that can be greatly improved through the use of the Moore Balance Brace.
Who Can Benefit from the Moore Balance Brace?
- Individuals who have difficulty walking, have fallen in the pas or who are at risk for falling.
- Individuals with ankle weakness or instability.
- Individuals with arthritis in their feet or ankles.
- Individuals who have had a stroke, have weakness or dizziness
- Individuals who have poor feeling or numbness in their feet.
- Individuals who use a cane or walker or any other assistive device to walk.
How can there be a brace that can help prevent you from falling?
- The Moore Balance Brace (MBB) is a new Ankle Foot Orthotic (AFO) that helps prevent people from falling.
- The MBB is easy to put on, light weight and ahs a low profile and open dorsal ankle design which allows for easy shoe fitting and increased compliance.
- There is a posterior leaf design to aid in foot clearance during gait and is custom made to maximize skin contact so you can feel where your foot is in space.
- There are no laces or latches and it eliminates abnormal motion and weakness around the ankle.
- The brace has no hard surfaces and cushion is built into the foot plate with added arch support and easy Velcro closure.
- The MBB is custom and American made and fits into most supportive shoes without needing to increase the size.
- The Moore Balance Brace (MBB) is a prescription custom-made ankle foot orthotic (AFO) worn as a pair that is designed to fit easily into a doctor recommended shoe. The MBB is NOT intended to be worn without a shoe.
- The MBB is covered by most major insurances including Medicaid and Medicare. The MBB is a long-term solution to be used in combination with a fall prevention strength training program which may include physical and occupational therapy, making the necessary environmental changes in the home and a review of the patient’s current medications.
How can the MBB Prevent you from falling?
- By improving balance and prevents falls and by reducing the body’s postural sway.
- It stabilizes the foot and ankle when weakness and fatigue exist.
- It stimulates skin receptors providing feedback to the brain and improves foot clearance reducing the risk of tripping and falling by 30-60%.