Did you know that more than 260 people aged 65 and over were hospitalised for a fall-related injury every day in 2016? Don’t let it be you or someone you care about.
As Senior’s Week (Qld) approaches later this month (August 19 – 27), we want to help educate Australians around the importance of preventing falls among our community’s most vulnerable.
As a senior or carer, family member or friend of a senior, it is important to understand the foot-related risk factors which can lead to falls.
Contributing factors to falls:
- Foot pain – common conditions elderly Australians experience such as bunions, claw toes, ingrown toenails, arch pain, heel pain and lower limb pain can all contribute to falls.
- Muscle weakness – with muscles weakening as we age, elderly people are more at risk of falling as they lose muscle strength, flexibility and endurance.
- Balance and gait – foot posture, nerve sensation, balance and gait all impact on wellbeing as we age. Low arches or feet that roll inwards or outwards mean leg muscles are working harder to keep the body balanced.
- Unsafe footwear – backless shoes and slippers, high-heeled shoes, and shoes with smooth leather soles are examples of unsafe footwear which could contribute to falls.
How can podiatrists help falls prevention?
Podiatrists play an important role in not only treating foot conditions, which may lead to falls but also in providing regular consultation to assess the ongoing and changing level of risk of falling as we age.
Three key functions a Podiatrist can offer elderly Australians include:
- Biomechanical assessment – identifying the functionality of feet while standing, walking and running.
- Custom-made foot orthotics – prescribe shoe inserts designed to support your feet in their ideal position.
- Footwear recommendations – ensure you are wearing safe footwear which properly fit and support your feet.
Don’t become a falls statistic. Book an appointment with your local my FootDr podiatrist today.
Call 1800 FOOTDR or book online.
Go to our advice page for more information on falls prevention.