Falls are one of the main reasons that older adults are admitted to hospital or to a higher level of care, but falls are not an inevitable part of ageing. There are many things that you can do to reduce your risk of falling, including caring for your feet. Read our tips for keeping your feet healthy, so you can stay active:
- Inspect your feet every day. On a daily basis, look and feel each foot for signs of injury, hot or cold areas, corns, calluses, and discolouration. If you notice any of these signs, act on them early to prevent complications. If your eyesight is poor, ask someone else to check your feet for you or use a mirror to inspect the soles of your feet.
- Cut your toenails straight across. Reduce the risk of ingrown toenails by trimming your toenails straight across rather than rounding off the edges. See a Podiatrist if you need help to trim your toenails.
- Exercise your feet. In addition to general activity, your Podiatrist can give you specific exercises to help strengthen your feet and ankles. Specific exercises can also help to improve balance and proprioception (your sense of body and joint position in space), which can help to reduce your risk of a fall.
- Seek professional advice. If you notice problems such as corns or calluses on your feet, don’t try to scrape or cut these yourself. It’s best to see a Podiatrist, who has the right tools and knowledge, to reduce the risk of damaging your skin and developing problematic infections.
- Choose your footwear wisely. Some types of footwear can increase your risk of falls by making you slip or stumble. Look for firm, flat shoes with the right amount of grip and ankle support. Ask your Podiatrist for specific advice about the best shoes to suit you.