Study to reduce falls through podiatry treatments

Researchers from GCU are conducting a study to find the most effective podiatry approaches for reducing falls among older people.

Falls in older people are a major public health problem, with at least one in three people aged over 65 falling each year. The incidence of care homes falls is around three times that of falls in the community. There is also increasing evidence that foot problems and inappropriate footwear increase the risk of falls.

Many elderly people have a foot problem which affects mobility and balance, increasing the risk of falls. These can include bunions and nail problems, musculoskeletal problems, joint function problems and poorly fitting footwear affecting posture, balance and stability.

As a result, podiatry has an important role to play in falls prevention by diagnosing podiatry related risk factors which could contribute to falls, and prescribing appropriate tailored insoles, foot and ankle exercises and footwear.

Dr Jacqui Morris, of GCU’s Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions, said: “This is an important piece of work which recognises the important role that podiatrists can play in reducing falls in elderly care home residents.”