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Ying Peng

2017 Cosyfeet Podiatry Award winner Ying Peng

Ying Peng, a qualified Podiatrist and final year Honours Student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, was the winner of the 2017 Cosyfeet Podiatry Award. She used the £1000 award to help fund her ground breaking podiatry work with dementia patients who display challenging behaviour.

Although instances of dementia have risen dramatically in the UK, there had been little focus on how the podiatry needs of dementia patients could be met. Ying volunteered in an NHS dementia unit to explore how this situation could be redressed. She treated up to 60 patients over a 6-week period, liaising with nursing staff and families about how best to provide ongoing foot care for these patients.

“Many dementia patients cannot communicate that they have foot pain, but may have an urgent need for podiatric treatment, and for specific footwear necessary for them to remain mobile,” says Ying. “I plan to treat such patients and suggest measures that a podiatrist can take to minimise the risks attached to treating dementia patients with challenging behaviour. I also hope to make Dementia medical staff more aware of the warning signs of foot issues.”

Ying believed that advising on and providing appropriate footwear was a vital element of this project. As podiatrists know, wearing the right footwear is of great importance for preventing falls and foot ulcers, and for assisting with and preventing potential mobility issues. Those with dementia are more vulnerable in this regard than the general population due to their impairment in the areas of self care and communication.

“Dementia awareness is such a huge issue for us in the UK at the present time. We’re delighted to help Ying with this pioneering work, exploring how best to identify and meet the podiatric needs of dementia patients,” says Cosyfeet Managing Director Andrew Peirce. “The knowledge gained can be used to inform best practice and to identify areas for further study.”

A full report on this project will be available here shortly.

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