Falls Awareness Week – put your best foot forward

It’s thought that each year 1 in 3 over 65's living in the community will have a fall. Falls can cause loss of mobility, independence and confidence and can even result in death.

Falls Awareness Week (17-21 June) is organised by the charity Age UK and they will be holding a number of events to show us that falling doesn’t have to be an inevitable part of ageing.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Healthy Feet’ and is about the importance of keeping our feet healthy which can help prevent falls.

As we get older, we’re more likely to suffer from foot conditions and complaints such as bunions and stiffness in toe joints and ankles. These problems all affect our balance and reduce sensation in our feet which can lead to falls.

Falls Awareness Week

In addition to these risk factors, studies have shown that some types of footwear and even going barefoot indoors can also contribute to falling.

Some footwear can increase the risk of slips, trips and falls in a number of ways. As well as influencing balance, poor footwear can make it difficult to judge surface friction and distance from the floor.

Shoe characteristics that can aid walking and gait include:

  • a high back or ‘collar’ to support the ankle
  • a hard, slip-resistant sole
  • heel height lower than one inch

For more informationn, it’s worth downloading the leaflet which Age UK has produced. It includes lots of helpful advice including some foot and ankle exercises to improve toe and ankle strength at home. You can view the leaflet by clicking here.