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Podiatrists advise on best winter footwear for preventing falls

Wednesday 17th January 2018
The College of Podiatry has published advice on the most appropriate winter shoes for older people to wear to prevent falls. Image: Toa55 via iStock
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Older people and those who are deemed to be at greater risk of falls are being urged to wear sturdy, supportive footwear throughout the remainder of the winter months.

The College of Podiatry has issued advice about the most appropriate type of shoes to wear when the weather is cold and icy to protect the feet, ankles and the rest of the body by reducing the overall risk of an individual suffering a fall.

Statistics show that half of the people who experience a hip fracture never fully recover, with one in five fall victims dying within three months, while those who survive are at increased risk of further injuries from future falls.

Therefore, podiatry experts are advising that shoes should always fit well, provide ankle support and have a good grip, even when it comes to slippers that will only be worn indoors on carpet. This means that wellington boots are not appropriate for wearing outdoors in the snow, despite many people thinking they are.

During particularly icy conditions, people who might be more likely to fall should stay indoors and ask others to carry out tasks like picking up shopping or they should get someone else to walk them slowly to the car so that they can travel elsewhere, if absolutely necessary.

Dr Paul Chadwick, clinical director at the College of Podiatry, commented: "We are urging older people, and those taking care of them, to be especially vigilant as the temperatures fall.

"It is important that anyone at high risk for falling or with a history of falls - perhaps due to stroke or arthritis - has an assessment of their foot and leg health by a podiatrist who can advise on appropriate footwear and other measures to help prevent any accidents."

Carers are being advised to find out where their local community podiatrist is based in case they need them to make sure everyone is protected against falls as much as possible during the cold winter months.

Written by Angela Newbury

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