Ying Peng, a qualified Podiatrist and final year Honours Student at Queen Margaret University in Edinburgh, has won this year’s Cosyfeet Podiatry Award. She will use the £1000 award to help fund her groundbreaking podiatry work with dementia patients who display challenging behaviour.
Although instances of dementia have risen dramatically in the UK, there has been little focus on how the podiatry needs of dementia patients can be met. Ying plans to volunteer in an NHS dementia unit to explore how this situation can be redressed. She will treat 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 behavior. I also hope to make Dementia medical staff more aware of the warning signs of foot issues.”
Ying anticipates that advising on and providing appropriate footwear will be 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.”
The Cosyfeet Podiatry Award assists podiatrists and podiatry students to develop their professional knowledge and skills while benefitting others. The award is open to those who are planning voluntary work, a work placement or research, whether in the UK or abroad.
For more information about the Cosyfeet Podiatry Award see http://www.cosyfeet.com/professionals.