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Falls and feet - Stay On Your Feet

Why is feet and footwear a risk factor?

 Icon showing footcare information Sore, aching or tired feet make it difficult for an older person to stay active and independent, and can affect the way they walk. Foot problems can also be the first sign of more serious medical conditions such as diabetes, circulation or nerve problems. Some types of footwear such as loose fitting sling backs, slippers, thongs or scuffs, can increase the risk of falls. Wearing socks without shoes can also increase the risk of falls.

What works

  • Regular podiatry checks
  • Foot exercises
  • Shoes that fit well, are in good repair, have a broad slightly rounded heal less than 2.5cm high, have a firm non-slip sole, have the right amount of grip, have laces, zips or Velcro fastenings

Who can help older people with their feet and footwear?

  • Podiatrists
  • Specialist shoe retailers

Screening tools

  • Assessment of foot problems by a podiatrist
  • Ensuring footwear is safe

Research on falls and footwear

 Icon showing footware information

Resources related to feet and footwear for older people

To find out more about risk factors

For more in-depth information about falls risk factors, risk awareness, risk screening and assessment methods, refer to the Queensland Stay On Your Feet® Community Good Practice Guidelines.


Last updated: 21 February 2012