Don't fall for it

Falls prevention from the ground up - feet and footwear

Page last updated: 06 May 2011

As we age, our feet can change shape and lose some feeling and flexibility. This changes the way we walk and affects balance. Painful or swollen feet can make it difficult to walk. Also, some shoes or slippers can make you more likely to slip, trip or stumble, leading to a fall.

What you can do:

  • See a podiatrist or doctor if you have painful or swollen feet, tingling or pins and needles in your feet or if you have any changes in the shape of your feet (for example, bunions).
  • Choose comfortable, firm-fitting, flat shoes with a low broad heel and soles that grip (see picture).
  • Don’t wear poorly fitted slippers or walk in socks.
  • If you have difficulty finding suitable
  • shoes because of foot problems, ask your podiatrist for the names of specialist shoe stores.
  • Ask your podiatrist or physiotherapist to suggest ways to improve circulation, decrease swelling and reduce pain in the legs and feet.

Prevent falls with safe shoes.

Where you can find help or advice:
  • Commonwealth Carelink
  • Australian Podiatry Association can provide names of podiatrists in your area
  • Local Community Health Centres and Day Therapy Centres often have podiatrists
See page 29 for contact details.