Step this way - and learn to stay upright

THE Axe Valley community rehabilitation team (l to r) back row: Sarah Strong, Louise Cocks and Anne

THE Axe Valley community rehabilitation team (l to r) back row: Sarah Strong, Louise Cocks and Annette Sinclair; front: Ruth Lane, Marianne Black and Del Cathery. - Credit: Archant

The benefits of healthy feet in preventing falls will be promoted at awareness days in Axminster and Seaton

HAVING healthy feet can reduce your chances of falling – that’s the message to older people ahead of two awareness events in Seaton and Axminster.

The Axe Valley community rehabilitation team is visiting the Tesco stores in each town to explain to people what they can do to help prevent falls and improve later life.

The events are being held as part of Age UK’s Falls Awareness Week, which takes place from Monday to Friday June 17 to 21.

This year’s theme is ‘Best Foot Forward’ and will highlight the importance of keeping feet healthy in order to maintain mobility and independence.

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Members of the Axe Valley team will be at the Tesco store in Axminster from 10am to 1pm on June 17, 18 and 19.

The Seaton store will host them from 10am to 1pm on June 17 and 19.

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Marianne Black, specialist nurse in community rehabilitation, said: “Few people are aware of the effect that problematic, painful feet and ill-fitting, unsupportive footwear have in relation to the likelihood of falling.

“As well as keeping feet in good shape, there are a whole range of simple things that can reduce the risk of a fall.

“We aim to raise awareness of falls and let older people, relatives and carers know what services are on offer to help them.”

Experts say foot conditions can result in foot pain and cause problems with balance, walking and sensation in the feet – all of which can lead to falls.

Around 30 per cent of over 65s and 50 per cent of those aged over 80 fall every year.

Michelle Mitchell, charity director general at Age UK, said: “Foot pain and falls are not inevitable as we get older.

“There are lots of things we can do to help prevent falls and keep our feet healthy throughout life – from simply having regular foot checks to wearing well-fitting shoes.

“During the week, people will be able to find out more about how to look after their feet and how to do simple exercises that could help prevent falls.

“Events like those in Seaton and Axminster are crucial in helping everyone understand how to reduce the risk of falling and how to maintain mobility and independence as we grow older.”

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