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Diabetes and Falls Prevention

Falls are a major health risk for older adults, with multiple factors increasing the risk of an individual experiencing a fall and causing serious and life-threatening injuries.

A contributing factor for falling is having diabetes, which is the sixth leading cause of disease burden in Australia. A person with diabetes is 64% more likely to have a fall and individuals who do fall are twice as likely to sustain an injury from the fall.1

A person with diabetes is at an increased risk of falling because of the associated complications with vision, cognition and foot health which commonly occur. Additionally, diabetes medication, as well as a tendency for hypoglycemia can cause further cognitive impairment, increasing the individual’s risk of having a fall.

Recommendations for reducing the risk of falls among people with diabetes, include;

  • Regular foot care,
  • Appropriate footwear,
  • Podiatry assessment,
  • Optimised glycemic control,
  • Annual medication review,
  • Visual acuity testing every two years, and
  • Single vision glasses.

Additionally, people with diabetes can reduce their risk of experiencing a fall by moving their body, improving their health and removing hazards more information here.

If you would like more information about falls prevention for older adults with diabetes, watch the recent Injury Matters webinar with Dr Claudia Meyer from the Bolton Clarke Research Institute here.

 

Reference:

  1. Meyer, C., Chapman, A., Reyes, K. K. & Joe, A. Profiling the risk factors associated with falls in older people with diabetes receiving at-home nursing care: Retrospective analysis of an Australian aged care provider database. Health Soc. Care Community n/a,.

Stay On Your Feet® is provided by Injury Matters and funded by the Western Australian Department of Health.

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