Understanding the foot health of aged care residents

Ms Georgia Coombes1, Ms Alicia James1, Dr Cylie Williams1,2

1Peninsula Health, Frankston, Australia, 2Monash University, , Australia

 

Aim

The purpose of this audit was to understand the foot health and prevalence of foot problems among residents of Monash Health and Peninsula Health residential facilities.

Method

The study was a retrospective audit from the initial foot health screen and care plans completed by podiatrists working in residential aged care facilities at Monash Health and Peninsula Health between 2012 and 2015.

Results

A total of 268 residents foot health screen information was extracted and included within the review. There were 161 (60%) males with aa mean (SD) age of 76.6(10.0) years. At the time of audit, 12 (4%) residents had a current foot ulcer and 13 (5%) residents had a previous foot ulcer. There were 159 (59%) residents with healthy skin and 124 (46%) nail pathology requiring podiatry assistance for ongoing care. Many residents had multi-morbidities which placed them at risk of foot complications including diabetes n=67, 25%) and history of stroke (n=52, 19%).

Significance of the findings to allied health:

The medical conditions that result in older adults no longer being able to live independently may predispose them to ill foot health. With an ever-increasing number of residents in aged care facilities requiring foot care, appropriate allocation of podiatry services is required. These audit results may be used to develop basic foot care training for health professionals other than podiatrists to provide foot care to residents at low risk of foot complications.