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|<<safety slippers / slippers | example falls project | falls project health links | slippers | buying tips|
Quoted from an article on BBC.co.uk where you can search for similar recent articles. Free slipper exchanges - new for old - are sometimes held at the same time as falls prevention seminars Castle Point and Rochford Primary Care Trust recently gave out 17 pairs of slippers at a seminar in exchange for over-sized, slippery, or trodden-down pairs. The story below is about a much larger scheme:
"It is hoped the slippers will cut fall injuries among the elderly Pensioners could soon be given free slippers by a council in an effort to cut the number of injuries suffered in falls
Neath Port Talbot Council, in south Wales, is considering spending £1,500 on a scheme to provide safe slippers to elderly people, believing it could save much more by reducing injuries
Poorly-fitting footwear is among the biggest causes of accidents among elderly people Last year, 14,000 people fell and broke their hips in the UK
The NHS spends more than £1bn a year on treating fractures caused by falling. When a similar scheme was tried in England, the number of people falling was reduced by 60%
Councillor Clive Owen, Neath Port Talbot Council's Champion for Older People, said: "We've got £1,500 and we are working in conjunction with Age Concern to see who needs the slippers"
Katie Mather, of Neath Port Council, demonstrates the safe slipper: "£1,500 will buy us 150 (pairs of) slippers so we'll get them out to people as soon as possible. We are doing it as a pilot at the moment, but we are hoping that later on we can take it a little bit further They have rubber soles, which means that they are reasonably non-slip They have a good Velcro fastener on the front so they won't slip off, you have to physically take them off They have a very wide opening, so it's easy to get your foot in and out of the slipper which is good if you have restricted mobility"
The idea is part of the authority's strategy to improve life for older people.
It is also looking at internet access for centres for the elderly and at setting up a council for elderly people"
falls project & health links:
The Department of Trade and Industry's Home Safety Network has a website section on falls including research reports leaflets that they printed with the Health Education Authority. If you would like any of these reports or leaflets printed-out in colour and enclosed with a pair of slippers when you order just let us know. Using their database of hospital accident reports, the department's statistical leaflet
Other factors mentioned at the time of the accident include
Much the same information is presented for different audiences in different leaflets:
Help the Aged has been given a grant to continue the work above, by reprinting the leaflets with their logo on them, and by adding up-to-date information links and ideas to the healthy aging & falls section on their website. Their style of writing is repetitive, but readable.
Most of their advice could be taken as patronising. For example if you are taking lots of medicines at once, they don't suggest you look-up what they do but that you ask a "professional" to "review" them, because of course you are too stupid yourself. Where the truth about life is too messy, sad, and muddled for anyone to make much sense of it, they pretend with a kind of New Labour grin that a little bit of advice by a bossy person at tax-payer's expense with no idea about his or her own motives might do the trick. Other ideas, like bright pet collars to stop you tripping over the cat, are less obvious. The general depression and isolation that may come before a fall is not mentioned directly, but it could be that if someone is active enough to be looking-up advice and reading leaflets about fall-prevention then these practical ideas will help.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence, a taxpayer-funded standards organisation for the health service, has a range of leaflets about falls and says that we are "expected" to follow its advice. Most of the advice in the leaflets is to seek advice: "If you have questions about the specific issues covered, talk to your nurse or doctor (or other health professional or practitioner, depending on what it is you want to know)". The most specific parts of the leaflets are about what doesn't work, according to NICE, with the implication that it should not be done and so save the NHS money. Their categories are "no evidence" and "not enough evidence":
They find no evidence to recommend
They don't find enough evidence to recommend
Age Concern England's website has a fact sheet on personal alarms - for those who are worried that they might have a second fall or suffer from lack of confidence. They also own the largest supplier of personal alarms - a firm which is reticent about prices on its website - so the advice may be thin about rival suppliers. If you care for someone with Alzheimer's or other dementia, a door alarm might help alert you to wondering problems at night - these will soon available from the Care-alert.co.uk web site.
The Age Concern's Site map page also links to an information section including an order form for a booklet that gives an overview of how chiropody & voluntary-sector foot-care projects are funded and advice on setting a local one up.
The Health & Safety Executive has a slip-related injuries link on its main website - mainly about trips at work, but with more than enough information for checking your own common-sense approach to slip risk. They have a download-able leaflet of extreme measures that Health Authorities and employers take.e to prevent people falling over and going to court, and a "from experience" link to cases including the Port Neath example above
tips on ordering single pairs of slippers:
The EC has an extraordinary amount of regulation about safety boots & motorcycle boots, but none at all about slippers for the elderly, although the elderly are just as accident-prone as factory workers or motorcyclists. For example slip-resistance tests exist and are often quoted for safety boots, but Comfylux have never done them when they change sole material. Instead, like the counsellor from Port Neath in the article above, we are forced to use common sense with a kind of Blue Peter bravado Anyone with any better ideas is welcome to use our form to contact us. We think that slipping is reduced by four S-words:
tips on ordering slippers in bulk:
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