Preventing Falls and Helping People Stay Well
A Sloppy Slippers campaign is being launched in Somerset today, by Our Somerset to raise awareness of the importance of staying fit and well to reduce the number of people who fall and end up in hospital.
Our Sloppy Slippers campaign is being delivered in partnership with Somerset Activity and Sports Partnership (SASP), who are delivering the Sloppy Slippers Roadshow which will run from December 2023 – March 2024.
According to the University Hospitals of Leicester, 24,000 over-65s in the UK fall over at home every year because of poorly fitting footwear. Most of these falls are caused by wearing ‘sloppy’ slippers’ – poorly structured and ill-fitting slippers.
Sloppy Slippers Roadshow
Between December and March, eight roadshows will be held across Somerset to encourage people over 18, and at risk of falling, to come along and receive a free pair of properly fitted slippers. The first roadshow will be held on 14 December in Minehead.
Some footwear, including loose, worn, or backless slippers, can increase the risk of slips, trips and falls in adults. This type of footwear can cause poor balance and gait or make it difficult for people to stay steady on their feet.
At the roadshows, (SASP) will have trained staff on hand to demonstrate simple strengthening exercises, fit visitors with non-slip slippers, share ideas for avoiding falls and signpost people to resources and services available in Somerset.
Voluntary sector organisations including CCS, Spark Somerset, and Somerset Sight will also be at the roadshows to offer advice. So far eight roadshows have been confirmed.
Falls are the most common accidents for adults and can cause serious injury at any time of life. The risk does increase with age and each year in the UK about one-third of people over 65 will fall. The human cost of falling can include distress, pain, injury, loss of confidence and loss of independence. In Somerset 2557 patients were admitted to hospital as a result of falls during 2002 – 2023.
The campaign focuses on steps people can take to reduce their risk of a fall, eating well to avoid fainting, having regular eye checks and medication reviews, and the importance of building strength and balance and includes a roadshow where people can get pick up a free pair of safe slippers and advice on everything from exercise to avoiding falls at home.
Bernie Marden, Chief Medical Officer NHS Somerset said: “This campaign has an important message for everyone. Keeping well and maintaining strength and balance is something we should all be mindful of, as we age, to avoid trips and falls. Somerset has a high percentage of people over 65 and we provide a range of services to help them to age well and support them if they do have a fall.
“Sloppy slippers are just one part of the equation, but badly fitting slippers are responsible for countless trips and falls which can have a devastating impact for the individual. To find out more about reducing the risk of falls and to sign up for a pair of free well-fitting slippers, we are inviting people to join us for one of the five roadshows between now and March 2024.
Jane Knowles, SASP CEO, “SASP is delighted to be part of the falls prevention campaign, using the distribution of good quality slippers as the hook to talk about the benefits of strength and balance around preventing slips and trips. People are often not aware of how easy it is to improve strength and balance with basic exercises to help prevent all the negative effects that come with a fall. We have lots of information and resources to help during these winter months”.