The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy


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Why slippers should be on your Christmas shopping list

CSP press release published on 19 December 2013

Perennial yuletide favourite is also a potential life-saver, say physios

Physiotherapists are urging people to buy elderly friends, relatives or neighbours a new set of slippers for Christmas to help prevent a fall this winter.  Slips, trips and falls leave more than 200,000 people in hospital each year and many of these accidents could be avoided through better footwear at home.  Too often, ill-fitting or worn-out slippers fail to provide the traction some older people need to get around the house safely.

Sue Rees, chair of council at the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP), said:

“Falls are the largest cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people and can have terrible consequences.  But there are simple measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of falling.  Providing appropriate footwear that fits well, supports the ankle and has a good grip on its sole is one such step, to allow people to move safely around their home.  Giving an elderly friend, relative or neighbour a new set of slippers for Christmas would be an act of kindness with an importance that lasts long after the wrapping paper has been cleared away.”

The CSP, which has produced a new downloadable leaflet on avoiding slips, trips and falls, advises people to buy slippers with a good tread on the sole and that provide support around the ankle.  It is also important to ensure the slippers are the correct size, as ill-fitting ones can become a trip hazard.

Of those who fall, 50 per cent will do so again within a year. Physiotherapy can prevent falls and reduce risk.  Physio-led falls prevention services provide advice and exercise classes to help people maintain their bone health, strength and balance as they get older.  These services are proven to cut the number of hospital admissions due to falls and help people to continue living independently at home.  For more information on services in your area, contact your local GP.



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