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If the Boot Fits . . .

falls safety seniors Jan 27, 2019

We have all had that dreaded moment just ahead of a fall on an icy sidewalk, set of stairs, or slippery floor. Maybe we were already treading cautiously, recognizing that the walk would be tricky. When outdoors, perhaps we didn’t notice until it was too late that a thin layer of ice or wet leaves would make walking slick at best, unsafe at worst. The risk is even greater for seniors with mobility or sight issues, or other medical conditions that put them at risk of falls.

With winter storms now hammering the northern hemisphere, it’s no surprise that a website called “Rate My Treads” caught our attention. It says that 90% of the standard women’s casual footwear they rated did not even get their ‘one snowflake’ designation, out of an available three. While the website is based on footwear available in Canada (arguably home to some of the world’s most extreme weather), they also invite feedback and will consider reviewing other footwear.

At caregiver.tips, we talk a lot about falls risks in seniors. For example, we know that the risk of falls increases as we age, and that many seniors will suffer a loss of confidence after a fall. Some even call a loved one’s fall “the beginning of the end”, because it marked a very vivid event that led to significant change: reduced mobility, the need for an assistive device such as a cane or walker, or even hospitalization or a move to a different housing setting.

It is important to protect against falls, both inside and outside the home. And choice of footwear is important. Many more options are on the market today, whether for indoor use (shoes, slippers) or outdoors (shoes and boots). As with any online assessment, buyers have to tread carefully and evaluate their footwear choices for themselves. But we like any tool that helps consumers make decisions that prioritize safety.

If the boot fits, wear it. Protect against a fall where you can.

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