Elderly residents are being invited to trade in their old slippers for a brand new pair free of charge across West Sussex.
West Sussex County Council is hosting its first ‘Slipper Swap’ during March, as part of a drive to prevent falls this winter.
The new initiative comes as new figures show there were 4,772 emergency hospital admissions due to falls in people aged 65 and over in West Sussex during 2017/18.
Ill-fitting slippers, or those which are beyond their best, pose a real risk of causing a fall.
The Slipper Swaps will be taking place at various libraries as part of Wellbeing Month.
Amanda Jupp, cabinet member for adults and health, said: “Having a fall can have devastating consequences, not only a loss of independence but it can impact on confidence leading to social isolation.
“There are a number of really simple things that residents can do to reduce their risk of suffering a fall, but those old tatty slippers you keep tripping over are a good place to start.
“We are very excited to announce the launch of our first Slipper Swap next month, and I would urge anyone who feels they may be at risk of falling to pop along, with your old slippers, to the event where they will be able to find out more information on how to keep themselves safe.”
Treating hip fractures as a result of a fall is estimated to cost the NHS in West Sussex more than £20 million a year, so this is a pragmatic initiative working in partnership with health but more importantly working with our communities.
The county council has already invested more than £750,000 in a new programme of work being delivered by Sussex Community Foundation Trust to deploy specialist falls champions across the county to help those most at risk of a fall. This funding came as part of a £3.3 million government grant, ring-fenced to help ease winter pressures on adult social care and health services.
Confirmed dates are:
Goring, Friday 1 March (10am – 2pm)
Bognor Regis, Wednesday 13 March (10am - 2pm)
Durrington, Friday 15 March (10am-2pm)
Chichester, Thursday 28 March (10am-2pm)
Crawley, Friday 29 March (10am-2pm)
For more information visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/falls or contact the local wellbeing hub to find more ways to stay steady and keep active.
Residents who are concerned about falling speak are advised to speak to their GP for further advice.