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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Slippers plan to stop falls
Residents at a nursing home have been modelling the new slippers
A slippery scheme to prevent falls among the elderly is being piloted in County Durham.

Up to 250 people in the Easington area are being given special slippers aimed at cutting the number of falls in the home.

As well as being dangerous and painful for the elderly, slips and trips can cost health authorities up to 20,000 per incident if surgery or hospital beds are needed.

The special slippers have already slashed the number of falls by 53% since they were introduced a few weeks ago.

Les Grey, of Easington Primary Care Trust, said good footwear was important in preventing falls.

Bad fitting

He said: "These slippers are special because they are recommended by chiropodists to give proper support.

"They are quite secure. They have a Velcro or zip fastening on the front.

"One of the main reasons people fall over in their slippers is because they are badly fitting, the backs get worn down, and when they move their feet come out of the slipper.

"That should not happen with these slippers so hopefully that will help us reduce the number of falls in the home."

Residents of the Jack Dormand nursing home, in Peterlee, have been kitted out in the new slippers.

Edna Jones, who lives at the home, said: "They're beautiful and safe. You don't slip in them at all."

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