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Can shoe choice reduce slip and fall risks for seniors?

On Behalf of | Sep 27, 2023 | Slip-and-Fall Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 32,000 seniors die from falls each year. This is a serious problem that requires solutions to help reduce slip and fall risks for this vulnerable age group.

While there are many factors that may lead to slip and fall accidents for older adults, one preventative measure is choosing the right footwear. A simple choice in what shoes to wear could make a huge difference in preventing serious injuries.

Traction choice

One of the primary considerations when choosing shoes for seniors is the sole’s traction. Shoes with slip-resistant soles, often made of rubber or a similar material, can provide better grip on various surfaces, including wet or uneven ones. This added traction can help seniors maintain their balance and reduce the likelihood of slipping.

Proper fit

Ill-fitting shoes can lead to instability and discomfort. Seniors should opt for shoes that fit snugly but not too tightly, ensuring that their feet have proper support. Shoes with adjustable straps or laces can offer a more customized fit, reducing the risk of tripping.

Low heels

High heels may be fashionable, but they can pose a significant hazard for seniors. Encourage them to choose shoes with low, wide heels or, preferably, flat soles. Low heels provide better stability and reduce the risk of stumbling.

Arch support

Many seniors experience foot problems, such as fallen arches or plantar fasciitis. Shoes with adequate arch support can alleviate discomfort and improve stability, making it easier for seniors to walk confidently.

Lightweight and flexible

Shoes that are lightweight and flexible allow for natural movement and better balance. Bulky or heavy shoes can impede mobility and increase the risk of tripping.

Enclosed toes

Open-toed shoes, sandals or flip-flops may be comfortable in warm weather, but they provide less protection and support for the feet. Encouraging seniors to wear closed-toe shoes with a snug fit can reduce the risk of injury.

The choice of footwear plays a pivotal role in reducing slip and fall risks for seniors. Seniors and their caregivers should prioritize shoes that contribute to their safety and well-being. By making informed decisions about footwear, seniors can enjoy greater confidence and independence in their daily lives while minimizing the risk of dangerous slip and fall accidents.