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Pick up free slippers at the library to prevent slips and trips

At a slipper social earlier in the year are Toria Morris, library supervisor at Malton, and Simon Pierce, health and wellbeing manager at North Yorkshire Sport.

Slips, trips and falls by older people can affect their ability to live independently, so North Yorkshire library service is working with North Yorkshire Sport and other partners to host “slipper socials” to tackle this issue.

For many older people, who may be mentally fit but physically frail, having a fall can result in a loss of independence. One of the most common causes of falls by older people is loose, worn or backless slippers.

Libraries are inviting older people to a series of slipper socials where they can pick up a free pair of anti-slip slippers.  The library service first ran these events in spring. The social aspect was as well received as the free slippers, with many people staying to drink tea and coffee and to chat with each other and the partners present.

Thirsk, Cross Hills, Scarborough and Bentham libraries will hold slipper socials in November. The free slippers on offer have rubber soles and are wide fitting to make it easier for people with restricted mobility to get them on and off. They also have a Velcro fastener, so they will not slip off.

At the same time as picking up a pair of slippers, people will be able to:

  • learn about or have a go at age-appropriate exercises, supervised by NY Sport;
  • collect a free Get Moving activity pack from NY Sport;
  • get advice on how to stay well and safe from other event partners;
  • find out about local social groups and clubs; and
  • find out how the library can support health and wellbeing.

The first slipper social will take place at Thirsk library on Thursday, November 3, from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Among the partners on hand to advise on wellbeing and independence will be Warm and Well North Yorkshire and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The second event will be at South Craven Library in Cross Hills on Wednesday, November 9, from 2pm to 4pm. Joining NY Sport will be North Yorkshire Police and Living Well to offer free support, advice and information.

Scarborough’s slipper social will take place on Thursday, November 17, between 10.30am and 12.30pm. Carers Plus, community police, the fire and rescue service, Age UK and Reach and Respond will all attend to support people in staying well and safe.

The final event will be at Bentham library on Wednesday, November 23, from 2pm to 4pm. Joining NY Sport will be the fire and rescue service and Living Well.

North Yorkshire County Council’s executive member for libraries, Cllr Greg White, said: “Libraries are always looking to support the communities they serve. Slipper socials proved popular earlier in the year, so now we are hosting them in other locations around the county. As well as helping people to avoid falls, so reducing pressure on health and emergency services, the free events are a great way to find out about other valuable services and to pick up information and advice.

“Older people can drop in at any time during the events, when free refreshments will be available. If we run out of some sizes, we will do our best to get more and get them to people after the event.”

Simon Pierce, health and wellbeing manager for NY Sport said: “North Yorkshire Sport are pleased to support these events and promote the benefits of keeping physically active throughout life. We look forward to discussing and demonstrating how exercises and activities can be adapted to be inclusive for everyone, and we will provide activity packs to help get people started.”

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