North Yorkshire libraries offer free slippers to older people across the Harrogate district
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North Yorkshire Library Service is working with North Yorkshire Sport and other partners to support older people in living in their own homes for longer, by offering slippers to help to prevent slips, trips and falls.
Louise Wallace, North Yorkshire’s Director of Public Health, said: “For many older people, who may be mentally fit but physically frail, having a fall can lead to a loss of independence.
"Research has shown that one of the most common causes of falls by older people is loose, worn or backless slippers.”
Starbeck, Selby and Malton libraries will hold Slipper Socials in April at which older people can pick up a pair of free anti-slip slippers.
The slippers 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 good Velcro fastener so they will not slip off.
At the same time as picking up a new pair of slippers, visitors will be able to learn about or try age-appropriate exercises supervised by North Yorkshire Sport to help them to stay active and healthy, collect a free Get Moving activity pack provided by North Yorkshire Sport, get advice from other organisations on how to stay well and safe, find out about local social groups and clubs and learn about how the library can support health and wellbeing.
The first Slipper Social will be held at Malton library on Wednesday, April 6 from 1.30pm till 4pm.
Among the partners available to advise on wellbeing and independence issues are Living Well, Ryedale Carers Plus and Ryedale Community Support Organisation.
The Fire and Rescue Service and North Yorkshire Police will also advise people on how to ensure that they are as safe as possible at home.
Selby library will host an event on Wednesday, April 13 from 1.30pm till 3.30pm.
Joining North Yorkshire Sport will be Living Well, the care coordinator for Selby Town Primary Care Network and representatives from Carers Count to offer free support, advice and information.
Trading Standards officers will also be on hand to raise visitors’ awareness of scams.
The final event will be at Starbeck library in Harrogate on Thursday, April 21 from 10am till noon.
Joining North Yorkshire Sport will be the Harrogate Easier Living Project, which supports older people in Harrogate district in living independently.
They can offer help with transport and practical tasks round the home, including basic DIY, repairs and gardening.
Simon Pierce, Health and Wellbeing Manager for North Yorkshire Sport, said: “We 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.”
Chrys Mellor, Library Service General Manager, said: “Libraries are always looking to support older people in remaining independent and active.
"This latest initiative will help people avoid falls, and help reduce pressure on health and emergency services.
"At the same time, the free slippers social events are a great way for people to find out about other valuable services and access a variety of information and advice within their community.
“Older people can drop in at any time during the events and 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.”