For Older People, Shoes Goeth Before
(March '98) - Shoes may seem something of a pedestrian
subject but the shoes that older people choose are being
accused of increasing their risk of falls and injuries.
What's new, you ask? They shouldn't be wearing high heels
at their age anyway. No wonder the elderly are always
Older people should show a little sense and wear sturdy
shoes, you say. Old-fashioned Oxfords, loafers, or
athletic shoes. They're safer, aren't they? Well, the
answer seems to be "No!"
A new study has shown just the opposite. Fully two-thirds
of older people who fall are wearing those old-fashioned
Oxfords, loafers, or athletic shoes. The study by Dr. Carol
Frey, director of the Foot and Ankle Center at Orthopedic
Hospital in Los Angeles, was presented recently at a
meeting of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Dr. Frey studied 185 men and women over 55 who had fallen
and injured themselves during a one-year period. Among
those 65 and older, shoes were frequently at fault for the
falls that resulted in the injuries. Avoiding a fall may be
as simple as changing your shoes.
Dr, Frey's study is the subject of an article by the health
writer Jane E. Brody entitled "When the elderly fall,
shoes may be at fault" published in The New York Times