New footwear reduces falls in the elderly population

07/06/05

A new gait-stabilizing device called the Yaktrax Walker has shown to reduce the risk of injurious falls during winter months in older adults who are fall-prone, reports a study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Yaktrax Walker is a plastic netting sized to conform to the bottom of a boot or shoe. Participants in the study were asked to wear the device outdoors over their normal winter footwear and kept a diary of any falls.

A total of 43 outdoor falls were reported by participants in the study group who wore their usual winter footwear, compared with just 19 falls in the group using the Yaktrax device. There were 10 minimally injurious falls in the usual winter footwear group but only 1 minimally injurious fall in the Yaktrax group.

According to the study, falling is the leading cause of accidental death the sixth leading cause of all deaths in older people. The average estimated cost for fall-related hospitalizations is almost $20,000. The Yaktrax Walker costs less than $20 a pair.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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