Sara Nytröm is a second-year nursing student at Linköpings Universitet.

Her idea is for “foot warming slippers.”

“The elderly tend to move less, sit more and have poorer blood circulation. For this reason theycan use “foot warmers” while they sit down to keep their feet warm.”

My idea is to combine this heating effect for poor circulation with slippers / indoor shoes. This would allow the elderly to gain a better foothold and reduce the risk for falling. With this combination, the elderly can have their slippers / indoor shoes as per usual, without the need for an extra “foot heater” that one uses only while seated. I don’t believe this would be something too new to introduce, as the elderly and those with a dementia diagnosis would only see them as an ordinary pair of slippers / indoor shoes.

These shoes could have a small button for turning the heat off and on; or a small box, like a remote control with larger and clearer on and off buttons so that people with visual impairment can easily check the heating status with ease. Since these should not be a fire hazard, I think that the heat should not be too high, and that it can be shut off after a certain time via a timer. Ideally, these slippers / indoor shoes could be operated via batteries that are embedded in the sole. Batteries can be easily replaced by the user, or relatives or home care professionals. This would avoid the hassle of wires or charging the shoes, which might incur further risk of falling.”