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article imageSafest place to walk for the elderly is Finland

By Tim Sandle     Jan 16, 2016 in Odd News
Helsinki - Walking around in the winter, especially where there is snow and ice, is tricky. Doubly so for the elderly. To help the senior population, a Finnish town is providing support.
Ypaja is a small town in Finland. It is located in the Forssa sub-region and the Kanta-Häme province, some 70 kilometers outside of the capital Helsinki. The town has a small population of under 2,500 residents, although a high proportion (over 10 percent) of the people are in their senior years. This being Finland, in the winter, the weather is very cold. At present the typical temperature is 5 degrees Fahrenheit (or -15 Celsius), and it is probably snowing.
Snow and ice make walking hazardous for the elderly. It is easy to slip and bones become brittle as a person gets older. It is through concern about the older members of society that the local authority in Ypaja has offered free anti-slip covers to any resident aged 70 or over.
The local Mayor, Vesa Ketola, has told the BBC that the scheme will cost about 7,000 euros ($7,600). He notes that if an elderly person slips, the typical cost of medical treatment is 20,000 euros ($22,000). The scheme, the local authority feels, makes economic as well as social sense.
Other means to avoid slipping are, excuse the pun, afoot. Another Finnish town — Raisio, located on the western coast — is offering free shoe studs for its senior residents.
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