Millions of at-home elderly Americans suffer from foot problems caused by diabetes, arthritis and swelling that make wearing shoes uncomfortable. Countless seniors each year also slip and fall on wet surfaces because the soles of their shoes lack adequate traction. If either of these scenarios are a concern for your aging in place loved one, finding them some comfortable and safe shoes for seniors is important for their health and well-being. What follows are some reliable tips on how to help them choose the right pair.
How Staying Active Benefits Seniors
If wearing shoes makes your senior’s feet hurt, or they’re afraid to slip and fall, they’ll be less likely to stay active and exercise. Even something as simple as walking becomes an unpleasant experience, and that resulting inactivity can eventually jeopardize their ability to age in place. Here are some ways that walking and other forms of exercise benefit seniors:
- Sharpens their mental acuity and alertness
- Enhances their balance and coordination
- Helps them sleep better
- Lowers the risk for illness and disease
- Strengthens muscles
- Reduces stress and anxiety
Because staying active is obviously important for seniors, now it’s time to find yours some safe and comfortable shoes to help ensure their continued at-home independence.
What are “Adaptive Shoes”?
There are specific shoes for the elderly called “adaptive shoes” that are uniquely designed to address the comfort and safety needs of seniors. And, it’s also easy for older persons to “adapt” to wearing them. Adaptive shoes come in numerous styles, including casual shoes, walking shoes and dress shoes. Here’s what to look for when shopping for a pair:
- Extra padding for comfort
- Easy open and close fasteners
- Non-slip or non-skid soles to help prevent falls
- Wider openings that make it easier to get feet into the shoes
Most brick-and-mortar shoe stores carry adaptive footwear, or you can also find them online. If it’s your loved one’s first pair, it’s probably best to try the shoes on in person.
Look for these Shoe Features
When it’s time to buy some adaptive shoes for your senior, there are 4 main features to look for:
1. Motion Control
This is the amount of stability the shoe provides while walking. A more stable shoe will effectively support their ankles and arches when they’re moving around, while adjusting the heel motion to reduce stress and impact to the foot. Cushioned motion control is important for elderly walkers because they oftentimes overpronate when they walk, which means their foot excessively rolls inwards after landing on a surface.
2. Cushion and Support
Adequate shoe cushioning and support is important for wearers of any age, but for the elderly it’s even more so. Fallen arches are common in seniors, especially when they’re overweight, so good arch support is a must. The shoes also need to be cushioned enough to gently absorb shock every time the foot lands, which reduces overall stress on the bones and joints. If the shoes don’t feel comfortable, it’s probably because they lack enough support in the outsole or midsole areas.
Your senior’s feet will feel much better when the shoe material is lightweight and breathable. This is a very important consideration for someone with bunions or another painful foot condition, as shoes made from softer and more flexible materials usually don’t place a lot of additional pressure on the afflicted areas.
Look for comfortable adaptive shoes that are also advertised as having “slip-resistant” or “skid-resistant” soles. Shoes with good traction will keep your loved one safer at home when crossing greasy kitchen or wet bathroom floors, as well as outside when walking on moist pavement.
In-Home Caregivers that Keep Seniors Safe and Active
Keeping an at-home senior safe and active can be challenging if you’re short on time or live too far away. When you need a hand, call Cranberry Home Care, and we’ll send over one of our experienced caregivers to keep your loved one aging safely and comfortably in place right where they want to be. Our highly trained and carefully screened aides know how to help seniors avoid accidental falls, while also encouraging them to exercise and stay active.
In addition, while in your senior’s home our aides can perform other duties like personal hygiene, light housekeeping, cooking, medication reminders, transportation and companionship; all delivered in a flexibly tailored package to restore your peace-of-mind. For more information on finding comfortable and safe shoes for seniors, or to schedule a FREE in-home senior homecare consultation in the Middleboro, MA, area, please contact Cranberry Home Care by visiting: www.cranberryhomecare.com now!