What’s on Your Feet?
Every stage of life and activity requires a new type of footwear: baby, athletic, dressy, casual, etc. For many people, however, socks become an even more important item that they put on each day.
These reduce irritation, which can often cause blisters and soreness on the feet. Seamless socks don’t bind at the top and are easy for a loved one to pull on and off. These are especially helpful for those with diabetes as they wick moisture away from a foot and absorb shock. Seamless socks also do well after repeated laundering as they are made from special resilient fibers.
Compression socks are very common in the elderly population, as well as others. They prevent leg swelling and also help minimize blood clots. They gently squeeze the legs, improving overall blood flow and reducing pooling of blood in the feet. The achy and heavy feeling in legs is lessened, too.
A physician may prescribe compression stockings for someone with varicose veins, spider veins or for recovery from a recent surgery. There are many types and a physician will be able to guide a caregiver in picking the perfect pair for their loved one.
Compression socks come in a variety of pressures, from light to strong; and lengths, from knee-high to full pantyhose. Color is also a choice a loved one may have in choosing compression stockings. Sometimes insurance coverage is available, usually through a durable medical equipment benefit. Compression stockings can be worn all day, and be comfortable, providing consistent pressure around the legs.
Caregivers can help train their loved one on the care of compression socks. It’s important to put them on first thing in the morning, when the legs are least swollen. Avoid using lotion or let it dry before attempting to fit into compression socks. Baby powder or cornstarch will help them slide up easier. They should not be allowed to bunch up or wrinkle.
At the end of each day, the stockings should be washed with mild soap and water, rinsed and air-dried. It’s a good idea to buy two pairs, one to wear and the other to be washed and dried. Compression stockings that are worn regularly should be replaced every three to six months.
These socks are readily available, and helpful to a loved one in many situations. In the bathroom, for example, anti-slip socks are nice to have on hand. They allow the feet to have extra traction on a more slippery surface. Anti-slip footwear comes in a variety of options, from socks to slippers, with soft and hard bottoms. A wide variety of colors offers a loved one a chance to show their creative side.
Today’s Caregiver magazine (caregiver.com), launched in 1995, is the first national magazine for all family and professional caregivers. Each issue includes articles on vital caregiving issues and caregiving resources. Cover interviews include Debbie Reynolds, Dixie Carter, Valerie Harper, Della Reese and Clay Aiken, among many others. © Caregiver.com, Inc.