You may not have heard of this annual observance, but on January 23rd this coming year, citizens of Water Valley and elsewhere in the country will observe Measure Your Feet Day. While this day may not rank up there with some of the more urgent national observances, it can certainly be important to someone who has been forced to wear improperly fitting footwear for any length of time. This can be uncomfortable and even painful, and it can completely squelch your interest in doing any kind of walking or staying active. Senior home care providers understand that seniors are reluctant to engage in any kind of physical activity unless they have comfortable fitting shoes and are able to walk normally, being free of pain and discomfort.
Measure your feet
The size of your feet always changes as you grow older, so it’s a good idea to have your feet measured before you go shopping for new shoes. In addition to that, your feet will become slightly larger throughout the day as they swell from usage, so the best time to measure your feet is later in the day. That’s also the best time to go shopping for new shoes because when you try on any pair of new shoes, you’ll want to be trying them on when your feet are at their largest. This will ensure that you don’t purchase a pair of shoes that end up being too small to accommodate the daily swelling which occurs.
When fitting on shoes
Most people have one foot that is larger than the other. That means you should always try shoes on at least by trying the larger of your two feet, so you’re sure that both feet can be accommodated. If you don’t know which of the feet is larger, then you should just try on shoes and make sure that both feet feel comfortable inside the shoes. It’s a good idea to basically ignore the size which is stamped on any pair of shoes, and just go by how they feel on your feet.
There is a good deal of variance in actual sizes from one manufacturer to another, so you really can’t rely on the stated size of any shoes in a store. You’re much better off relying on how they feel on your feet, and whether or not they’re comfortable. You should be sure that there is somewhere between 3/8 of an inch and 1/2 inch between your longest toe and the end of the shoe when you stand up.
This should give you enough room to be comfortable, without the shoe being too loose or clumsy. You should never purchase shoes that feel a little tight, and then expect them to stretch out with usage. If anything, what will happen is that your feet will stretch out, and the shoes will become even tighter on your feet.
Purchasing the right type of shoes
There are a few things you should look out for when purchasing shoes for your senior loved one. First of all, the shoes should always be either flat-heeled or low-heeled, so they don’t contribute to any kind of imbalance. Your parent will need a stable platform to walk on, and high-heeled shoes simply don’t accommodate that. It’s also best if you purchase shoes that don’t have laces because these are much harder for a senior person to put on.
If you can find a good pair of shoes that have Velcro fasteners, or which can just be slipped on easily, these will probably be much more comfortable and accommodating for your elderly loved one. It’s also a good idea to find a pair of shoes that have a good grip on the soles because this will help to prevent a number of slips and falls.
Any shoe which has a smooth sole will not be nearly as good at providing traction, and might easily promote slipping on slick surfaces. One more thing to look for when purchasing shoes for your elderly loved one is that they should have a high backing, because shoes with a high back will provide more support around the ankle area, and that will lead to greater stability when walking or standing.
To ensure a good fit
Have your loved one take a short tour of the store, and walk around for a while in any shoes which you’re thinking of purchasing. This will make it obvious whether or not the shoe feels comfortable when walking. The upper part of any shoes you purchase should be made of soft, flexible material which accommodates the shape of the foot.
If the shoes are made of leather, that might reduce the frequency of irritations with the skin. Thick soles will help cushion the feet when walking on hard surfaces and will help to absorb the shock of impact with the ground. If you can find a pair of shoes that have all these characteristics, it will go a long way toward preventing slips and falls, and ensuring that your elderly loved one has a comfortable fit with their new shoes, so they can enjoy wearing them for a long time.