As we age our feet go through changes that make us more likely to fall. It is important to understand what changes to expect to avoid falls. Falls can be very dangerous for seniors and can lead to cuts, bruises, broken bones and even serious head injuries. Wearing the right shoes can be helpful in the prevention of falls so seniors should know what to look for when choosing their shoes. In this article we would like to share some tips for seniors about how to choose the right shoes to help avoid falls.
As people age it is common for seniors to begin to lose feeling in their feet which can cause them to feel less balanced when walking. Our feet can also change shape and begin to flatten out or develop bunions or curled toes which can be very painful and can also cause balance problems and make seniors have trouble walking. Choosing sensible shoes is the best way to manage these changes and keep seniors safe while walking. The first thing that seniors should do when choosing their shoes is to have their feet measured. As the feet change it is possible for them to change size as well which can be problematic if seniors continue to buy the same shoe size without measuring their feet. Shoes that are too small can cause pain in the feet that can lead to accidents and shoes that are too big can slide on and off the feet while seniors are walking and cause falls as well. Family caregivers should make sure that their loved ones have their feet measured when shopping for shoes or assist them in measuring their feet at home if they are going to shop for shoes online. Seniors should make sure that they have their feet measured each time they buy shoes just to make sure that they are always getting shoes that will fit properly.
The next thing that seniors should do when shopping for shoes is look for shoes that are sensible and comfortable. High heeled shoes or shoes with slick soles might look nice but they are not very sensible for seniors because they can easily cause falls. Flat and sturdy shoes with nonskid soles are best for seniors because they can help seniors stay balanced to avoid falls. Shoes should also be comfortable to help seniors avoid pain in their feet when walking. Wide shoes are often best for seniors as they help prevent bunions on the feet and give seniors a better sense of balance because of the extra width. Women who are having trouble finding shoes that are wide enough can try looking at men’s shoes because shoes for men are often designed to be wider. Seniors that are still having trouble finding comfortable shoes can try orthotic shoes. Orthotics can be very expensive if they are custom made but there are prefabricated orthotics available as well that only cost a fraction of the price. Orthotic shoes are designed to stabilize the feet and redistribute pressure so that seniors will have more feeling in their feet and be less likely to stumble and get hurt.
Many people overlook shoelaces when selecting a pair of shoes, but seniors and family caregivers should take them into consideration when making a purchase. Having shoelaces come untied can be very problematic for seniors as it can cause them to trip and fall. Seniors that do want to purchase shoes with laces should keep a close eye out to make sure that their laces do not come untied while they are walking. Seniors that are unable to bend down easily to tie their laces should consider shoes with fabric fasteners. Fabric fasteners can be secured in place when the shoe is put on and will not come undone until they are pulled on. There are several shoes with fabric fasteners available for seniors and they can be very beneficial for seniors to purchase because they can prevent falls and help keep seniors from having to constantly check and re-tie their shoelaces.
Following these tips is a good way to prevent seniors from falling. Family caregivers can help their loved ones by assisting them when choosing shoes so that they can purchase shoes that are comfortable and safe. Seniors might be reluctant to give up their former shoes but they will be much safer and less likely to fall in the long run so family caregivers should try to do everything that they can to help their loved ones choose shoes that are safe and that they feel comfortable wearing.
Additional articles about fall prevention and foot care in our home care blog: