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Choosing the Right Size Shoe for Aging Feet

By Jeff Hill, 8:00 am on July 25, 2014

There are many things that caregivers will do to ensure safety and promote good overall health for the loved one under their care. However, one thing that may easily be overlooked is footwear. What many people don’t know is that a properly fitting shoe can play a large role in the safety of the individual wearing it. Today, Phoenix Home Care Assistance is going to look into the importance of finding the right size shoe for seniors and older adults.

The Benefits of a Properly Fitting Shoe

When a shoe is the proper size, the foot will not move around or slide, thus providing the person wearing the shoe with additional stability. This is essential for seniors as their balance and coordination may not be as strong as they were in the past and can play a large role in helping to eliminate slips, trips and falls. Properly fitting shoes can also promote better circulation and can often prevent uncomfortable corns or calluses from forming.

Evaluating Specific Needs

Some seniors may require specialized shoes, such as diabetics or those with other podiatry problems. While there are numerous companies which may offer specialty footwear for seniors, it’s a good idea to speak with the family doctor or podiatrist for specific shoe recommendations. In some cases, the doctor may even be able to fit the senior for a shoe, helping to save time and money, while ensuring the proper shoe is purchased.

Purchasing Tips

As with other areas of the body, the foot can change in shape or size with age. Therefore, it is important for seniors to try on shoes prior to purchasing, even if they are certain they are a specific size. Differences among brands and styles can also impact the “true size” of a particular shoe.  There should be no more than ¼ inch space between the heel and back of the shoe when the senior standing. Shoes that are pointed and narrowed towards the tips should be avoided because this can cause crowding of the foot and toes, leading to pain and discomfort. A rubber sole with a fairly good tread is also highly recommended as this can help to prevent slipping.

Have other questions about senior care? Contact Home Care Assistance of Phoenix, the hourly and live-in home care specialists, at 602-388-1085. Our Care Managers are available to help 24/7.