Help for Elderly Getting Socks On

by Barb

My mother is 78 years old and lives alone in an apartment. She uses a rollator walker and is fairly independent.

I visit 2-3 days per week and help her with transportation, grocery shopping, laundry and housekeeping. She is able to make meals although I also have frozen meals for her in the freezer if she's tired.

She can do all her personal care except she has difficulty with putting her socks on. Sometimes she will just wear slip on shoes as it is too difficult to put socks on.

Are there any aids to provide help for elderly to get their socks on? She can't bring her feet up far enough to get the socks on herself.

Some of her senior friends have home care aides assist with dressing and bathing but she does not want to arrange/pay for this - just for putting socks on - if she doesn't have to.

REPLY from
Sounds like your mom is doing great at home with your help. I agree that home care isn't needed just to get those pesky socks on.

I recommend having your mother try a sock aid and/or a long-handled reacher to help put her socks on.

Some seniors have success taking their socks off with a long handled shoe horn and reacher.

Sock Aids - They take a bit of practice to use but they work great. You put your sock on the device, drop it to the ground while still holding the handles/ropes, then slide your foot into the sock (held open by the sock aid) and then pull on the handles to pull the sock up.

You can purchase them at medical supply stores, pharmacies and some large stores such as Walmart. I also have clients that have made them out of plastic milk containers and rope for handles!

Reacher and/or long handled shoe horn - Some elderly have success with using a reacher (also called a grabber) and/or a shoe horn to take off their socks. They can be purchased at pharmacies, department stores and large stores such as Walmart as well.

If you or your aging parent can't sort out how to use these devices, an occupational therapist can teach how to use them.

Thank you,

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