While old age brings you tons of first-hand experience of the world and people of all kinds, it also comes with several physical illnesses or issues. Older people often develop weak bones, muscles, or joints, leading to several diseases, such as arthritis. Moreover, old age also makes recovering from any illness or medical procedure prolonged. Therefore, even if you do not develop arthritis or skeletal or muscular issues, your body does not return to being as healthy as it was after any medical treatment.
Older people who choose to live alone and independently without bothering their families have to adopt new ways to perform their daily chores. For this purpose, they have to get accustomed to adaptive cutlery specially designed for arthritis or Alzheimer’s. Adaptive cutlery helps improve the quality of elderly people living independently without any assistance.
Another major problem older people face is the physical challenge of getting dressed daily. Putting on socks might become the most problematic chore for seniors. Sock aid is one of the wisest technological innovations in history. This aid allows putting on and taking off socks very quickly.
For people who cannot put too much strain and effort into bending down and wearing socks, the sock aid is a game-changer.
What Is Sock Aid?
Sock aid is quite simple – comprising a flexible mechanism attached to a single continuous loop or a pair of long handles. This aid solves the problem of bending over and straining your back when putting socks on. In principle, you have to let your sock slip over the flexible part of the aid so that you can open up the sock for wearing.
Once the sock is slipped onto the aid, grab the device’s handles and drop the aid on the floor. While holding tight onto the handles, slip your foot inside the sock through the opening and pull it over. The trick is to pull the handles back in an upward motion so that your foot slips into the sock opening while leaving the sock aid free.
Tips on Choosing the Best Sock Aid
1. Flexible or Rigid
Sock aids come in a wide variety – some are rigid or soft – while others differ concerning one or two handles. Although the color is also one of the factors you can base your choice on, there are other factors for choosing the best sock aid.
Whenever you decide to get a sock aid, you must choose between flexible or rigid materials. A sock aid that is made of flexible material easily bends. Thus, this kind of sock aid helps pull up the sock over the holder without stretching the material too much.
On the other hand, rigid sock aids are bigger than flexible ones. These kinds might also force the sock open wider, resulting in overstretching the sock.
2. Choosing the Handle that Suits your Needs
The next thing to decide when looking for a sock aid is to determine the handle type. Some models of these aids come with long rigid handles that are easier to grasp. You can also get the ones with a single handle. If you have to carry out the task of pulling up your socks using a sock aid by one hand, a continuous loop sock aid will suit you.
However, the sock aid with continuous loop suits amputees or people recovering from post-stroke hemiparesis. It might be challenging to use for older adults having difficulty with depth perception. Another excellent tip is that the two handles of the sock aid require increased coordination – you have to pull the sock over the assistance and then pull the handles back and upward to pull the socks up. Thus, if you realize that you have issues in coordination, two handled-sock aid is not the best for you.
Types of Sock Aid
A stainless steel sock aid comprises a long plastic rod with a non-slip grip and a curved hook at one end to pull up socks and other garments. This is the most easy-to-use sock aid. You have to fit the curved hook in the heel of your sock and use it to pull on or take them off. You can also use this sock aid as a shoehorn.
If you come across a sock aid like this, do not get confused at all. It might not look easy to use, but it is. It comprises a continuous loop wherein you have to pull your sock onto it. Once the stocking is snuggly fit over the plastic loop, insert your foot in and pull the strings in an upward motion. This method pulls over your stocking with minimal physical strain.
If you are extra cautious, you can get the ones with grooves in the continuous loop, which prevents the stocking from sliding during use.
Socking donners feature comfortable grip handles made of foam. They eliminate the need to bend at the waist at all. Thus, these sock aids are best for older people living independently as it reduces the risk of back injury or strain.
How to Use a Sock Aid
Although the method to use sock aids differs from each other, the following steps are basic for using a traditional sock aid:
- Sit on a chair, sofa, or bed comfortably.
- Place the sock aid as firmly as you can between your knees and pull the sock over the aid without covering the straps.
- While sitting down, drop the sock aid in front of you on the floor, holding onto the handles or strings
- Insert your toes into the opening of the sock.
- Pull the sock aid handles back in an upward direction until your toes are inside the sock.
- When the sock covers your heel, pull the handles upward so that the sock is pulled up.
- Now take out the sock aid from the sock or stocking and make any adjustments as needed.
Living with arthritis or any physical or mental ailment that limits your movements is not easy. Hip and knee joints become weak in old age, and older adults find it challenging to dress up. If living independently is what your beloved elderly has chosen, then introduce them to a sock aid.
It will give them freedom and peace of mind that they can easily dress up without any assistance. In challenging times, this might be the best motivation someone needs.