Diabetes is a serious condition, and it can be even more difficult to manage in seniors. 

If you are a caregiver for a senior with diabetes, it's important to know how to help them stay on track. 

Here are some tips for better managing diabetes in seniors.

Understand the different types of diabetes

Diabetes is a condition in which your blood glucose, often known as blood sugar, is excessively high. 

The pancreas cannot produce enough insulin and is not utilized well by the body.

Insulin is a hormone that helps to keep blood sugar levels in check. It allows the body to use glucose for energy.

There are variations of this condition, and if not managed properly, it can lead to fatal health problems.

Certain types of diabetes can be reversed, like prediabetes and gestational diabetes.

Prediabetes conditions can be dealt with through a healthier lifestyle, proper diet, and sleep.

There are also recent studies saying that Type 2 diabetes can also be reversed, but there are still not enough evidence to back it up.

Type 1 Diabetes 

Type 1 Diabetes is also known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset diabetes. 

It's characterized by an autoimmune reaction that prevents the body from producing insulin. In other words, your immune system attacks beta cells and doesn't respond the way it should.

The absence of insulin limits the transport of glucose into other cells. Instead, it pools in the blood, causing other cells to dry and starve.

Because of the high concentration of sugar in the blood, your body gets rid of it through urine.

This process eventually causes dehydration and weight loss.

It affects around 5-10% of people with diabetes. And it's most commonly found in children, teenagers, and young adults.

Symptoms usually include thirst, excessive excretion of urine, constant hunger, and fatigue.

Compared to other types of diabetes, the symptoms can range from subtle to severe.

Kids who have Type 1 diabetes can experience an upset stomach or vomiting, blurry vision, and unexplained weight loss.

Some even experience bedwetting and a fruity-smelling breath.

There are also frequent skin infections and even UTIs and vaginal infections for women.

In extreme cases, people suffering from Type 1 diabetes can also experience loss of consciousness.

At the moment, there is no known treatment for Type 1 diabetes except for insulin injections.

There's also exercise, and understanding of how to manage the disease better.

Type 2

Type 2 Diabetes is also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes or adult-onset diabetes.

Nowadays, it can also affect kids and teens because of childhood obesity.

Excess body weight and physical inactivity are the leading causes of this diabetes type.

The symptoms are comparable to type 1 diabetes, but they are usually milder. 

Physical symptoms include acanthosis nigricans, where pigmentation happens in crevices like the neck, armpits and groin areas.

This can also be a sign that the body is becoming resistant to insulin.

There are certain factors that affect a person’s chance of developing Type 2 diabetes. 

These can include being overweight, your genes, your ethnicity, or having too much glucose from the liver. 

People suffering from insulin resistance often have metabolic syndrome.

Here, the body suffers from high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and triglycerides. 

Get to know more about Type 2 Diabetes symptoms and treatments here.

Gestational diabetes

 

Gestational diabetes usually develops in pregnant women at any period of the pregnancy. It is more common during the second or third trimester. 

Insulin resistance happens because the mother’s body is trying to supply insulin for both herself and the baby. And there are times that the body cannot produce enough for both. 

There are certain factors that increase the risk of gestational diabetes. 

Women who have a BMI of above 30 are more prone to getting it. Pregnant women who had gestational diabetes in previous pregnancies are also at risk. 

You also have a higher chance of developing it if diabetes runs in the family or if you’re of South Asian, African-American, or Middle Eastern descent. 

How does gestational diabetes affect pregnancy? If managed well with insulin and a healthy diet, most women deliver healthy babies. 


But if not diagnosed correctly, it can lead to premature birth, pre-eclampsia, induced labor or caesarian delivery, or even stillbirth.

Learn how to monitor blood sugar levels

Regularly monitoring blood sugar levels is essential to diabetes management.

A glucometer is a device that you can use to check your blood sugar. 

A small needle called a lancet is used to prick a fingertip. Then you put a drop of blood on a glucometer test strip. 

Some may also choose to use continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). 

These devices use a sensor implanted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. 

Typically, these sensors are worn for a week or two before they need to be replaced.

Monitoring blood glucose levels helps see what causes the numbers to rise, like excessive carbohydrates, infections, or inactivity.

man and woman checking for diabetes in seniors

You can also check what makes it fall, like missing a snack or meal, doing an extra activity, or drinking alcohol.

Monitoring sugar levels can give you a better idea of diet and lifestyle changes you need to make to be better.

These practices can prevent diabetes complications in the elderly, such as heart attack, stroke, renal disease, and amputation.

Blood sugar meters allow you to save your results. Some devices even use mobile apps to record your sugar levels automatically.

If you don't have a smartphone, you can use a notebook or an excel sheet to take note of your sugar level results.

The target or ideal blood glucose level differs for every individual but should be between 80 and 130 mg/dL before meals according to the Mayo Clinic in type 2 diabetics.

It also may depend on how long an individual has had diabetes, their age, medications they take, or other medical conditions.

Recognize the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar

There are many signs and symptoms to look for when checking for diabetes in seniors.

Seniors with diabetes would notice they have slow healing of cuts, wounds, or sores. 

They may also experience depression, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating.

Here's how you can differentiate between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia.

High Blood Sugar

Hyperglycemia happens when there's excessive sugar in the blood. 

It occurs when the body does not have enough insulin or if the body isn't able to use insulin properly. 

Symptoms of hyperglycemia do not appear until glucose levels are significantly high.

It usually happens when an individual reaches above 180 to 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or 10 to 11.1 millimoles per liter (mmol/L). 

Hyperglycemia symptoms develop gradually over several days or weeks. 

Some of the symptoms include drowsiness, nausea, extreme hunger or thirst, and blurry vision.

And the more prolonged blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the symptoms become. 

If this leads to untreated diabetes symptoms, ketoacidosis can develop. Here, ketones, which are harmful acids, build up in the blood.

And it's an emergency that can lead to coma or death.

Low Blood Sugar

Hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar level is lower than normal.

It occurs when the glucose level present in the blood falls below 72mg/dL or 3.9 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).

If the glucose level is lower than these, it should serve as an alert for hypoglycemia. 

Symptoms of low blood sugar include fast heartbeat, shaking, sweating, anxiety, weakness, or tiredness. 

Hypoglycemia needs immediate treatment when blood sugar levels are low. 

So if you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, here are some of the following you should do.

Drink or eat 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates. 

These are high-sugar, low-protein, low-fat foods that are quickly converted to sugar in the body. 

Glucose pills or gel, fruit juice, regular soda, and sugary candies are good options.

Next is to monitor blood sugar levels 15 minutes after treatment. 

If the blood sugar level is still below 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L), eat another fast-acting carbohydrate. 

Recheck the blood sugar level after 15 minutes and repeat until it measures above 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L).

Once the blood sugar is normal, have a snack or meal. It helps to stabilize and replenish the body's glycogen stores.

Know how to adjust food intake and medication as needed

Glycemic index (GI) is a measurement used to see how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels.

Foods are rated on a scale of 0–100 and classed as low, medium, or high glycemic foods.

The higher the GI, the greater the effect on blood sugar levels.

Here are the three categories for GI levels.

GI Levels

Food that are high in sugar and carbs often have a high GI. And foods high in fat, protein, or fibers usually have a low GI. 

Poultry, fish, meat, nuts, herbs, spices, and certain oils have lower GI and are safer to consume for people with diabetes. 

Other factors affecting the GI include the cooking method, ripeness, type of sugar it has, and amount of processing it has undergone.

For this reason, it's essential to take the glycemic index because it helps in choosing foods for healthy blood sugar levels.

Sweets, soda, yogurt, and other dairy products should be avoided or taken in moderation. 

Fruit juices are heavy in sugar and should also be avoided. Instead, go with fresh or frozen fruit with high fiber content for good diabetic control. 

Here's a food guide list of must-haves and what to avoid in the pantry.

Stay safe and healthy with diabetes in seniors

Diabetes is a lifelong condition, and it requires extensive treatment. 

Here are six safe and healthy ways seniors can manage it.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Seniors should have a diet that is low in saturated fats and sugar. They should choose foods high in fiber and protein.

Eat more vegetables, whole grains, and beans.

Avoid fatty and fried foods, dairy products and carbonated drinks like soda. Also, cut out fruit juice that is high in sugar.

Stay Active

Walking, swimming, and bicycling are examples of aerobic activities that can help seniors control their glucose levels.

It also helps manage their weight and maintain their strength. 

According to the American Diabetes Association, exercising for 30 minutes five days a week is suggested for seniors.

Monitor Blood Sugar Regularly

It is vital to check the patient’s blood sugar for monitoring. 

This can be done by the patient themselves, or caregivers who work with them. 

Drops of blood are usually collected through test strips and inserted to a home monitoring device. 

As a patient, it is necessary for you to know your normal values.

The results will identify whether or not the levels are normal. It can also determine the amount of insulin you need to inject. 

Take Medications

Ensure that you take your medications as prescribed. Missing medications can significantly affect your blood glucose levels.

You can use a device or phone app that works to avoid running out unexpectedly or missing doses. Or you can use a pill organizer.

Ensure that any other medications you’re taking will not interact with your diabetes medication. 

Reduce Stress Levels

It is essential to learn how to deal with stress.

This may sound simple, but many seniors have a hard time managing their diabetes if they don't lower their stress levels. 

So it's good to do meditation, walks, yoga, massages, or even get a pet to keep them company.

Research shows that pets help reduce stress and increase the quality of life.

Final Thoughts 

Diabetes is a chronic condition, and it's dangerous if not managed properly.

That’s why it’s necessary to learn how to manage diabetes in seniors.

Without proper management, diabetes can result to worse conditions like cardiovascular problems, neuropathy, and kidney damage. 

So maker sure you’re tracking and taking care of the symptoms before it gets worse. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. HAVE A SAFER HOME FOR THE ELDERLY WITH 5 MUST HAVE FEATURES
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. PREVENTION OF FALLS AT HOME - STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT FALLING

Rehabilitation centers are important in the recovery process for seniors after an accident. They can help our seniors regain their strength and independence. 

However, finding the right rehabilitation center for your loved one can be challenging. There are many factors to consider, such as location, cost, and type of care offered. 

Here are some tips to help you find the right rehabilitation center for your senior loved one. 

What are rehabilitation centers for seniors?

A senior rehabilitation center is a public or private facility providing therapy to older adults.

These facilities are intended to assist those recovering from an injury or severe medical conditions.

Finding the right rehabilitation centers for seniors

Rehabilitation centers offer specialized therapies like occupational, speech, and physical rehabilitation.

Occupational therapy allows seniors to participate in activities of daily living (ADLs). They may help patients regain their grip strength. 

Therapists can teach seniors to develop the coordination needed to feed themselves. This type of therapy is crucial for seniors recovering from an injury, illness, or stroke. 

On the other hand, speech or language rehabilitation helps elders with speech problems or swallowing difficulty. 

Older adults with learning disabilities or other medical conditions, such as stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or dementia, may also benefit from speech therapy.

This type of therapy is recommended for those who have issues with speaking, communication, or swallowing disorders. 

Speech therapists teach safe techniques to reduce the risk of choking while drinking or eating. 

Physical Therapy rehabilitation centers help seniors with improving mobility, strength, and balance. 

Therapy is usually prescribed after a severe injury or joint replacement. It can also help with chronic pain from conditions like arthritis and sciatica.

Physical therapists can also assist patients recovering from sports-related injuries or accidental falls. 

They teach and train people how to use devices like walkers and canes. And they help manage chronic illnesses like heart disease.

Physical rehabilitation for seniors revolves around balance training, muscle re-education, and strengthening exercises. 

It includes gait training so that older adults can learn how to navigate assistive devices like walkers or canes properly to normalize their gait pattern.

How a rehabilitation center helps seniors recover 

A rehabilitation center for seniors aims to maximize their quality of life and function.

And the type and need for services would depend on what kind of injury older adults have or how serious it is.

This type of rehabilitation provides intensive care that generally includes occupational, physical, and speech therapy five days per week.

Senior rehab centers may offer inpatient and outpatient services. Some elderly need inpatient rehab if they need continuous monitoring or around-the-clock care.

Inpatient rehab would require those elderly recovering from major surgery, debilitating condition, or severe injury to stay at the facility for an extended period.

If the condition severely affects activities of daily living, like getting dressed, showering, or using the bathroom, occupational therapy will be needed.

rehabilitation centers for seniors can help strengthen the body

Physical therapy may be more appropriate if the injury or condition results in pain. 

PT is also recommended if seniors have difficulty in bed mobility, balance, and walking.

Physical therapy services can be an excellent non-surgical choice for pain management. They help lower the severity and frequency of pain in various ways.

Usually PT and OT services work together to improve the overall independence and functional mobility of this population.

Some facilities also offer dietary recommendations by dietitians or other services like counseling if needed.

For the people who are able to return home safely, outpatient senior rehab is a better option.

In this setting, older adults live at home and go to rehab centers to attend their therapy sessions.

Home safety is very important after an injury to prevent further injury or complications.

A home assessment by a CAPS (certified aging in place specialist) professional is a great way to insure your home is as safe as possible. Email me if you are interested in a home assessment for your loved one.

A fractured or broken hip is one of the most debilitating injuries a senior can experience and usually occurs in or around the home. 

Three hundred thousand individuals who are 65 years and older are hospitalized for hip fractures annually. Unfortunately, women are more vulnerable to hip fractures compared to men. 

Women are more prone to bone problems like osteoporosis and osteoarthritis

Women are also more prone to osteoporosis, a condition where there is bone weakness causing them to break easily.

In cases like these, physical rehabilitation can assist in increasing bone health to strengthen the bones. 

Therapists can also recommend exercises to increase balance and stability and manage pain. 

The benefits of a senior rehab center 

Rehabilitation centers can help seniors reduce their burdens as they go through the recovery process.

They provide intensive treatment programs in one location where meals are provided and nursing care is available.

It can be dangerous and challenging to get into and out of a car following an injury. So while the ultimate goals is to get back home safely, initially it may be best to go somewhere for short term rehab. 

rehabilitation centers can help in healing and recovery

Senior rehab centers also have professional teams that provide comprehensive care. They're specially trained in occupational, physical, or speech therapy. 

And there is also additional medical staff available who can provide treatments. 

This helps patients to be treated with utmost care and equipped with the motivation to recover faster.

Inpatient therapy patients have a carefully planned day with tight monitoring from the team. 

This time in rehab is used to address any concerns that have arisen because of the injury or operation. 

After all the objective to get your loved one back healthy and safe to transition home in a timely fashion.

Patients eat three meals a day, participate in social events and activities that fit around therapy sessions.

How much will a rehabilitation center cost for therapy?

What’s the cost of getting the services of rehabilitation centers and therapists?

Unfortunately every facility is different. Also the amount of care required changes for each person based on injury, accident and other comorbidities that will effect the outcome.

Many of the costs associated with rehab centers will change based on specific insurance.

Traditional medicare vs. managed medicare plans will have different coverages and different out of pocket costs associated with a stay in short term rehab.

The rehab center should be able to let you know what kind of expenses to expect based on the specific insurance provider.

Find the best senior rehab center near you 

rehabilitation centers for seniors enar you

There are many senior rehab centers that take place in various settings. The recommended next step following a hospital stay will be determined by the doctors and allied health team in the hospital.

The therapists will usually make a recommendation on if the patient is safe to return home, or if a stay in a rehab center will be needed.

The social worker and team will try to find an available bed in the appropriate setting and the doctor would then write discharge orders.

For example, if it is determined that the patient needs intensive therapy for 3 hours/day and daily supervision by a physician, an inpatient rehab hospital or unit would be the best fit.

If the patient needed therapy and 24 hour nursing support, a stay in a sub acute portion of a skilled nursing facility may be required.

There are other options such as "swing bed" units that would be a better fit at times.

Once the recommended setting and facility are determined, is to take time to check out the center itself. 

Ask to see an available patient room and common areas to see how clean, comfortable, and private it is. 

Check the food menus to see what kind of food residents eat every day. There should be a variety of healthy choices. 

Look for the availability of specialized staff who can meet the specific needs of your loved one.

Inquire about a personalized care plan and recommended services. 

The staff should be able to provide information about the recovery process and therapy, and rehabilitation.

Here are some resources that can help you find the best senior rehab centers near you:

Final thoughts 

Finding the right rehabilitation centers for your loved one can be challenging. 

To make sure you’re getting the right fit, ask questions during each part of the process. 

You can get recommendations from your doctor or even do some research for feedback online. 

What’s important is you get the right rehabilitation centers and care for your loved one. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. THE NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. MEMORY CARE FACILITIES: HOW TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE

Elderly caregiver stress is more common than you might think. 

And most caregivers for seniors may not even be aware that they already have it. 

Most of the time, they just know that they’re tired and spent. And despite taking breaks, the fatigue doesn’t go away. 

So today we will discuss what elderly caregiver stress is.  

What is elderly caregiver stress and what are the symptoms

According to Cleveland Clinic, elderly caregiver stress or caregiver stress syndrome is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. 

Individuals neglect their physical or emotional health to care for a sick or disabled loved one.

And it's usually accompanied by a sudden shift in attitude, from positively caring to unconcerned.

There are several causes of caregiver stress. 

Some find it challenging to set the boundaries between their roles as caregivers and family members.

elderly caregiver stress - burnout

Others often set unrealistic expectations, refusing to ask for help and thinking they can do all the work.

Or it's hard for them to keep up with the many tasks that come with caregiving.

Unfortunately, most of them don't recognize they suffer from elderly caregiver stress and burnout

Some warning symptoms include feeling physically and emotionally drained with what they do.

They're more likely to feel irritable. Or they become uninterested and unmotivated with other activities outside of work. 

Caregivers experiencing this are more likely to experience emotional eating or appetite loss. It then results in unhealthy weight gain or weight loss.

Some even have sudden weight changes and shifts in sleeping patterns.

Read more about emotional eating disorders here. 

Caregiving is often associated with harmful health effects.

11% say their physical health has deteriorated, and 23% have high levels of stress syndromes compared to non-caregivers.

Caregiver stress statistics show that 40 to 70% of caregivers suffer from depression and anxiety.

As their response to ongoing stress, caregivers are shown to have increased substance use and alcohol.

Further, research shows they use psychotropic and prescription drugs more than non-caregivers.

And this chronic stress also leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, and a compromised immune system.

How to manage elderly caregiver stress

As soon as we notice the symptoms of elderly caregiver stress, the next step is knowing how we manage it. 

The following tips can help you avoid caregiver burnout and find more peace in your life.

Acknowledge yourself

Acknowledge that even though you're facing difficulties and feel frustrated, you've chosen to help. 

Focus on the good reasons you made that choice. 

Perhaps you give back to your parents for the care they gave you growing up. Or setting values or the example you want to set for your kids. 

These deep, meaningful reasons can help you get through hard times.

You can also think of the times when caregiving strengthened you. Or how this made you closer to the person you're taking care of and their family members.

Getting the appreciation you need

Being appreciated can help you deal with a stressful situation and enjoy life more. 

Recognize and reward yourself. It will help you feel good about yourself. Take a moment to think about how much you are doing to help people. 

elderly caregiver stress - support

You can list all the ways your caregiving is making a difference. When you feel down, look back at it.

The person you’re caring for doesn't have to be the one to pat you on the back. 

Look for support. Turn to friends and family who will listen to you and give you credit for your hard work.

Asking for caregiver help

Caregivers who take on all the obligations without getting help are likely to experience burnout. 

So don't do everything by yourself, and accept all the help you can get.  

It's a good idea to list small things that others can do for you. They can help you pick up groceries or take your loved one to an appointment.

Stepping back

Leisure time may seem difficult to a caregiver. 

But you owe it to yourself and to your loved one you're caring for to schedule it. 

Allow yourself to relax and do activities you enjoy every day. Make time for hobbies like reading, gardening, or watching sports.

What are some techniques for relieving elderly caregiver stress

It's important to use all the resources and tools you can to help you care for your loved one.

So here are some common techniques you can do to relieve caregiver stress:

Psychotherapy

elderly caregiver stress - psychotherapy

Psychotherapy, often known as talk therapy, is a way to help individuals suffering from mental and emotional conditions. It can be done one-on-one or in a group. And it helps caregivers by promoting well-being and healing by removing or controlling troublesome symptoms.

Therapy can help a caregiver deal better with grief, isolation, and stress.

Meditate

Meditation is ideal for caregivers since it's completely free and can be done anytime.

It has been shown to reduce stress significantly. It helps to improve concentration, strengthen the immunity system, and lower blood pressure.

The best part is that it doesn't require a lot of time. You can use some free apps like Calm to destress.

Gratitude journal

Another way to lessen the stress of being a caregiver is to write in a journal.

Making a note of your thoughts and feelings helps you get them out of your head. 

Even studies have shown that journaling improves your health and well-being.

elderly caregiver stress - journaling

Chronic severe stress can have a long-term negative impact on both physical and mental health. 

So deal with stress and anxiety that work for your busy schedule.

Read more about gratitude journal prompts here.

Self-care

According to WHO, self-care is a multidimensional process of engaging in strategies that promote and improve well-being.

Self-care can take many forms. 

It could be getting enough sleep or going outside for a few minutes to catch some fresh air.

Self-care is essential for coping with life's inevitable stresses. 

You'll be better able to live your best life when you take care of your mind and body.

It allows you to let go of negative emotions and refocus on your role.

Relaxation techniques

elderly caregiver stress - relaxation techniques

The more you relax or meditate daily, the less stressed you will be. 

Yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or mindfulness meditation are all good ways to start. 

Take even just a few minutes to calm down in the middle of a stressful day, and you'll feel more in touch with yourself.

How to get help if you're feeling overwhelmed as an elderly caregiver

Too much stress can harm your health, especially over a long time.

If you're feeling overwhelmed, there are some ways you can get help.

The first is to get connected. Find out what resources are available in your area for caregivers. 

Many communities offer lessons on the illness that your loved one is suffering from. 

Transportation, meal delivery, and housekeeping may be included in the caregiving program.

You can also join support groups around the community.

elderly caregiver stress - support group

A support group can be a source of validation and encouragement. It can also help and teach you ways to deal with difficult situations. 

People in support groups can understand what you might be going through, and they can help you. 

It's also an excellent place to make long-term friends.

It would help if you attempted to stay in touch with family and friends who can give you nonjudgmental emotional help. 

And if all else fails, go to a doctor for professional assistance. Don't be afraid to talk about any problems or symptoms you have.

Resources for caregivers of the elderly

Most caregivers don't know how to help someone with a specific condition, so it's essential to look for resources that can help.

Almost every chronic condition and service you might need have a website that you can look up. 

Some of these resources are on the list below:

There are also other websites with resources to assist caregivers in self-care:

Final Thoughts

Elderly caregiver stress negatively affects one’s overall health.

It pays to assess your own stress levels because you are as important as the people you care for. 

After all, you can’t give what you don’t have. 

So take your time and take care of yourself. You deserve it. 

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

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  2. 15 GRATITUDE JOURNAL PROMPTS TO BETTER HEALTH IN CAREGIVING
  3. CAREGIVER QUOTES TO INSPIRE CAREGIVERS

What are the best shoes for seniors who are prone to falls? 

Most of us lose our sense of balance as we grow older. Because of this, our seniors tend to need special footwear to reduce accidental falls. 

So what do you need to look for when finding the best shoes for seniors

Let’s find out. 

Common challenges with choosing shoes for seniors 

According to Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, nearly 80% of elderly patients have foot issues. 

And studies have found that inappropriate footwear is one of the underlying leading causes.

As we get older, the feet go through a lot of changes. 

So looking for the best geriatric shoes becomes challenging as it varies because of several conditions.

The foot gets wider or longer as the ligaments and tendons lose elasticity and strength.

Ankle and foot swelling occurs because of circulation issues or medication side effects.

Older adults also suffer most from health conditions like arthritis or diabetes. 

Arthritis and other neuropathic conditions can change their walking status. They can either slow down their walking speed or may cause a limp. 

Diabetes often results in loss of circulation and sensation in the feet. 

If the shoes don’t fit properly, they may rub and cause blisters leading to infection and wounds.

Seniors also lose the fat pad cushioning the bottom part of the foot. 

best shoes for seniors - senior feet

As this natural padding is removed, they experience increased discomfort and pain.

Multiple causes have been noted to cause foot problems. 

Some common ones that seniors experience include corns (callus), which come from continuous pressure of tight footwear.

It can lead to skin hyperkeratosis or ulcerations if left untreated. And this is especially dangerous for diabetic patients.

Another is bunions which are found near the base of the big toe. They are bony areas pushing the joint to stick outwards.

Fallen arches also become prominent during older age. 

The foot arch tendon weakens, allowing the entire foot to contact the ground. And this often leads to knee and back pain.

Shoes with a narrow toe box or high heels can force the toes to bend or flex. 

The muscles which allow the toes to straighten become tight and less able to work. And this leads to a condition called hammertoe.

Older adults are also prone to developing plantar fasciitis

It’s where there is a tissue inflammation along the bottom of the foot that produces heel pain.

Elements of the best shoes for seniors 

best shoes for seniors - finding the right fit

Knowing what to look for in a pair of shoes can help our senior loved ones find the ideal pair. Here are some features to look for in their geriatric shoes:

Soles

The midsoles of the shoes need to be firm and not too flexible so that seniors can maintain their balance. 

Older adults are at risk of falling when their shoes bend too much, due to instability.

Hard, sturdy soles tend to be more slip-resistant than light, flexible shoes. 

Size

The shoes must be properly fitted. The senior's foot will slip and slide within the shoe if the shoes are too big.

And this might lead to a fall or loss of balance. 

Too-tight shoes can cause foot pain and calluses. It will make it difficult for the elderly to walk.

Closed Toes

For added stability, seniors should wear closed-toe shoes. 

Open-toed shoes frequently may not fit comfortably enough. It allows the foot to slip inside the shoe, which causes balance issues.

Weight

For weak older adults, wearing heavy shoes is a challenge. 

They may have difficulty lifting their feet, causing them to shuffle when walking. It can then result in a fall.

Sole Material/Design

A too-smooth sole is slippery, whereas a sole with too much tread pulls at the ground, causing the wearer to stumble. 

The soles should ideally be constructed of a slip-resistant material with tread.

Low Heel

Individuals who wear high heels have been shown to strain their toes and balls of the feet. 

They also negatively affect posture, balance, and gait. 

Therefore, low-heeled shoes are suggested.

Types of geriatric shoes 

best shoes for seniors - geriatric shoes

There are many shoe types, and each has it's purpose.

Here are a few types of footwear that seniors will want to have. 

Walking Shoes

A nice walking shoe can be the difference between a relaxing afternoon stroll and sore feet.

Senior walking shoes should have a rubber sole. They should also be lightweight and easy to put on.

Walking shoes usually give enough traction for elders. 

So look for a thin sole that lets your loved one feel his steps. This will help them step more steadily.

Shoes Without Laces

Seniors need comfortable shoes. Lace-up shoes are more adjustable than Velcro or slip-on shoes, but arthritic hands make using traditional laces difficult.

If the senior has limited dexterity, consider shoes with elastic laces that can be tightened to secure the foot.

But also allow seniors to get the shoes on and off quickly.

Customized Orthotics

Over-the-counter orthotics help lower foot pressure and pain. It also impr oves balance.

Sometimes, a senior with diabetes or arthritis may need specific orthotics to put in her shoes. These can be customized for them.

Around-the-House Footwear

What is worn outside the home should be looked at, but so should what is worn inside. 

Seniors who like to wear socks when at home should get pairs with grips on the bottom. 

The grips will help them stay on their feet, especially on tile or wood floors.

What are the best shoes for seniors?

Seniors who have a history of falls have a higher risk of future falls. 

But the proper footwear can help reduce such events. 

So here are the best footwear that are comfortable and supportive for aging feet.

*Please note that this is not an affiliate or paid post. I’m just recommending brands that are easily available in the market. 

Best shoes for everyday use 

Seniors who still want to keep active and search for the best sneakers for walking can try these pairs.

New Balance Women's 411 V1 Training Shoe

First is the ultra-soft, high-comfort New Balance walking shoes. 

It is very light and has a lot of cushion support. They’re made of durable fabric and have a leather toe vamp. 

They also have a soft lining and padded insoles. The outsoles are made of high-quality rubber. 

It helps to keep seniors comfortable all day and keep your balance on hard floors.

Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 4

The Go Walk 4 is one of the best walking shoes for older men. It has a rubber sole that is well-grooved and gives good traction. 

A flexible mesh upper and a supportive midsole make these shoes easy to slip on and off. 

Seniors can walk in them all day without hurting their feet. And they provide good shock absorption.

Best shoes for seniors with balance problems 

Many health problems can make it hard for the elderly to keep their balance. 

Fortunately, there are the best shoes to prevent falls.

Skechers Men’s Equalizer 3.0 Bluegate Loafer

Skechers manufactures the Equalizer 3.0 Bluegate Loafer for men, which is designed to aid in balance. 

The uppers are breathable mesh, while the insole is made of air-cooled memory foam.

YHOON Women’s Walking Shoes

The YHOON, also called "sock sneakers," is a good choice.  

The slip-on design makes them easy to get to. The upper is made of a breathable, lightweight fly-woven fabric. 

And this can easily fit swelling and bunions without putting pressure on them. 

The insole is filled with air, while the outsole has traction to help seniors stay on their feet.

Best shoes for seniors with arthritis 

The inappropriate shoe can cause long-term damage to joints in people with arthritis. 

Shoes for this condition should have strong arch support and extra cushioning.

NAOT Women's Matai Mary Jane Flat

These Mary Janes are durable and lightweight, with a padded heel cup and adequate arch support. 

The slip-resistant sole ensures stability, while the Velcro strap allows for a unique fit. 

Soft suede covers the latex and cork insole, which can be removed if you need additional room for orthotics.

Brooks Men's Addiction Walker V-Strap Walking Shoes

This pair has a cushioned collar and airy, soft lining that doesn't put any extra pressure on your pain points. 

They have a non-slip rubber sole that has a lot of grooves to help you stay on your feet. 

And they provide a lot of shock absorption to protect the joints.

Best shoes for seniors with diabetes 

Propet Women's Cush N Foot Slipper

These slippers are very soft and stretchy, making them very comfortable for older women. 

They have a Velcro closure that makes it easy to open, slide on, and keep in place.

Propet Men's Life Walker Strap Sneaker

These shoes support avid walkers with a non-slip sole, high traction, and good shock absorption. 

The perforated upper and two Velcro straps allow for quick fit adjustments. 

Custom orthotics can be placed in the cushioned insoles.

Best shoes for seniors with flat feet 

Propet Stability X Strap

The Stability X Strap provides outstanding arch support, decreasing strain and tension from high impact exercises. 

It uses the Propet's double detachable EVA insoles for maximum comfort. And individuals can either remove one insole or both to fit custom orthotics.

Stability X Strap's streamlined design with mesh top lining enhances circulation in the shoe.

Drew Rose - Women's Mary Jane

It has a stretchable fabric around the vamp and toe box, allowing for a delicate fit. 

The expanded medial heel stabilizer and tempered steel shank provide support. 

And the Plus Fitting System® allows for double depth for custom orthotics or arch support insoles.

Final thoughts 

Choosing the best shoes for seniors to reduce fall chances and promote safer walking is essential.

Our feet change over time and it’s always a good idea to keep them in check.

Have them professionally checked so they can get to know your feet and footwear needs.

That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGE IN PLACE DESIGN GUIDELINES MADE ACHIEVABLE FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. PREVENTION OF FALLS AT HOME - STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT FALLING

Most confuse Alzheimer’s vs dementia symptoms and think it’s the same. 

While these have certain similarities, such as forgetfulness, each has a distinctive difference. 

So how would you know if your loved one has Alzheimer’s vs dementia symptoms? 

Let’s check it below.

Alzheimer’s vs dementia symptoms: What’s the difference?

Alzheimer's disease and dementia are often thought of as the same type of disease. 

But ‌Alzheimer’s disease is just one form of dementia. 

You can think of dementia as several conditions with different branches. It includes problems with thinking, communication, and memory. The symptoms become severe enough to interfere with daily life and activities.

Alzheimer's Vs Dementia Symptoms and differences

Brain injuries, nerve damage, and infections can cause dementia. 

There are over 100 different ‌dementia's described in the medical literature. Although some are rare, making them difficult to diagnose at first glance. 

Many types of dementia have similar symptoms, making them difficult to diagnose. 

However, each type has distinct features that affect how it develops and progresses.

Read more about the most common symptoms of dementia here

Alzheimer’s Disease

Out of 9 million Americans living with dementia,  5 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. 

It makes up between 60 and 80 percent of cases of dementia. 

In Alzheimer's disease, beta-amyloid protein plaques build up in the brain, and nerve cell connections degenerate. Brain cells eventually die, and the brain shrinks dramatically.

While there are several medications available to treat Alzheimer’s disease, there’s still no cure for it to this day. 

These medications can help manage cognitive and behavioral symptoms. It can include memory loss, confusion, sleep problems, and depression. Some can even slow down the progression of dementia symptoms. 

Eventually, Alzheimer’s disease can also cause death. 

Risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer's Vs Dementia Symptoms - confusion

Most cases of Alzheimer’s disease first appear in seniors who are in their mid-60s. 

It is ranked sixth as the leading cause of death in the US.

The disease is named after Dr. Alois Alzheimer. In 1906, Dr. Alzheimer was studying the brain of a woman who ‌died of a strange mental illness.

Her symptoms included memory loss, language problems, and unpredictable behavior. 

After she died, he examined her brain and found many abnormal clumps (now called amyloid plaques) and tangled bundles of fibers (now called neurofibrillary or tau tangles). 

Today, these plaques and tangles in the brain are considered hallmark features of Alzheimer’s disease.

Some of the most important risk factors for Alzheimer's disease are:

Age 

The main risk factor for Alzheimer's is increasing age. Most people with the disease are 65 or older. Even with age as the primary risk factor, Alzheimer's is not considered a normal part of aging.

Family history and genetics 

People with a family member who has had Alzheimer's have a slightly higher risk of developing the disease than people without such a family history. Having certain genes that have been linked to developing Alzheimer's increases this risk even more.

Previous head injury

Research suggests that moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury can increase the risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. It's not clear if milder forms of brain injury can increase the risk of dementia.

Poor cardiac health (cardiovascular disease) 

Alzheimer's Vs Dementia Symptoms - cardiac health

There is increasing evidence that poor heart health in midlife can increase your risk of developing dementia later in life. This may be because poor heart health deprives the brain of vital nutrients and oxygen, causing brain cells to die and increasing the buildup of amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain.

Environmental factors 

Exposure to many heavy metals, including mercury, has been linked to an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease in some studies, but other studies have found no link at all. It is no longer widely accepted that aluminum exposure leads to Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s vs Dementia Symptoms to look out for 

The challenge with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is that symptoms won’t be as obvious from the get-go. 

Most of us would brush it off as part of getting older. 

At times, it can be a confusing conversation between you and your mom. Or it can be as simple as your dad trying to look for his car keys, which are right in front of him. 

Sometimes it can show up as things you find in peculiar places like stuffed toys inside the fridge. Or it can be mistaken identities or unexplained lapses in events. 

So how do you know if your loved ones are at risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? 


Here’s what you need to look out for. 

  1. Memory Loss: This is one of the most common dementia symptoms. It also presents as worse than normal forgetfulness with aging. 

New information is specifically difficult to recall. Therefore, they will rely on family, friends, and caregivers to keep track of appointments, events, and dates.

  1. Difficulty solving problems: Individuals with dementia will find it challenging to follow a recipe to help them cook or to follow driving directions. 

Difficulty adding a tip to a restaurant bill can also be challenged with problem-solving difficulties.  

  1. Finding it hard to do familiar tasks: Persons with dementia find it hard to carry out simple day-to-day tasks like operating a computer, switching channels on their TV, making tea, or finding their way to a familiar destination.   

Alzheimer's Vs Dementia Symptoms - confusion
  1. Confusion about a place or time: Things like judging the passing of time become a challenge. They may get lost in a previously familiar environment.  
  1. Difficulty understanding visuals: Information presented visually proves to be a challenge for a person with dementia. It isn't easy to read, work out color differences, and judge distances.
  1. Problems writing or speaking: People with dementia find it hard to engage in conversations, as they often forget what they said or what the other person said. Use of grammar and spelling decline as well.  
  1. Poor decision-making: Someone with dementia will find it hard to grasp what is reasonable. As a result, they will end up paying too much for something, or they will buy things they do not need. Another sign of poor decision-making is not paying attention to their hygiene.
  1. Mood changes: Individuals with dementia are often moody and can become fearful, anxious, depressed, and irritable with little notice or cause.

Caring for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease

It is important to note that a diagnosis of Alzheimer's or dementia is not just a diagnosis for the patient. It can be a diagnosis for the whole family. 

The caregiver has to watch their loved one decline slowly, and there is no cure for Alzheimer's‌.

This is a stressful situation and must be stepped away from to be handled effectively. 

As a caregiver, you cannot take it all on by yourself. If you try to, you will quickly experience burnout and be less helpful to your loved one.

Caregiving can feel more of a burden and responsibility instead of a service. 

That’s why getting help is a must! 

Alzheimer's Vs Dementia Symptoms - caregiver

Any friends, family, paid caregivers, adult daycare center, or respite care are ways to help you maintain your sanity and be the best person you can be for your loved one when you are together. 

Another part of being present is to use a gratitude journal

The gratitude prompts can help you reframe how you look at your situation. It can also help you maintain the mental resilience you need to keep going. 

Without this needed time for pause, we are just reacting to the environment which is full of constant stressors.

Final thoughts 

It's tricky to fully identify Alzheimer's Vs Dementia symptoms at first glance. 

It may even take years before the symptoms become confirmed. 

The forgetfulness can turn into anxiety and constant questioning, which leads to anger and emotional outbursts. This can also lead to perseveration and eventually a nearly catatonic state.

Eventually, you will miss the annoying forgetfulness or anxiety. You may even miss the mood swings and anger when your loved one has little left.

The key is to have a good understanding of what to expect so you could adjust and adapt as a family. And also provide the best care for our loved ones as they go through difficult changes in life. 


That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. THE NEED FOR CAREGIVER SELF CARE WHEN CARING FOR THE ELDERLY
  2. HOW ELDERLY HOME CARE MAKES AGING IN PLACE POSSIBLE FOR SENIORS
  3. MODERN TECHNOLOGY TO REDUCE CAREGIVER STRESS AND WORRY