Giving Care: Senior & Disabled Caregiver Resource Blog

4 Shoes for Elderly with Balance Problems

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Balance loss is common with aging. While a decline in balance usually begins around 40-50 years of age, by age 65, most seniors will have one fall per year. 

Supportive footwear plays a big role in keeping your loved one safe, especially for older people with balance problems. 

We have outlined how adaptive footwear can help balance issues while offering our best shoes to reduce falls and support stability. 

Key Features of Shoes for Elderly with Balance Problems 

Non-Slip Soles for Enhanced Traction 

To reduce falls, look for a soft-soled shoe with a rubber grip. A rubber outsole provides further support as well as traction to further reduce falls on wet and dry surfaces. 

These features offer enhanced traction, which is important for fall prevention. 

Adequate Support for Ankle and Arch 

As we age, we lose muscle and bone mass. This can result in the flattening of the foot or loss of the arch. To ensure your loved one maintains proper foot support and stability, look for shoes for older women and men that offer sufficient ankle and arch support to alleviate pain caused by flat feet and other podiatry issues. 

Lightweight and Flexible Design 

Mobility becomes more challenging with age. If your aging parent is starting to have trouble walking, it’s important to look for a lightweight shoe, so the weight of the shoe does not hinder them. 

Another important consideration is fabric choice. Look for a walking shoe with a flexible design and fabric that helps the foot move easily and is not hindered. 
Flexible fabric also offers more comfort to the wearer and may help reduce pain caused by plantar fasciitis, arthritis, lymphedema and other foot health concerns.

Easy to Wear and Remove 

Shoes designed for seniors, especially those who suffer from foot swelling and balance issues, should be easy to wear and remove. Adaptive footwear should include features such as a true grip strap, which has a rubberized tab at the end of the strap, making it easy for individuals with limited hand dexterity to grip and adjust the shoe as needed. A finger loop at the heel of the shoe will also help to put the shoe on and take off. 

A wide opening, such as a large flap with an easy fastener, will also help your aging loved one slide their shoe on and off with ease. The large overlap allows the shoe to fully open so the wearer can slip their foot into it, as well as adjust the fit to accommodate for swelling throughout the day.

When shopping for sneakers for older men and women, a wide-toe box will also help the shoe slide on and off to help reduce falls. 

Proper Fit to Avoid Slipping Inside the Shoe 

A properly fitting shoe is essential to reducing falls. A common misconception is to increase shoe size, but this creates room for the foot to slip and slide inside the shoe, which can lead to more slips and falls. 

The primary measurement for finding an accurate shoe size is the length of the foot. If you are unsure of your loved one’s foot length, measure from the tip of their big toe all the way to the back of their heel. Learning how to measure shoe size correctly will help you find the perfect fit.

Selecting the wrong size can compromise stability and foot health and lead to more falls and injury. You can increase width, but not length. For this reason, a shoe that offers adjustable width sizing is recommended for seniors with balance problems. 

4 Best Shoes for Elderly with Balance Problems 

Men’s Extra Wide Comfort Shoes with Easy Touch Closures

This shoe for men is a great choice for older adults with bunions, corns, hammer toes, foot edema, diabetes, podiatry foot problems or those with arthritis or lowered hand dexterity. 

The extended heel and heel pillow helps to stabilize the foot to further reduce falls. 

Women’s Extra Wide Comfort Shoes with Easy Closures for Adjustable Fit

These extra wide walking shoes for women help reduce falls with a soft sole bottom. The rubber grip sole helps prevent potential slips and falls on dry or wet surfaces.

The easy grip loop on the back of the shoe also allows your loved one to pull their walking shoes on easily. 

The extra wide fit of these stabilizing shoes accommodates swelling caused by diabetes and other foot ailments.

Easy Wear Extra Wide Comfortable Walking Shoes for Men

These supportive walking shoes are designed with a single strap closure for a sleek design that is easy to put on and take off. 

To accommodate swollen feet, arthritis, bunions and other foot ailments, these shoes come with two additional spacer insoles that can be removed to increase width from D (regular) to 4E (extra wide)

Women’s Easy Closure Sandal for Indoors & Outdoors 

As the warmer weather approaches, consider which footwear your aging parent is wearing. If you’re looking for sandals for older women, make sure the shoes offer the features needed for safe and stable walking, such as arch support, ease of dressing, and a non-skid rubber bottom. 

These Women’s Easy Closure Sandals are perfect for indoor and outdoor use. These adaptive sandals were designed by diabetic neurotherapy experts to ensure comfortable, adjustable slippers. This extra wide sandal slipper is ideal for women in nursing homes, hospitals or simply seeking a reliable pair of indoor/outdoor slippers.​

How to Choose the Right Shoes for Balance Issues

Assessing the Needs of the Older Adult

While each person has different physical needs, there are certain shoe features for older people with balance issues that will help prevent falls and enhance your aging loved one’s stability. 

Shoes designed with a wide-toe box, anatomical arch support, easy Velcro closures, rubber soles, low heel height, and lightweight fabric create a more stable shoe for those suffering from swollen feet, flat feet, foot orthoses, diabetes, foot pain, and other foot or balance concerns. 

Trial and Error: Finding the Perfect Fit 

Just as each person’s body is different, so is one’s level of comfort. It is recommended to try a few different styles of walking shoes to help your aging loved one find the shoe that best fits them. 

Shoes that are too large can lead to an increase in falls. So remember to find the proper fit that accommodates your aging parent’s length of foot while leaving room for swelling that may increase throughout the day, such as with an adjustable shoe closure.

Tips for Maintaining Balance While Walking 

Exercises to Strengthen the Lower Body 

There are certain physical activities for older adults that your loved one can do for fall prevention. Lower body exercises that strengthen the muscles can help maintain and even regain balance. 

Some of these best exercises for balance are heel and toe raises, single leg lifts, and alternating weight shifts. These are all beneficial to building lower body strength and improving balance.

Depending on your aging parent’s fitness level and for an added challenge, you can also encourage backward walking to build strength and stability. 

Walking Aids and Assistive Devices 

If your loved one is struggling with balance, adaptive equipment such as walkers and canes, can help provide added stability while your loved one moves about their day. 

Combining shoes designed for seniors with balance problems together with these additional walking aids or assistive devices will provide a more stable walking environment. 

Staying active is important for the body and mind. Regular activity will also help your aging parent maintain muscle mass and balance, which can also help prevent falls and injury. 

Creating a Safe Walking Environment

Adaptive and well-fitting shoes that have soft rubber soles with a strong-grip bottom and that are easy to put on and take off are beneficial for older people with balance problems. 

But it is also important to consider their walking environment. A safe walking environment can further help reduce falls and also encourage more movement. 

Maintain a clean home to keep clutter off the ground. Where possible, keep space open between furniture to allow your loved one to move about freely without tripping on furniture. 

You may also consider installing handrails or other adaptive equipment to help seniors walk safely up and down the stairs. 

 Silverts Offers the Best Walking Shoes for Seniors

The best shoes for elderly with balance problems will offer an adjustable fit, non-skid slip-resistant soles, and easy-touch closures. We specialize in outdoor and indoor footwear that are functional and stylish for your loved ones.

Remember that shoes provide support for the musculoskeletal system and can help provide better stability all day long. So consider adding a pair of stabilizing non-slip slippers to your loved one’s closet for them to wear when home, too. 

To learn more about adaptive footwear, visit www.Silverts.com.

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