One of the major changes that comes with aging is that we need to be a little more selective about what we wear. A long-term care situation like that at Beth Abraham Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing comes with a number of circumstances that dictate the best qualities for clothing and for our shoes. The activities and environment of a long-term care facility can differ from those experienced when living alone, so the way we consider shoes may need to differ a little as well. Below are some qualities to look for inappropriate long-term facility footwear.

First and foremost, the footwear should be comfortable. Many patients are not going to be spending long periods of time on their feet involved in strenuous physical activity, so comfort takes precedence over performance. They should be made of a material that is stretchable and that breathes well. It is also important that they don’t rub in sensitive contact points. They should be easy to remove and to put on, but you don’t want a sloppy fit that allows the shoes to shift easily out of the proper position.

Structurally, a good pair of senior living shoes offers firm support and non-slip soles. Stability is a major factor for the elderly, and the right pair of shoes can make a big difference in this area. Falls are, of course, one of the leading causes of injury among the elderly, so improving traction and balance is of paramount concern.

Finally, there may be some additional considerations. Machine washable shoes help to maintain the cleanliness that’s so important in long-term care facilities. If your loved one wears or may soon wear orthotic inserts, they’ll obviously need shoes that can easily accommodate those. Finally, pick a pair of shoes that the senior patient is going to like and is going to be willing to wear. The best pair of shoes in the world won’t do them any good sitting in a closet.