It is embarrassing to ask a spouse or child to help you put your socks on in the morning. What can you do if there is no one to help? Some people have tried long handled food tongs to pull their socks up, but it is hard to maneuver and get your heel in. A bent grilling fork will work for a while until you scratch your legs and put holes in all of your socks from the tines.
Help is here with convenient arthritis friendly daily living aids. There are many handy sock aids for helping arthritis sufferers to put on their own socks. The basic principle of a sock aid is to slide the sock on to the sock holder. The holder is a half tube shaped plastic device, sometimes covered in a soft cloth. Drop the sock holder to the floor and slide your foot through the opening pulling up on the handle until the sock is in place. This eliminates putting stress on the users back or hips by bending over. Flexible sock aids, rigid sock aids, sock aids with one or two handles or no handles in different colors and styles are available. With so many choices, how does a person with arthritis choose the best one?
First, decide if a flexible or a rigid material sock aid is needed. Because flexible sock aids bend, they are easier to load the sock on the holder, and will not overstretch the sock. Rigid sock aids are usually larger and will stretch the sock more to hold the sock open wider. If swollen feet are a problem for you, choose a rigid sock aid that is extra wide. For compression stockings, use a rigid heavy duty designed sock aid such as the Ezy-As Sock Aid. Flexible sock aids covered in fabric are more skin friendly too. The terry cloth fabric covering on the outside helps the sock to stay in place, and the inside material is slick to reduce friction of heel sliding inside the sock aid. Some rigid sock aids are designed with an indentation or groove in the center to guide the heel when pulling the sock aid.
Next, decide what type of handle will work best for you. Some sock aids have long rigid handles which are easy to hold, but make it difficult to store the sock aid. Single cord handles will work well for people with the use of only one hand, but can be difficult for people with depth perception issues since the handle is a continuous loop. Sock aids with two handles require more coordination to pull the handles up at the same time using both hands. For people with arthritis, large foam grips are used to make holding the handles easier. Adjust the length of the cords as needed for the sock aid to reach the floor when the user is in a seated position.
Using a sock aid may take a little practice but the benefit of being able to put on your own socks is worth the effort. Living with arthritis is often challenging, but putting on your own socks does not have to be. The correct sock aid for your needs can be a simple solution to help make your life with arthritis a little easier.