Socks are among the important pieces of clothing as they provide our feet with protection, moisture control, temperature regulation, and comfort. They add protection by adding a layer between the foot and the shoe, which eases friction and prevents blisters. However, socks are also among the most difficult pieces of clothing to put on, especially those that are made out of hard-to-stretch materials.
While most people are already struggling with putting on socks, imagine how difficult it is for the elderly and those suffering from mobility issues who don’t have the strength to wear the accessory. Putting on and taking off socks can become challenging and frustrating for people who are suffering from joint pain, stiffness, damage, limited range of motion, and fatigue. If you or your loved one is among those, you don’t have to worry because there is a device that you may find handy when wearing socks, which is called a sock aid.
A sock aid or a sock puller may help the elderly and other people with mobility issues to put on their socks easily. Today, you’ll be able to find many different sock aids available in the market. If you are looking to learn more about this helpful device, you’re in the right place. In this article, we are providing you with more information about what a sock aid is and its benefits.
How Does a Sock Aid Work?
A sock aid pertains to an assistive device that allows people to put on socks easily despite physical limitations and pain. It is a simple dressing aid that will allow seniors and other people with mobility issues to slip on their socks effortlessly and without causing strain to their backs. The device is a flexible or rigid mechanism that is connected to either one continuous loop or two long handles.
Traditional sock aids are used by slipping the socks over the flexible part of the sock aid, keeping the socks open. After that, it is dropped to the floor while the user holds onto the handles. The foot will be slipped into the sock opening. Then, using the handles, the user pulls back and upward, so the foot slips into the sock and out of the sock aid.
The Benefits of Using a Sock Aid
Seniors and people with mobility issues may benefit from using a sock aid for a lot of reasons. Below are some of them:
A sock aid may benefit both the elderly patient and the caregiver. It’s because the device allows the elderly to put on their socks without having to rely on their caregiver for assistance. It provides seniors freedom and confidence that they are able to accomplish a simple task instead of having to ask someone else to put on their socks for them.
For elderly individuals, it can be difficult and painful to put on socks because it involves bending and stretching. The same goes for those who are suffering from joint pains like arthritis, or those who are still recovering from surgeries. But the use of a sock aid may eliminate the need for bending and stretching, which helps reduce strain on the knees, backs, and other joints.
When taking care of our elderly loved ones, their safety is our number one priority. Since a sock aid reduces the need to bend and stretch when putting on socks, it prevents falls and other accidents at the same time, which can be dangerous for the elderly. Therefore, if your senior loved one uses a sock aid, you can be more at peace that they will be able to wear their socks alone easily without the risk of falling or getting hurt.
The process of getting dressed can become quicker and less physically demanding for the elderly and people with disabilities through the use of sock aids. The device can allow them to put on socks easily and efficiently with minimal help or no help at all from a caregiver or other people.
The use of sock aids can ensure that the elderly will not skip wearing socks, which helps reduce the risk of blisters and other foot problems. They can be confident that even when they are suffering from back pain, arthritis, or other conditions that affect mobility, they will still be able to put on their socks with ease and without pain, which in turn, provides them with comfort.
A sock aid is a versatile tool for seniors and those with mobility problems, as it can be used in different settings. They are very useful at home, during travel, in care facilities, and a lot more.
How to Use a Sock Aid
If using a sock aid is quite new to you, or if you want to teach an elderly loved one how it works and how it is used, we are also here to help you. However, note that the right use of a sock aid depends on the type or style that you will choose. Below are some of the general steps that you can follow:
Step 1: Put the sock aid between the knees and pull it over the end without straps.
Step 2: Place the sock aid out in front of your foot on the floor while sitting on a chair.
Step 3: Slide your foot into the sock opening.
Step 4: Hold the handle of the sock aid and pull straight back until your toes are fitted well in the sock.
Step 5: When the sock reaches your heel, pull it up at an upward angle going to the ceiling so you can move the sock around your heel.
Step 6: Pull out the sock aid from the sock and finish pulling the sock on.
Remember that when putting on a sock using a sock aid, your foot should slide along the bottom of the curved plastic. At first, using a sock aid can be challenging. But with a little practice, you will be able to use it well to put on your own socks or stockings.
Things to Consider When Buying a Sock Aid
If you are looking into buying a sock aid for your elderly loved one, there are a lot of choices in the market today. There are certain factors that may help in order for you to buy the best one for them. Some of these include choosing between flexible or rigid socks, different sock aid materials, sizes, and more. Things like the price may also be an essential deciding factor, especially if you only have a limited budget for a sock aid. Read on below to learn more about these.
Flexible vs. Rigid Socks
Before you buy a sock aid, you should first know the type of socks used by your loved one. Flexible and rigid socks differ based on how much space the individual needs. That is why knowing what type of socks they usually wear may help in choosing the right sock aid that has an appropriate style and size for them.
Using loose socks can make bending and fitting them onto the holder easier. Aside from that, they are also more comfortable and breathable to wear. However, they may come off more easily. Rigid socks, on the other hand, are not as easy to bend and are larger compared to their flexible counterparts. With this, a sock aid can stretch it more to open it wider.
If your elderly loved one has swollen feet, choosing an extra-wide rigid sock is a good idea. Just make sure that you consider the type of sock your senior loved one uses the most in order to find the best sock aid that will work for them.
Continuous Loop vs. Two Handles
There are two major types of sock aids, which are the continuous loop and the traditional two handles. A continuous loop sock aid features a single cord handle that works well for those who wish to use one hand while using a sock aid. However, this type is quite difficult for elderly people who require more support or those who struggle with depth perception.
Sock aids with two handles, on the other hand, may require more coordination. But most of the time, sock aids with two handles are more accessible for a lot of people. Also, if your loved one suffers from arthritis or other conditions affecting their hands, they may benefit from sock aids that have large foam grips.
Size and Quality
Sock aids come in different sizes. Therefore, you need to make sure that the sock aid you will buy will fit the size of your loved one. If you choose a sock aid that is too small or too large, it can be difficult to use effectively and might make putting on socks more challenging for seniors.
It is also very important to choose a sock aid that is made of high-quality materials. If you are purchasing online, it is better to read the reviews and experiences of other people in terms of using the product that you are eyeing to buy.
The Different Sock Aids You Can Buy Today
If you are looking for the best sock aid for your elderly loved one, we are going to help you further. In this part, we are providing you with a few sock aid recommendations, and we have categorized them based on the two major types of sock aids, which are continuous loop and two handles, plus other types that you might encounter in stores and online.
Continuous Loop Sock Aids
As mentioned earlier, a continuous loop sock aid uses a loop of material to help the elderly pull on their sock. The loop material goes around the foot and the sock in order to guide with pulling it up the leg. This design allows for greater control and stability. It is a great choice for people who have limited dexterity or mobility. Below are a few examples of continuous loop sock aids to help you pick:
Sammons Preston Continuous Loop Sock and Stocking Aid: This sock aid has a 21.5-inch rope and non-slip pad. It is a plastic sock aid that features a comfortable foam handle for one-handed use. It is perfect for patients with limited range of motion, back pain, or trouble gripping. It can fit any length or size of socks or stockings. It is also durable, high-quality, and easy to store.
FabLife Formed Sock Aid with Continuous Loop Handle: This sock aid is made of formed plastic material, and it features a continuous loop handle. It is designed to make putting on socks easier, especially for the elderly. It features a foam patch that can help keep the sock in place.
Two-Handle Sock Aids
These are similar to continuous loop sock aids, but they have two handles attached to a flat surface. The user needs to foot his foot in the sock and place the sock over the flat surface. The handles are used to pull the sock up the leg. Two-handle sock aids can be made of different materials, such as plastic and metal. Some of them can also be adjusted to accommodate different sizes and be cushioned to increase grip and comfort. Below are some examples of sock aids with two handles:
RMS Deluxe Sock Aid with Foam Handles: This sock aid is ideal for those who have difficulties in bending down, recovering from hip, knee, and back surgery, or those with limited mobility. It comes with a flexible contoured plastic shell that is designed for people who have weak hand strength, making it easy to insert socks onto the sock aid. It also has a soft and non-slip foam handle for a comfortable grip and a slip-resistant foam pad to keep the sock in place. The ropes are also adjustable to your desired length.
Royal Medical Solutions Sock Aid Kit: This is a two-piece sock aid set that has one deluxe sock aid with foam handles and one sock remover. The shell of the sock aid is flexible and soft, which is made specifically for people who have weak hands. The sock remover can be used to remove light to medium compression hosiery, socks, or stockings. This sock aid kit is ideal for those who are having difficulties bending down and those who are recovering from surgeries.
OPOVE Premium Socks Helper: This sock aid is very easy to use. You just need to put the socks on the end of the aid and then put your foot into the gap between the sock and the sock aid. After that, just pull the strings to wear the sock. It has adjustable cords that can fit most heights. The handles are made of foam for more comfort and grip. The pad also has an anti-slip silicone texture to ensure that the socks stay in place.
Other Types of Sock Aids Available in the Market
In addition to continuous loop and two handle-sock aids, there are also other types that you may find in the market. Below are a few examples to help you choose:
Allstar Innovations Sock Slider: This sock slider is easy to use. You just need to put the sock on the cradle, lower the cradle to the floor, and slide your foot in. It is perfect for people who have mobility limitations or injuries and those who are pregnant. It can work with all kinds of socks, too. The handle of this device also works as a shoehorn.
Homymusy Sock Aid: This sock aid is made of gentle terry cloth on one side that holds the sock and nylon on the other side to reduce friction. It can help you put on socks easier to avoid bending over, twisting or turning. It can be used to wear all sorts of socks and stockings.
Sock Ox Sock Slider: This sock slider features a long handle that has a built-in shoe horn. It comes with arm extensions that make it easy to reach without causing pain. It is made of plastic and has a collapsible design, making it great for travel and storage. Aside from putting on socks, this tool can also be used to remove socks. It has a 3-in-1 design that helps you save time and money.
Putting on socks is indeed challenging for the elderly and people who have mobility issues. Fortunately, sock aids have been invented to help them put on socks on their own with minimal to no help at all from other people. In addition to helping them put on their socks, sock aids also give them confidence and independence. But keep in mind that sock aids are varied and better suited to some people than others. Therefore, if you are buying a sock aid for your senior loved one, it is better to talk with them first to understand their preferences and pick the right device for them. We hope this post helped you learn more about what sock aid is and its benefits.