In the earlier stages of Alzheimer’s, your mom or dad will have no problem tying, zipping, or buttoning shoes. As the disease progresses, she may start to struggle with laces, buckles, buttons, or zippers. If that happens, you’ll need to look at shoes that are easier for her to put on.
Start Your Search With Velcro and Slip-Ons
When it becomes hard for your parent to fasten shoes, look at slip-ons. You want a slip-on that won’t come off easily, so you may need to rule out open-back clogs, sandals, and slippers. Sneakers that slide onto the foot are usually the most comfortable option. Many companies make slip-on sneakers, so you’ll find them in a range of colors, prices, and styles.
If your mom or dad has a hard time getting her foot into a slip-on without stepping on the back of the shoe, velcro fasteners are helpful. Instead of having to tie shoes, your parent puts them on and then connects the velcro strap to the other side. A number of companies making sneakers, slippers, and sandals use velcro straps to securely fasten a shoe.
Aim for Comfort
People with Alzheimer’s can be very particular about how shoes and clothing feel and fit. It’s best to shop in a store where your mom or dad can try the shoes on. Make sure the shoe fits well, won’t slip off, and feels comfortable after walking around. If possible, shop later in the day when feet are slightly swollen from hours of being up and walking around.
Memory foam can help a lot here. Memory foam adds extra padding and comfort that surpasses many insoles. You’ll find memory foam in sneakers, slippers, loafers, boots, and sandals.
Examine the Tread Carefully
Whatever shoe you pick must have a decent tread. You don’t want your parent slipping because the tread is thin. This is where sneakers may be best. They’re usually designed for a lot of walking, running, or hiking and have thick treads with a lot of grips.
Remember that many of the medications your parent takes may cause lightheadedness and increase the risk of a fall. Motor function is also impacted by the disease. Shoes that fit well and have a really good tread can help prevent falls.
Shopping for shoes with a loved one who has Alzheimer’s is a challenge. Make sure you’re taking time off to decompress. This may mean hiring a home care professional a few days a week or every day.