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Are Your Clothes Supporting Your Senior Health?

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Are Your Clothes Supporting Your Senior Health?

Did you know that the clothing you choose — from your socks to your shirts — can have an impact on your senior health? Here's a look at some of the choices you can make to look and feel great as you enjoy life at Bethesda Gardens assisted living community.

1. Shoes

Let's start with a good foundation. You may already know how important a good pair of shoes is to your overall well-being, and your health care professional may have recommended orthopedic shoes to protect your feet or balance.

Even without such a recommendation, stable shoes that fit well are critical to protecting you against falls, sprains and circulation issues. Here are a few considerations seniors may need to factor in when choosing shoes.

  • Changes in your feet as you age. Over time, it's normal for a person's foot to widen or elongate, which means you may need a larger shoe size than you did when you were younger. Age-related health issues and circulation problems may also cause your feet to swell during the day or when it's hot; consider keeping a second, larger pair of shoes on hand for these times.
  • Thinning or fragile skin. Skin becomes more prone to breaks and bruises as we age, so protecting your feet is important. Look for shoes with cushy and supportive insoles and a lack of pressure points. It's also a good idea to choose closed-toe shoes over sandals to keep your feet safe from minor abrasions.
  • A need for support. Age can also bring changes in gait and the strength of legs and ankles. Choose shoes that provide support to help correct any issues, especially if you plan on walking a lot.

2. Socks and Hose

Socks and hosiery are also surprisingly important, especially if you have any circulation issues. Health care professionals often recommend that seniors with diabetes wear compression hose or socks, for example, that help support healthy circulation without providing any pressure points on the skin. If your skin is especially sensitive or fragile, consider choosing socks that don't have any seams. Seamless socks are less likely to press on the skin at a single location.

3. Pants and Shirts

For your comfort and to support healthy circulation throughout the body, wear clothing that fits loosely and comfortably. Don't, however, opt for clothing that is too big, as the extra fabric can catch on things as you move and contribute to falling or tripping hazards.

If you're trying to protect your skin against minor abrasions, bug bites or UV rays, choose long pants and sleeves, especially when you're spending time outside. Clothing made of lightweight fabric such as chiffon, linen and ramie can be comfortable in warmer months even when you're fully covered.

4. Outerwear

Remember to bundle up safely when venturing outdoors during the winter in Terre Haute. The cold can be as dangerous as the heat, so it's a good idea to protect your feet and hands with warm socks, boots and gloves. Keep body heat in by wearing a winter hat, and if you feel stifled and unable to move in a winter coat, opt for layers that include a light long-sleeved T-shirt, comfortable sweater and vest to keep your core protected and warm.

5. Sleepwear

You might think you can't get any safer than when sleeping in your own bed, but the right sleepwear can make a difference. Choose comfortable, flame-retardant sleepwear that won't tangle around you as you sleep, and make sure you can move easily while wearing it in case you need to get up at night. Consider a short robe that won't cause a tripping hazard to keep you warm before bed and cozy when you get up in the morning.