When we hear the phrase "limited mobility," some of us may assume an image of a senior citizen, or perhaps you might not, nor anyone you know, come to mind. However, the reality is that many Americans, regardless of age, experience issues with mobility daily. Whether through chronic illness, disease, or disability, on average, according to the World Health Organization, more than 15% of the world's population lives with some form of disability. That translates into a staggering one billion people globally, and within that percentage, up to 190 million of those people are over the age of 15 and living with a significant disability.
In the United States, 13.9% of Americans live with a disability, with the Indigenous peoples recording the highest disability prevalence. That means that just over 43 million people out of the approximately 332 million Americans live with a disability every day.
What do those statistics mean? It means limited mobility is not a rare side effect or symptom for Americans of any age, and many struggles in the open or silently for accessibility and mobility aids. Many with limited mobility need aids to assist in day-to-day chores that many non-disabled take for granted—like being able to bend down, grasp, and pull up a pair of compression socks when needed.
If you or someone you know has limited mobility and needs to use compression therapy, we're here to try and help as best as possible. We want to make compression socks as accessible and easy as possible for bodies of all kinds. Here are some of our favorite tips, tricks, and suggestions on putting on compression socks with limited mobility.
1. Use a Sock-Aid to Don Compression socks
What is a sock aid? A sock aid is a device designed to allow those with limited mobility or physical limitations to easily put on socks without assistance. A Sock aid helps slip on socks quickly, almost effortlessly, and helps make the process less painful and lowers straining. Sock aid devices can be flexible or rigid mechanisms that are generally attached to one continuous loop or come with two long handles.
Traditionally, the sock slips over a flexible part of the sock aid to hold the top of the sock. Once the sock is slipped onto the assistive device, it is dropped down onto the floor or a flat surface while holding the loop or handles. The foot can then be slipped inside the sock opening, then by the handles or loop, pulled back and upward until the foot slips into the sock and out of the sock aid.
Choosing a Sock Aid
There are many different designs in sock aids to help individuals with limited mobility, arthritis, and other chronic illnesses and disabilities to help put on compression socks.
While the concept of a sock aid remains the same across all designs, you can choose between a flexible sock aid, a rigid sock aid, or a sock aid with one, two, or no handles.
Flexible versus Rigid Sock Aid
How do you pick between flexible or rigid? A flexible sock aid will be able to bend, making it easier to load the sock onto the holder without overstretching. Rigid sock aids are usually much more significant and will stretch the sock, but generally tends to hold the sock open wider.
It is recommended for those who experience swelling in the legs or feet, or use compression socks, to choose a more rigid sock aid than a flexible sock aid.
A sock aid with a handle or two handles may work best if you use both hands and arms. If you are limited to using one arm or hand, a sock aid with a continuous loop will work best. However, keep in mind that should you also experience issues with depth perception, it may be difficult for you to use a single loop sock aid. In that case, a two-handed continuous loop will make it much easier to handle the aid when you have depth perception issues.
Other Types of Sock Assistance Devices
1. Shoehorn. Built for easy one-handed gripping, shoehorns typically feature a plastic or soft hand grip and a curved hook at the other end. The curved hook snags the sock and can be used to pull the sock on. Additionally, the shoehorn can also be used to push the sock off.
2. Stocking Donner. This device tends to be made from a sturdy steel-coated frame and features two foam easy-grip handles. It's beneficial for both open-toe and closed-toe compression socks while reducing the need to bend and remaining lightweight.
3. Terry cloth sock aid. This flexible sock aid can help you or a user put on socks without bending. Any size sock can be placed for the terry cloth core as friction from the cloth helps secure the sock during application.
2. Medical Dressing Stick for Removal
A dressing stick, or medical dressing stick, is a piece of adaptive equipment designed to make the putting on and taking off clothes more accessible. It's a fantastic tool that reduces the need for bending, twisting, and reaching. It's a particularly excellent assistive tool for those who have arthritis, Parkinson's, dementia, or limited mobility. It is also a tool that is useful for practical assistance post-surgery recovery.
How to Use a Dressing Stick to Remove Compression Socks
To Remove Compression Socks:
• Standing, sitting, or laying, use the hook on the end of the medical dressing stick to snag the top of your compression sock.
• Once snagged, push the compression sock downward.
• Once the sock reaches your heel, gently push it around the heel of your foot until it slips off.
The medical mobility industry is essential to those with disabilities and limited mobility around the globe. At Crazy Compression, we want the world to be able to embrace, benefit from, and wear our unique compression socks. Mobility aids are a crucial part of everyone's lives, and we hope that we've been able to assist you!
Do you have any questions for us about our socks? We're here for you! Please feel free to reach out and contact us at any time!