Aging is an inevitable component of life we all must face, whether it is our own or taking care of an elderly friend or loved one. With age comes a decline in health and typically extra care is needed to address daily living needs. Maintaining our health is important throughout life and especially so in later years and the onset of reduced physiological functions, blood flow, and muscle capacity. One excellent tool in that regard is compression socks.
What are compression socks?
Simply defined, compression socks are specially designed, stretchy socks that fit snugly and gently squeeze your leg. Graduated compression socks are an alternative variety that is tighter around the ankle and looser higher up the leg. Compression sleeves are just tubes, without the foot material. Compression socks are worn for comfort, improvement in sports performance, and help to prevent debilitating medical conditions.
How do compression socks work?
With their consistent, gentle pressure, compression socks improve blood flow, lessen pain and swelling, and work well in reducing risk of deep vein thrombosis (a type of blood clot) and other common circulation issues. These socks help your blood vessels perform better by helping arteries relax and allowing blood to flow freely while pumping it back to your heart.
Compression socks also help your legs from feeling tired and achy, ease swelling in the ankles and feet, and are helpful in treating varicose veins.
Benefits of compression socks
One of the welcome benefits of compression socks is their ability to maintain overall health and stay as active as possible. From there, addressing persistent joint pain and discomfort is arguably the most common travail facing seniors, and it greatly reduces mobility.
For example, people suffering from varicose veins experience pain from mild but consistent throbbing to excruciating. Compression to tender locations of the leg can help ease that pain and provide an added layer of protection.
Prevention of blood clots
While people of all ages can develop blood clots, the chances increase with age and reduced mobility. Older people commonly acquire painful symptoms that limit their activity and poor circulation subsequently increases likelihood of blood clots. As we know, blood clots are mobile and can travel throughout the body and become lodged in places we don’t want them, such as the lungs or brain. Compression socks can help reduce this risk with gentle pressure on calves and feet.
Independence is one of life’s most coveted elements; one which we pursue with verve as teenagers and cling to all the years after. However, many elderly people lose that independence and it can be very difficult to accept and even lead to depression or an array of related medical problems. People who have been active throughout life find it challenging to find new ways to continue that path if they have pain or discomfort in their legs. Compression socks can help you feel livelier and regaining even a portion of your independence goes a long way in improving many other elements of your life.
Helpful with problems in the lower leg
Did you know that compression socks are one of most efficient methods in treating problems in the lower leg? They do so by boosting blood flow without the risk of common complications. Graduated compression socks are particularly helpful in their ability to help prevent lower leg swelling known as peripheral edema. They can also lessen dizzy spells that happen from standing up too quickly.
Easy to wear
Another benefit to compression socks is they are very easy and comfortable to wear. They also come in lots of different variations so you can choose a pair that fit great and work well for your particular scenario. For many seniors, another of the big advantages of compression socks is the freedom gained in being able to walk farther and longer without pain.
While these versatile socks are among the least complicated of therapy methods, it is still important to select a style that provides the proper amount of pressure. Compression socks should be firm but not restrictive or difficult to remove. Too loose, of course, and you lose the benefits. Socks come in different sizes from calf-length to knees and you should try several to glean the best results.
If you or your family member is considering in-home care as part of a plan to age in place, contact Family Matters In-Home Care today for a free consultation. Our team is dedicated to supporting your family and helping older adults enjoy life in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible.
Some of the services offered by Family Matter In-Home Care include: Alzheimer’s & Dementia Care, Bed & Wheelchair Transfer Assistance, Companionship, Housekeeping & Meal Preparation, Personal Care, Recovery Care, and Transportation.