Bending down can be a chore when young, but it teeters between painful and downright dangerous as folks grow older. Throw in arthritic fingers and maneuvering your hands while bending over, and putting on socks can feel like a huge daily struggle.
The best sock assist aid for seniors eliminates most of the bending and lets your hands work where you can see them.
As a result, the task is a safer and more comfortable experience in the morning and sometimes can mean the difference between independence and dependence on others.
Why Are Sock Aids Useful for Elderly Seniors?
Sock aids are useful for seniors as they reduce the bending required while getting dressed. This lets you keep your energy for putting on pants and tying your shoes.
Bending down to put on socks can often feel like an unnecessary strain, sometimes even on young backs and joints. Not only that but, as we age, our bones weaken and are less likely to heal from an injury.
Sock aids eliminate any potential danger or injury exacerbation in the worst-case scenarios, while reducing discomfort and making life a little easier for any elderly senior.
Which People Can Benefit from a Sock Aid?
Some seniors are still as active and nimble as someone much younger. Despite this, you may have a few joints that’d benefit from less rotation. You can twist your knee and flop one leg over the opposite knee to put on socks, but should you?
Other times it’s harder to bend over due to non-bone-related issues.
Sock aids would benefit anyone who:
- Has been through knee replacement surgery.
- Suffers from arthritis.
- Deals with back pain.
- Gets dizzy/faint when bending.
- Has trouble breathing when not sitting/standing erect.
- Struggles to maneuver around a large abdomen.
These can all make putting socks on a strain—making sock assist aids look attractive.
Key Factors When Choosing a Sock Aid
When shopping for a sock aid, consider the following points:
Sock aids come in some size variations, and it takes a larger sock aid to accommodate larger feet. Smaller than average feet will need a different size aid too.
Pay attention to size when shopping and, if possible, have someone measure your feet so that you can examine sock assist aid sizing charts and ensure you are choosing an appropriate size (this is especially important for folks who have very large or very small feet).
If you’re alone and this is too difficult, measure your most comfortable shoes to get an approximate reading.
Ankle and shin-length socks are fair game for a sock assist aid. However, longer-style socks and compression socks may pose difficulties.
Long socks may require a longer sock aid to prevent the socks from bunching up, while compression socks may not stretch around an aid without considerable hand strength.
If you wear long socks or compression socks most of the time, look for a sock assist aid specifically equipped to deal with these types of socks.
The longer the cord, the less you’ll have to bend and raise your arm to get the sock on.
What cord length you require is height and weight dependent—longer legs or a larger stomach to work around dictates that a longer length is needed for comfortable use.
Always go longer than you think you’ll need. You can’t easily add length to a short cord, but you can trim or tie off excess length.
Your sock assist aid might have handle grips instead of a cord. Always opt for soft handles you can easily grip. If they’re foam or non-slip, even better!
The sock aid is designed to help you eliminate strain all over your body. Unless back pain is your only issue, it’s counter-productive to use an aid with handles that take brute strength to operate.
Regardless of other materials, avoid hard plastic handles—they have a nasty habit of cutting into finger joints.
Plastic and metal are the main materials used for sock assist aids. Metal is sturdy but not the best for aids as you need some give to maneuver your foot into the sock.
That leaves plastic as your best option. Ensure it’s:
- Sturdy, with some give.
- Dull and smooth around the edges.
You might find other materials used in your sock aid, too, like rubber, but they’re less common. Rubber is effective if the aid’s overall design integrates it well.
Best Sock Aids for Seniors: Reviews & Ratings
With the criteria above in mind, we’ve reviewed the best sock aids for seniors—browse and see if one of them is your best fit.
1. RMS Deluxe Sock Aid
About: The RMS Deluxe is a sock aid for average to large feet—it’s a tall, wide aid that allows plenty of room to slide into your socks.
The RMS Sock Aid is made with soft flexible contoured plastic that’s easy even for arthritis hands to manuever.
Because of its fairly large size, you may find that compression socks will be too difficult to stretch onto it. However, its length makes it fantastic for longer stockings.
You’ll find no difficulty working with this aid when used with an appropriate sock. The handles are soft, easy-to-grip foam atop of adjustable 36-inch ropes. There’s also a non-slip pad on the flexible plastic shell to anchor your socks.
Customers describe the device as “deceptively simple,” so you shouldn’t have too much trouble. They also say it doubles as a shoehorn, which is always handy!
If you have any difficulties, the aid comes with an instruction sheet that should prove help and provide plenty of direction.
Find you don’t like it? Cash in your limited lifetime warranty the manufacturer provides and consider another product on our list.
- Great for average to large feet
- Comfortable-grip handles with 38 inch long adjustable cords
- Slightly too large for smaller feet
- Two-handed use only
2. Vaunn Medical EZ-TUG Sock Aid Assist
About: The Vaunn Medical Sock Aid Assist is similar to the one listed above, but with a slightly more contoured shape along the inside. The large, plastic shoe assist aid cradles your feet as you pull on the garment.
According to the manufacturer, the aid works on most foot sizes, with a product sizing chart offering more specifics.
However, customers state it doesn’t accommodate the widest and longest foot sizes.
Not only is the range it works with versatile, but the overall aid is too. The latex-free plastic flexes as needed, and the cord is medium-length but trimmable.
Once again, you have non-slip foam grips accompanying the cords, and a non-slip pad that keeps socks in place. It’s best used with regular socks, not compression ones.
- Adjustable ropes.
- Works even with tiny feet.
- Not great for large feet.
- Rope could be longer.
- Two-handed operation required.
3. Easy To Use Products Sock Aid
About: Suppose you dislike the style of the two aids above, no worries. The Sock Horse is an alternative that sits on either side of your foot, but your foot doesn’t rest against the surface.
Instead, you simplyhook your sock over the grippy rubber sides when putting them on the aid. Slide in your foot and use the long handle to pull the aid up accordingly.
The handle has an ergonomic grip and is long enough for seniors to use with minimal bending. If the handle is too short, there’s also a rope you can work with.
Handle (17 inches) and rope (30 inches) are also operational if you only have one hand free, giving it an edge over the previous two products.
Another big benefit? This sock assist aid is compatible with nylon stockings! The rubber won’t rip the material and can be ultra-effective at gripping it. Getting nylons on and off the aid your first few times, however, could pose difficulties, so give yourself time to get used to the process!
Unfortunately, despite its compatibility with nylons and regular socks, compression socks are still out.
- One-handed operation.
- Choice of rope or handle.
- Can be used with nylon stockings.
- Incompatible with compression socks.
- Customers found it may break within six months.
4. Stauber Sock Aid/Shoe Horn
About: Stauber’s is the first aid on our list that lacks a cord, opting instead for a handle-based design.
The handle is 24 inches long, so it shouldn’t require too much bending, but taller individuals will still likely need to lean over, so this may not be the best option for larger men.
The handle’s grip is a plastic ring, which isn’t the mostergonomic design in the world. It leads down to a smooth, plastic area that you slip your sock onto by hooking it over the edge.
The Stauber aid also doubles as a shoehorn; the built-in guide goes down into your sock, and later your shoe. It works well for most foot sizes but may not accommodate the largest feet around.
The aid has some give, though, so you could probably squeeze in if your foot’s only a tiny fraction bigger than recommended.
A few customers found the product was too floppy for their liking. Others found it ineffective as they had to angle their feet strangely for it to work—but many state it takes a while to perfect the technique.
There are several videos online for its use with socks and shoes, so they may be of assistance if you’re struggling at first.
The aid is tall enough to accommodate knee-length and regular socks. It cannot handle compression socks, though.
- Doubles as a shoehorn.
- Flexible, but sturdy enough to stand on its own.
- Smooth material that won’t damage socks or skin.
- Not the best for larger feet or tall men.
- Awkward to maneuver at first – can take some getting used to.
5. BodyHealt Store Compression Stocking Aid
About: The BodyHealt Compression Stocking Aid is one of the few sock assist aids for compression socks. It has other unique features, too.
The main standout is that this sock aid is covered in terry cloth, providing a comfortable fabric to rest against your foot. The other core feature is the elasticated cords ending in easy-grip loop handles.
This sock aid works for more than compression socks, of course, but its fabric construction is what makes it ideal for compression socks. This also makes the aid perfect for sensitive skin, eliminating friction as you work the sock onto your foot.
Customers had minimal complaints, appreciating its compatibility with wide feet. But customers also encourage users to be careful, as the cloth can rip easily. They also had issues with the handles detaching after sharp tugs.
- Works with compression socks.
- Fabric construction eliminates friction.
- Great for wide feet.
- Tears easily.
- Handles may detach.
Sock Aid Alternatives: Other Options
Sometimes, to be independent, you need more help. A sock assist aid that doubles as a shoehorn is an excellent start, but what about dealing with your laced shoes?
There’s still some bending involved with the LaceUp, but it’s all within a limited range of mobility.
The LaceUp’s design ensures you’re leaning at the angle and slope that’s best for your body.
Most stools of this type only offer one height option. The LaceUp features two, for tying your shoes while sitting or standing. It’s an excellent product to keep in your bedroom or closet.
Customers young and old have used this for everything from tying their shoes to painting toenails. Most found it effective—once they got it assembled, which is a little tricky.
Once set up, though, customers were tying their shoes with “no difficulty.”
Our Top Pick for the Best Sock Aid for Elderly Seniors
Overall, we consider the best sock assist aid for seniors to be the RMS Deluxe Sock Aid, as it accommodates feet large and small, albeit suiting small a little less. Its cords are adjustable, its material is flexible yet sturdy, and the handles easy to grip.
It ticks every box on our “what to look out for” list.
If you primarily wear compression socks, then the BodyHealt Store Compression Stocking Aid is the only suitable product on our list. However, it fits an array of foot sizes, is made of safe materials and has plenty of flexibility.
The cords aren’t quite as good as on the RMS, but you’d still have difficulty finding a product to beat the BodyHealt as a compression socks Assist Aid.
Products like sock assists can aid independence and turn a daunting task for seniors and others with mobility issues into a straightforward part of your everyday routine.
Last update on 2021-02-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API