As people age and enter their golden years, it is normal for daily life to become more difficult. Even if an older person has no health conditions, your body will become exhausted and not like it used to be.
For example, something as simple as standing for long periods of time may be harder for older adults to do. Standing for long periods of time tires a person's muscles and blocks blood flow. This is especially worrisome for older adults, who have an increased risk of developing blood clots. However, seniors have things they need to get done at home, such as cooking, cleaning, and running errands.
In such cases, older adults can use compression stockings to relieve pressure. Compression stockings help with blood circulation, making it easier for older adults to stand up to more stress, weight, and work.
If you have an older loved one who would benefit from using compression stockings, you and your loved one should take the time to research the different types of compression stockings available. Generally, compression stockings will help older adults, but it is important that they use the one that best suits their specific needs.
Read on to learn more about the advantages of compression stockings, how they work, and how to choose the best one for the seniors in your life.
Simply put, compression socks are elastic socks specially designed to fit and gently squeeze your legs. Gradient compression socks are an alternative variety that are tighter around the ankle and looser higher up the leg. Compression sleeves are just tubes, no foot material. Wearing compression socks is for comfort, enhance athletic performance, and help prevent frailty.
How do compression socks work?
Compression stockings help blood defy gravity and move to the heart by compressing vein walls and leg tissue. This helps prevent muscle and joint inflammation, swelling, and pain. In addition, this also helps limit the possibility of blood clots because blood is encouraged to circulate.
Socks should relieve the wearer's pain. Thus, for older adults, this relief can provide or maintain independence as they can better handle activities that they may have previously struggled with or were unable to perform on their own.
What factors differentiate between different types of compression stockings?
1. Compression type
There are three main types of compression socks/socks:
Anti-embolic stockings: These stockings are for people with limited mobility to reduce the likelihood of deep vein thrombosis and provide progressive compression.
Graded Compression: Graded compression socks provide graded compression. The lowest pressure is on the top of the sock, while the highest pressure is on the area that supports the ankle and calf. So as you get to the lower part of the sock, the pressure builds up gradually.
Non-Medical Support: Non-medical compression stockings provide a uniform level of pressure, so the highest and lowest pressures are the same. These do not require a prescription. Also, they provide less pressure than medical compression socks, but are available at drugstores.
2. Compression level
Compression socks come in a variety of compression levels, as low as 8 mmHg and as high as 50 mmHg or higher. Lower numbers are milder compression levels, and hardness increases with the number. In general, people with more severe conditions that affect circulation require higher levels of stress.
For older adults, compression levels of 15-20 mmHg and 20-30 mmHg are standard recommendations. However, it's best to consult your older loved one's doctor to determine the stress level that's best for them, as everyone's needs are different.
3. Sock style
While the term may be "compression socks," not all of these are actually socks. There are different styles of compression socks to choose from.
Available in ankle length, knee length and longer compression socks. Some socks have completely closed toes, while others have open toes. There are also compression socks that have zippers on the side to make it easier for the individual to put on and take off. Some compression socks aren't even socks, but sleeves that cover the calf instead of the foot.
When considering which style of socks is best for your senior, you should pay attention to the material used to make the socks. Spandex, nylon and lycra are often used to provide compression, while polyester and cotton can be added for comfort and breathability. However, you need to monitor whether the socks are affecting your loved one's skin.
The benefits of compression socks
One of the popular benefits of compression stockings is their ability to maintain overall fitness and stay as active as possible. From there, addressing persistent joint pain and discomfort, arguably the most common pain older adults face, greatly reduces mobility.
For example, people with varicose veins experience anything from mild but constant throbbing to excruciating pain. Compressing the soft parts of the leg can help relieve pain and provide an extra layer of protection.
prevent blood clots
While people of all ages can develop blood clots, the likelihood increases with age and reduced mobility. Older adults often experience painful symptoms that limit their mobility, and poor circulation subsequently increases the likelihood of blood clots. Blood clots are known to be mobile and can travel throughout the body and stay in places we don't need, such as in the lungs or brain. Compression stockings can help reduce this risk by applying light pressure to the calves and feet.
Independence is one of the most coveted elements of life. Something we passionately pursued as teenagers and stuck with years later. However, many older adults lose this independence, which is difficult to accept and even leads to depression or a range of related medical problems. People who have been active throughout their lives can find it difficult to find new ways to continue on this path if they have pain or discomfort in their legs. Compression stockings can help you feel more alive, and even restoring some independence can go a long way toward improving many other areas of your life.
Helps with Calf Problems
Did you know that compression stockings are one of the most effective treatments for calf problems? They do this by increasing blood flow without the risk of common complications. Gradient compression stockings are especially helpful in preventing swelling of the lower leg (called peripheral edema). They can also reduce vertigo that occurs when you stand too fast.
easy to wear
Another benefit of compression socks is that they are very easy and comfortable to wear. They also come in many different variations, so you can choose a pair that is perfect for your particular scene and works just fine. Another great advantage of compression stockings for many older adults is the freedom to walk farther and farther without pain.
While these versatile socks are one of the easiest treatments, it's still important to choose a style that provides the right amount of pressure. Compression stockings should be firm but not restrictive or difficult to remove. Of course, get too loose and you lose the benefit. Socks come in different sizes from calf to knee, and you should try a few times for the best results.