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My mums constant swollen ankles

Mother goose

Registered User
Jul 5, 2012
Co.Sligo, Ireland
My mum has been in NH 10 weeks. She is taking medication for the Alzheimer's, blood pressure, cholesterol, anti-depressant & for the last 3 weeks has been on aspirin. 3 weeks ago she had a mini stroke & the GP put her on aspirin. She was unwell for 11 days & thankfully she's well again now, but her memory is bad. She doesn't remember being unwell which is great for her, but was a huge worry for me.

Every time I visit my mum, her legs are swollen above her socks. Some days below the socks too. They look like an elastic band has been put around them. I have bought her looser socks, but they make no difference. With her bad memory, she doesn't remember to put her feet up & rest her legs. She did have the problem before going in NH, but not as bad as the last 5/6 wks. Does anyone know if you can buy socks with a loose top?


Registered User
Jan 10, 2014
My mom has the same problem and tried pop socks but they didn't work so now we use bed socks which seem to be the best solution so far. Also making sure she puts her feet up when we are there.


Registered User
Dec 22, 2013
The answer is yes, there are special socks that you can buy especially for people with swollen legs/feet but I'd get her checked again by the gp as there are several medical conditions that lead to swollen feet/ankles and it may be her medications need a bit of fine tuning.


Registered User
May 21, 2014
Check out Cosyfeet which have a range of extra roomy socks and footwear. I agree though that she should see a doctor first.


Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
North Manchester
Do a Google search on diabetic socks

Check whether or not they will stand up to NH washing, it may prove difficult to prevent them being washed even if you say you will collect them and wash them yourselves.

Mother goose

Registered User
Jul 5, 2012
Co.Sligo, Ireland
Thank you all for your helpful replies.
One the nurses said, it could be oedema. My mum was seen by the NH GP when she had the stroke & I mentioned her ankles then. Said she didn't want to reduce her blood pressure tablets at that time, as could cause more problems.

When I visited my mum this afternoon, her left hand was dark purple with bruising. I asked what happened, said she knocked it on the bedroom door handle yesterday. I looked closer at her hand & the bruising went through to the Palm of her hand too.

She has always bruised easily, but never like that. One of the staff said, as she's taking aspirin to thin the blood, she'll bruise more easily. I did see one of the nurses this afternoon & got her to look at it. Said she'll get the GP to check it & her ankles again, when she goes in.


Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
Dad always has swollen feet and legs, he walks a lot in his NH, doesn't understand the need to rest or put feet up, he was recently in hospital for 10 days and because he was hardly walking his feet and legs went back to normal size which I haven't seen for well over a year. Some time ago I bought online loose top socks which are also used apparently for people with diabetes (they were something like 6 for £7.99) which can cause swelling. I also bought the next size up for Dad to make sure the feet were also loose and in case they shrunk in the wash. Dad's legs previously would have about an half inch indent where his normal sock elastic tops was too tight, these are now fine, seem to wash in the NH laundry ok and although don't always stay right up his leg at least now not tight.


Registered User
Jun 15, 2014
Afternoon Mothergoose,
My advice is to communicate with the GP yourself, it will alleviate your anxiety. All sorts of things can cause ankle swelling but from what you describe 'odeama' can be caused by heart failure, basically the heart is not pumping fluid around the body has effectively as it should. Sometimes medication to help the body get rid of excess fluid is prescribed.
Take care


Registered User
Jan 11, 2012
my mum was sleeping in a chair instead of her bed when she first went to her current nursing home. her ankles became very swollen. now she has a bed to sleep in her ankles are back slim and trim. It may be a sign of congestive heart failure or water retention but check she is sleeping in a bed and getting her feet up.

Mother goose

Registered User
Jul 5, 2012
Co.Sligo, Ireland
Thank you all for your kind replies. My mum doesn't realise either, the need to rest her legs. I've bought her 2 footstools, one for her bedroom in NH & one to leave in the day room. The staff said to put her name on them, as some residents will think they belong to them. My mum was delighted with both, just hope she remembers to use them. As we left her room to go the visitors room, she said, close the door as someone might steal it. Isn't it sad with Alzheimer's, that they think like that.

I also managed to get loose top socks in our local shop. We live in Southern Ireland & no M&S near us, only Dublin. The shop is similar to M&S, so I was pleased to find them there. Thank you, for those who suggested where I could buy the socks. I saw the head nurse yesterday, said she had checked my mum's blood pressure & was normal. I didn't get to chat to her, as she was very busy. If it stays normal & she's taking blood pressure tablets, does it mean her heart is ok? I wish I knew more about it.

I also feel bad as some days when I visit my mum, I find I can't deal with sitting in silence. I talk to her, but most of time, she just says oh. She never has much to say only things like, you've got big veins in your hands same as me. & I get that on every visit. Some days I can deal with it, other days I can't & I feel guilty. Then I saw a comment on another section who said, the ones who do nothing, are the ones who should feel guilty. That is so true, as myself & my husband have looked after my mum & all her needs the last 3 years before she went into NH. My brother lives in England & only seen my mum maybe 6/7 times in last 7 years.


Registered User
Mar 26, 2013
"visiting" time to see loved ones can be trying if there is not much conversation - would your mum play card games - I spent several happy hours with my late mum in her care home playing dominoes although she could not remember what she had eaten or whether she had had her dinner she was a still whizz still at dominoes


Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
My legs started to swell after hip operation. Some blood pressure pills, but not all can also cause this. Get gp to check, I should think.

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