Wife not wearing socks and shoes

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by northumbrian_k, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    653
    Male
    Newcastle
    I visited my wife in her care home the other day and found that she wasn't wearing any socks or shoes. I managed to help her to put some on. My sister found the same when she visited the previous day, but could not persuade her to wear either socks or shoes.

    It doesn’t seem like much, but I am disappointed that she is being allowed to go round barefoot. She didn’t do this at home. She is not capable of dressing herself properly and I was hoping that the staff would by now be able to help her to put on clean underwear and socks every day and persuade her to wear shoes. I even thought that they might be able to get her to undress for bed but apparently they can’t. I know that she can be difficult if she does not want to dress or undress and that was one of my biggest challenges when she was at home. I had hoped that professional staff would be able to get round this.

    I’m not really sure what to do but don’t feel that it should be left to me or other visitors to dress her properly …
     
  2. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    Just a thought. I grew up in northern Australia and never wore shoes unless I was going to school or out somewhere. I still love feeling the floor in bare feet and frequently in our summer I ditch the footwear while at home.

    Perhaps she is enjoying the freedom of bare feet. And unless her feet are cold, does it really matter?
     
  3. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,674
    Female
    Scotland
    I like my bare feet too. A lot of elderly people have toenail fungal infection because their feet are constantly wrapped up and sweating. It does look more civilised in public though to have shoes and socks on so it is as well to let staff know you care about this. Maybe another thing that will improve with time.
     
  4. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    850
    Female
    Dorset
    Most of the time when I visit The Banjoman in his room he has no shoes or socks on and has no interest in wearing them. The one time he was downstairs in the lounge he was wearing sandals but no socks. I know he can be difficult about personal care so I am pleased if he seems to be wearing clean clothes!
    This is one of the reasons I haven’t taken my dogs in to see him yet as I am concerned they will trample all over his bare feet.
     
  5. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,664
    Female
    South coast
    Sometimes its best not to sweat the small stuff.
    Would she wear slippers?
     
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,674
    Female
    Scotland
    Just remembered that when John was in hospital in February all the elderly men in his ward were given those slipper socks which stop them tripping and falling. Easy to put on too..
     
  7. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    653
    Male
    Newcastle
    Thanks for your replies all. It does not seem as important this morning @canary and I don't want to get it out of proportion. I may have a quiet word with the staff to encourage my wife to wear shoes, at least when she goes into the garden and (obviously) if she is going out for a walk. Her behaviour seems to change and recur on an irregular cycle. She may have moved on to a different obsession this week.

    Much of the issue is my wife's tendency to pick up her things and put them in other rooms - I used to spend a lot of my time tracking things down at home - as well as picking up other people's stuff and putting it in her room. She has little concept of what is hers and was going around wearing my, many sizes too big, leather jacket the other day. I had made the mistake of putting it down for 30 seconds!

    In this way she has 'lost' 2 pairs of shoes and seems to have taken against a third pair, although I got her to wear them on Saturday, to the surprise of the staff. She has been seen wearing slippers but they weren't hers and were too big for her. She has more than 55 pairs of shoes at home - many rather unsuitable high-heeled jobs - so I have picked out some of her other favourite flat ones and will take them with me today. They'll probably get lost too!
     
  8. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    1,359
    Female
    I wonder, why does it matter? I hardly ever wear shoes indoors, I am always barefoot in summer. I've changed my views about what is appropriate for my mother - 'life rules' are completely different in a care home to outside life. My only concern about barefoot would be a practical one, I fairly often get injuries from hitting my feet against furniture. Good idea to ask the staff about it. They may just be picking their battles wisely.
     
  9. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    3,401
    south-east London
    When my husband was in a hospital dementia unit for several months most of the patients were walking around barefoot - not for want of staff trying to put non-slip socks or slippers on them.

    One of the staff told me that the extremities such as toes can become very sensitive and patients are forever pulling footwear off because of this - it's like an aggravating feeling of grit being in the slipper or sock, rather than pain as such.

    It didn't seem to affect my husband and he was happy enough to wear something on his feet - but he was definitely in the minority.
     
  10. Timebar

    Timebar Registered User

    Jun 13, 2019
    15
    Perhaps slippers could be the way forward as canary suggests. If it was my relative I wouldn't be too bothered when they were in their own room. But in communal areas with carpets or communal bathrooms/toilets I would be concerned about infection control. Flooring doesn't remain clean in residential care for very long!
     
  11. jugglingmum

    jugglingmum Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    4,998
    Female
    Chester
    My son tends to be barefoot, he will reluctantly wear slippers in the house in winter and only puts sock on to put shoes/trainers on.

    Dau and husband wear slippers most of the time in winter socks and barefoot in house in summer.

    I always wear slippers in summer, but do normally wear footwear in the house all year. When hot I am barefoot in the house and will go into garden and even cross road to car to get something out of it barefoot.

    When entering someone's house I would always take shoes off to be in socks or barefoot.

    So the carers might not be placing as much importance on it as you do.

    However if you think this would have been important to your wife pre dementia, and it isn't causing her unnecessary distress I do think that you should ask the staff to try and achieve this, however if there are other more important battles to fight then it might be best left.

    It is still relatively early days in the care home, and they might slowly persuade her to do things.

    Also maybe worth buying stick on labels for shoes so easily identifiable to staff/ other family if in wrong room.
     
  12. northumbrian_k

    northumbrian_k Registered User

    Mar 2, 2017
    653
    Male
    Newcastle
    #12 northumbrian_k, Jun 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
    She was dressed and ready to go out with her sister this morning - shoes already on - so we went off to the coffee shop. It is a bit daft because one of my bugbears at home was that she would never take her shoes off even after a dog walk on newly cut grass or mud, which then got trailed around the house. There may be some concern about injury or infection from wandering around barefoot but they seem relatively unlikely. I'll just suck it and see.
     
  13. Banjomansmate

    Banjomansmate Registered User

    Jan 13, 2019
    850
    Female
    Dorset

    A bit like dogs and children, always do the opposite when out visiting to what they insist on doing at home!
     

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