Finding the right shoes can be a challenge for anyone, but when Parkinson’s disease is involved, it can become even harder. This condition affects not just motor skills but balance and coordination, making it essential to find shoes that give proper support and stability. An appropriate pair of shoes makes it much easier to navigate your environment and enjoy the activities you love.
By choosing shoes that provide the proper balance to help combat how Parkinson’s affects your gait, you can narrow your choices until you can make the right choice for you or your loved one.
For someone with Parkinson’s disease, it helps to choose a pair that offers stability, flexibility, and support, with a broader base and non-slip soles.
Parkinson’s disease is a long-term progressive condition affecting all aspects of your life. While purchasing the right pair of shoes can help, this condition often leads to needing memory care or assisted living so you or your loved one can receive the help and support they need.
What is Parkinson’s?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder affecting both your brain and your movement. This is caused by the degeneration of certain nerve cells in the brain that controls movement. As these nerve cells become damaged or die off, they can produce a lack of dopamine, affecting neurotransmitters in your brain and impairing your body’s ability to communicate with itself and move about.
In a healthy body, dopamine works closely with certain neurotransmitters to help coordinate the nerves and muscle cells used for movement. However, if your dopamine levels are too low, this sense of communication is disrupted. This leads to:
- Slowed movement
- Balance problems
- Coordination problems
It’s estimated that this condition affects over 1.5 million Americans.
How Parkinson’s Affects How You Walk
Parkinson’s disease can significantly impact a person’s ability to walk due to the motion and motor control problems it causes. This can lead to a series of problems with your gait, including shuffling and starting and stopping movement. It also can seriously impact your balance and coordination, making it difficult to remain upright and avoid falling.
A common problem with this condition is shuffling. Taking smaller, shuffling steps instead of a normal stride can make walking long distances difficult or keeping up with people around you, increasing your risk of falling.
It directly affects your balance and increases your risk of falling because your muscles’ ability to coordinate and communicate is interrupted. People with Parkinson’s disease also may experience a stooped posture, which can throw off their balance and make it harder to remain upright.
These problems can make walking a challenge. However, this can be improved by wearing shoes that provide proper support, stability, and flexibility.
What Shoes Can Help With Parkinson’s?
The right shoes can make all the difference in the world. Due to the nature of Parkinson’s disease, it can severely affect your ability to walk and navigate the world comfortably, so it helps to look for a pair of shoes that directly help or solve the complications the condition can lead to.
It helps to look for shoes that have:
- A wide base to improve balance.
- Non-slip soles to reduce the risk of slipping, losing balance, or falling.
- Proper arch support to reduce pain in the feet and joints
- Comfortable cushioning for maximum comfort, support, and pain reduction
It also helps to look for shoes with features that make them easy to put on and take off. This is one of the most important features to look for in a shoe since Parkinson’s can make tying laces or pulling on tight shoes more difficult. Shoes that can be slipped on or have adjustable straps that don’t require complex movement can be much more comfortable and easier to wear.
Buying shoes with these features can help combat how Parkinson’s disease complicates movement.
How to Help Someone With Parkinson’s
While purchasing a proper pair of shoes can make daily navigation easier for a person with Parkinson’s, it can’t solve all the problems this condition causes. Parkinson’s disease is a highly complex neurological disorder that often requires a high level of care.
Here at Fox Trail Memory Care in South River, we understand how important the ability to navigate your environment safely is for a high quality of life. Our communities are designed to be easy to navigate, and our on-site teams are trained to help every resident with the complications caused by their medical conditions. Schedule a tour with us today, or contact us to learn how to help a loved one with Parkinson’s.