Why residents constantly lose their shoes in long-term care

4

Have more questions and don't know where to turn?


Join our community and get access to monthly support calls, an online chat forum for questions, and even monthly 1:1 calls with Rachael! CLICK HERE for more information.

I’ve met some of the best people while working in long-term care. While there are plenty of residents’ families that I wish I hadn’t had to deal with, there are many more that are absolutely wonderful. I was talking to one woman the other day whose mother is in our care.

“Some people get upset about the silliest, littlest things,” I was saying. “People always come to me and say things like, ‘Why are my mom’s shoes missing again! This is ridiculous.’”

She laughed. “That’s a pretty minor issue.”

“I know,” I smiled. “And the shoes always turn up. Residents just kick their shoes off all the time, and everybody’s shoes look the same around here.”

It was then that I realized something. Shoes were truly the item that went missing the most frequently. It made sense, though, why these residents were always ditching their sneakers: they were inside the “house” most of the day.

How many times has your mom told you not to track mud in the house? For my residents that are more cognitively impaired, especially, wearing shoes indoors must seem like an abomination. They don’t realize that they live in an apartment-like setting, and that it may be good to wear shoes in the hallway. Shoes help steady our residents and protect their feet. To people that have dementia, though, they may simply think, “Hey, I’m inside the house.”

We’re constantly putting our residents’ shoes back on their feet. It makes sense, though, that they’d be kicking them off. The long-term care community is their home! It’s the place they spend all of their time. Why would they want to have shoes on 24/7? The first thing I do when I get home is take off my shoes.

To families moving loved ones to long-term care I suggest this: provide different shoe options, including ones that work well for outdoor trips. Label all of your loved one’s shoes. But, most of all, provide some comfortable indoor options, even if that option just includes non-slip socks.

Liked it? Take a second to support Rachael Wonderlin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

You're not alone!

Get personal support from Rachael and connect with other Caregivers when you join our community.

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.


When you sign up, you’ll also get access to Rachael’s weekly newsletter so that you can get her top tips, links to new content as soon as it’s released, and special offers directly in your inbox! We’ll never sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart

Have questions?

Book a Dementia Detective
call and talk to a DBD expert!