Elegant footwear for diabetics


Old is Gold Store is now dealing with a range of elegant footwear for people with diabetes or those suffering from arthritis, spurs, heel pain, flat feet, foot ulcers, etc.  Manufactured by a company called Dyna, these sandals are elegant, soft, comfortable and easy to slip on and slip off.

They look good and keep your feet protected from getting hurt.  Men sizes range from 6 – 13 and ladies sizes from 2 – 9.  To check out the footwear, click here.

Heel Pain Footwear
Designed with silicone padding at the heel to absorb shock and sheer forces
Specially designed foot bed redistributes plantar pressure

Flat Feet Footwear
Biomechanically designed
Total contact Insole with medial arch support which takes the shape of the foot
Improves the natural alignment and function of the foot and ankle
Moulded insole with thermoplastic reinforcement for rigidity and support
Prevents excess pronation

Arthritic Footwear
Made of total contact MCR insole with built in soft arch support
Increases the surface area of contact and redistributes plantar pressure
Reduce the excess pressure at the leggy prominences
Improves the natural alignment and function of foot and ankle


Foot care for diabetics

Over 60% of diabetics suffer from some form of nerve damage.  This is called diabetic neuropathy. People with diabetes can, over time, develop nerve damage throughout the body. Some people with nerve damage have no symptoms. Others may have symptoms such as pain, tingling, or numbness-loss of feeling-in the hands, arms, feet, and legs. Nerve problems can occur in every organ system, including the digestive tract, heart, and sex organs.

People with diabetes can develop nerve problems at any time, but risk rises with age and longer duration of diabetes. The highest rates of neuropathy are among people who have had diabetes for at least 25 years. Diabetic neuropathies also appear to be more common in people who have problems controlling their blood glucose, also called blood sugar, as well as those with high levels of blood fat and blood pressure and those who are overweight.

The most common type of diabetic neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy, which essentially affects hands, arms, legs, feet and toes.  In many cases people lose sensation in these area and hence injuries to these parts of the body, especially feet and toes go unnoticed, leading to infections which could eventually result in amputation, septicemia and even death.

The importance of foot care for diabetics cannot be stressed enough.  Here are some precautions to take:

1. Inspect your foot daily (Visual surveillance of extremities(VSE))
2. Wash foot in lukewarm water
3. Use correct footwear
4. Do not walk bare foot
5. Do not walk with ulcer in the foot
6. Get periodic foot exams
7. Do not sit with legs crossed
8. Do not trim corns and calluses
9. Do not apply heating and cooling pads on legs
10. Cut nails carefully

In addition, there is whole range of special footwear available today that can keep your foot safe and free of infection.  We have already covered some of the silver yarn based socks.  You can read more about them here.

So what do you look for in footwear (shoes or sandals), if you are a diabetic?  The diagram below gives you a quick overview of some the important features necessary in prophylactic footwear:

Click here to buy prophylactic footwear specially designed for diabetics and people with arthritis.

Anti-bacterial properties of silver yarn

Earlier today I added 3 more products into our catalog.  These are socks made of cotton with a mix of silver yarn (actual 99.9% pure silver, according to the product literature) meant specifically for diabetics who are in general susceptible to infections.

As I read (and wrote) about the special anti-bacterial properties of the silver in these socks, my skeptical nature raised a flag – “Is silver yarn really anti-bacterial in nature? Is this true?”  I had never heard of this before (never having looked for such information before, that is not surprising! :)), and I wanted to make sure that I was not propagating some “woo woo” pseudo-science just to sell a product.  So I did what most lay people do – I google’d it!  And here is what I found:

Silver yarn (usually wool or cotton yarn coated with silver) is actual highly anti-bacterial in nature.  Not only that, it has long-term effectiveness and remains so even after multiple washes of the fabric.  The Journal of Applied Polymer Science has a paper titled “Silver-coated wool yarns with durable antibacterial properties” that effectively states the following:

The use of fabrics with antibacterial properties for commodity applications can provide numerous advantages such as a reduction in the release of odors due to bacterial proliferation in sweat and a reduction in the development of skin hypersensitivity reactions due to microorganisms trapped into the fabrics. Silver is one of the most effective antibacterial agents used for the high degree of biocompatibility and for its long-term antibacterial effectiveness against many different bacterial strains. In this study, an innovative technique for the deposition of nanosilver antibacterial coating on woolen fiber was analyzed. In particular, fabrics woven with different percentages of silver-treated fibers were compared to determine the best ratio preserving the antibacterial activity and optimizing the cost-effectiveness of the final product. Scanning electron microscopy revealed a uniform distribution of silver nanoclusters on the fibers. The impressive silver coating stability and durability were demonstrated after several washing cycles through thermogravimetric analysis. The antimicrobial activity of the silver-treated substrates was evaluated by antibacterial tests on Escherichia coli. A very strong antibacterial activity was found even in presence of the lower silver content; therefore, a blend of coated and uncoated fibers is proposed for practical applications. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2012

So if you are a diabetic and want to protect your feet from infection go ahead and buy these socks for constant wear with the firm knowledge that the silver yarn in them truly has significant anti-bacterial properties.  You can buy them here.

As a company with the welfare of the senior citizen being central to our raison d’etre, we are very keen on ensuring that genuine, verifiable information is available on our site at all times.  If you find any matter that seems less than genuine, please write to us at info@oldisgoldstore.com and we will ensure that we will either provide material to support the matter or modify/remove the incorrect/unverifiable matter.  Thanks in advance for all your support.

Don’t wait for your first break – get Anti-slip mats

October 20th was the World Osteoporosis day.  Their slogan is “Stop at one.  Make your first break the last”.   According to some studies, 1 in 5 older people die within a year of their first fracture and 1 in 3 become dependent on others within a year of their first fracture. Since many older people are prone to Osteoporosis, with regular checkups, improved diet, calcium supplements, and care, even the first fall and fracture can be avoided.

One of the most common causes for a fracture we come across among older people is a fall in the bathroom.  This is not very surprising give that Indian bathrooms are perennially wet and slippery.  However, with a little effort this can be changed.   Reviewed below is a product that is fairly inexpensive and easy to install, clean and maintain and will probably give the elders at home several years of independent living.

Anti-slip mats

Called a snake mat or an anti-slip mat, this is a mat that is commonly used in public wet areas such as around swimming pools and is extremely good at keeping the surface dry while letting the water drain away.  The mat comes in rolls 15 mtrs in length and about 4 ft wide, but can be cut to fit most bathrooms.  The material is heavy enough so it does not curl up and trip anyone and light enough to be easily lifted and rolled up for cleaning.  Cleaning the mat is also fairly simple – just spraying water through a nozzle with some pressure should do.  Click here to buy.

Making your bathroom senior friendly and safe

If you have perused a copy of house beautiful or homes and gardens or some such magazine, you would have seen photos of wonderfully spacious, carpeted, dry and glistening bathrooms.

Unfortunately Indian bathrooms are a completely different matter.  Most of them are small and ill-lit, have narrow doorways, have the slipperiest tiles on the floors and walls and are almost always wet.

No surprise then that most of the accidents that happen at home happen in the bathroom, especially where senior citizens are involved.

However, with a few changes and some precaution, your bathroom can be made safe (though they will never look like the picture above) and usable. The changes we are recommending here are cost effective and do not require any major remodeling or masonry work.

1.  Remove the latch/lock on the inside of the bathroom.  

Most Indian bathrooms have a strong latch on the inside that ensures that nobody can gain access to the bathroom from outside when the bathroom is already occupied.  With elderly people in the house, it is very likely that sooner or later, the person inside may not be able to open the door by themselves and will need assistance from outside.  In such cases, the only option is to breakdown the door and this means that any help that can be rendered will be delayed.

One easy way to circumvent this problem is to remove the latch on the inside and replace it with a typical aircraft toilet door vacant/engaged type of door latch.  This allows people to quickly enter the bathroom if required as well as ensures that people know when a bathroom is occupied.  This will cost very little and could save a life next time an elderly family member has a dizzy spell or falls down in the bathroom.

2.  Use anti-slip mats where necessary.

Indian toilets and bathrooms are always wet and this is an indisputable fact.  On top of that most bathrooms have tiled floors that make the bathroom floor cold and slippery all the time.  One simple way to ensure people do not slip and fall is to cover the wet areas with an anti-slip mat.  These mats are similar to those used around swimming pools and so are designed to keep the top dry while allowing water to flow freely through the gaps.

A simple device that ensures that you don’t have to lay a new floor for your bathroom, something that can not only prove costly but will also put your bathroom out of commission for a week or so.

The mats are in-expensive (at about Rs. 170 per sqft), are easy to remove and clean and extremely durable.  The mats stop people from slipping even when there are minor/major oil spills or talcum powder spills (both of which are deadly when combined with water on any hard flooring).

3.  Convert Indian toilets into western toilets.

They say that sitting on your haunches is the fastest and best way to evacuate your bowels and personally, I quite agree.  However, as people get older, it gets more and more difficult to go on ones haunches and the western commode become more appealing.  However, breaking the Indian toilet and replacing it with a western one can be a costly and time consuming process.  While the best course of action is to bite the bullet and make the change, if budget and time are constrained, there are multiple other options in the form of Indian to western converters.

Option A:  A simple converter that can be placed on top of the existing Indian commode.  Not the most elegant solution, but an effective stop gap arrangement.  Could cost as little as Rs. 900.

Option B:  A height adjustable powder coated or chrome plated western commode with pail that is clean and effective and easy to wash and maintain.  Several variants are available and cost anywhere between Rs. 1500 to Rs. 4000.  You can buy it here.

4.   Install grab bars and railings.

The next issue faced by senior people is support when sitting or getting up from the toilet seat.  Many times, the walls around the toilet are tiles and smooth offering no assistance to the elderly by way of something to hold on to.  At other times, the walls themselves are too far away from the closet to be of any assistance.  Many western closets are also very low making it very difficult for people with weak knees when sitting down and getting up.  There are a few simple devices that can make life easy under such circumstances.

A.  A toilet raiser.  This is a small hard-plastic device that sits on top of the commode and increases the overall height of the commode by 8cm to 13cm.  It can be easily removed and washed after use or completely removed when not in use.  Such a toilet raiser will put you back by about Rs. 1500 – much cheaper than ripping out the low commode and replacing it with a taller one!  Click here to buy.

B.  Grab bars.  These are stainless steel bars that you can affix to the walls around the toilet bowl.  When installed at the right height, they can provide additional support allowing people to use their hands and upper torso to take the weight off their knees when getting up or sitting down.  Would cost you between Rs. 500 to Rs. 1500 to install a pair of grab bars.  Click here to buy.

C. Toilet safety railings. In some bathrooms, the walls may be too far away from the toilet bowl and hence having grab bars conveniently placed may not be an option.  Under such circumstances, the best option is to go for a toilet safety railing. It requires no wall and can be fixed to the toilet bowl itself with just a couple of screws (the provision for such screws is already available on most of the common toilet bowls to accommodate the toilet lid.  So you can easily fix these railings yourself without having to call a plumber or a carpenter.  Will cost you about Rs. 2500 – Rs. 3000.

5. Install a health faucet.

Many Indian bathrooms have a tap close to the floor with a tiny bucket to assist in washing oneself. To use this, a person has to bend down and straighten many times in the process of washing oneself.  A health faucet is a good option that makes the cleaning process efficient, thorough and easy.  A health faucet is a tube connected to a tap at one end with a hand-held nozzle at the other end.  The nozzle can be pressed to release water and it can also be used to regulate the pressure of the water jet.  Will cost about Rs. 500 – Rs. 1500 to buy one.

6. Get a shower chair and a hand shower installed.

Having a bath, especially with hot water can be tiring for the elderly.  A shower chair and a hand shower can allow people to have a leisurely bath while seated. The shower chair shown here is a very light weight hard plastic and aluminium chair that is easy to carry and wash.  Its shape also provides access to different parts of the body so bathing a patient also becomes easy.  The chair is also height adjustable and costs about Rs. 2000.

Indian to western commode converters – Review

In most of the older and more traditional Indian houses, the commodes are Indian style commodes that require you to go on your haunches.  While the Indian-style commode has its advantages, as we grow older, the western commode becomes far easier to use.

While re-modelling the toilet is the best thing to do, it may not always be immediately possible to do so for various reasons such as the time taken, the dust, extended presence of workers in the house and budget.  Under such circumstances it may be wise to use one of the portable western closets or converters as a stop-gap measure or even a permanent solution.

There are several models available out of which the one below is quite popular.  It is called the Rainbow-2 from Karma, a company head-quartered in Taiwan with a presence in over 45 countries around the world.

Indian to western toilet converter

Fold-able, portable western commode

Buy Now

It is an elegant model with a silvery powder coated metal frame with high-grade plastic for the toilet seat, bucket and backrest.

It is fold-able and hence easy to store as well as carry with you on travel.  When not in use, it can be quickly folded without requiring any tools and shoved under the bed or behind the door.

The whole apparatus is easy to clean and maintain.  The bucket rests on a slider making it easy to remove and put back.  Once the bucket is removed, the waste can be dumped into the available toilet and any residual excreta can be washed under the tap or using a health faucet.

This apparatus can also be used as a toilet raiser in case you already have a western closet but find the original seat to be too low for you to comfortably sit and get up.

Care should be taken to keep it in a dry environment when not in use, not splash water on it or keep it wet for extended periods of time and wipe clean after every use.

When used and maintained properly this western commode can give you an extended period of painless service.