Paraplegic demonstrates putting on and removing shoes.

When an accident takes away the use of your limbs, it’s time to get creative!

Daily tasks are more difficult when you’re a paraplegic. Something as simple as putting shoes on takes much more time.

While occupational therapists teach skills for everyday living, it’s a springboard. Beyond that, each person finds a system that works for them.

The shoes that fit my husband Arthur before the accident were no longer easy to slip on. They didn’t open up enough to give his feet room to slip on. Additionally, Arthur’s feet are often swollen from hanging down in his wheelchair so he needed a pair of shoes that were wide enough.

We looked for shoes that were multi-functional; that could be worn with a suit to a wedding or out for a casual dinner. Arthur couldn’t tell if the shoes were comfortable or not since he has no feeling in his feet. Instead, we looked for shoes that slip on and off easily.

We found a pair of black shoes with Velcro that work perfectly! They give him enough of a gap to slip the shoe on and they close easily.

The right pair of shoes enables my husband to be more independent, a boon for my husband and relief for me, as his caregiver.

The video shows the process my husband, a T-11 complete, worked out for putting on his shoes and slippers and removing them. He uses a dressing stick and a grabber as aids. As you’ll see in the video, Arthur anchors his leg on his opposite knee with his elbow so his leg doesn’t fly off.

How a paraplegic puts on his shoes and socks.

Just like a child learning to walk, with practice, the skills get easier.

We hope this video educates and inspires you!

Please let us know if you have another way to put on shoes!

Questions or comments? We’d love to hear them below!

Angela DiCicco

The Italian Grandmama

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