Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Elderly Couple On Christmas Day

My parents invited an elderly couple over for dinner on Christmas day. They both removed their shoes on entering, despite my mother's protests that "We are not posh."

This couple run the trailer park (which in the UK has no class connotations) on which they live, so I suppose they are used to their shoes being muddy.

Often elderly people are thought of as being unable or unwilling to remove their shoes, but this is not always the case. The gentleman was diabetic. Some medical practitioners (particularly in the USA) give quite rigorous advice to diabetics, encouraging them never to go without shoes. Not all medical practioners take this drastic line and not all diabetics follow it either. Not all people with diabetes develop problems with their feet, though they need to make sure they look after them. The NHS website has a link to Diabetes UK, which gives advice about footcare, but does not insist on the 'wear shoes all the time' rule. It says:

'Fortunately, you do not usually need to do anything very different from other people – general advice on footcare applies to you.'

I thought it interesting that my mother though having a shoes-off rule was 'posh.' Generally people seem to think requiring shoes off is 'tacky.' Nevertheless, when she visited some relatives over the weekend, she took some slippers with her to wear, so I am obviously having an impact.


Moderate Mouse said...

My father's a diabetic. During the nine-and-a-half months when I was living with him in 2009, he went about a lot of his business in our then apartment in slippers, socks, or barefeet. (And that was just BEFORE had established a rule in the spring that neither one of us would wear shoes in the apartment anymore if we could help it. When said rule was established, I settled for slippers. Before then, I was usually in sneakers whether or not I had anywhere to go that day.) He said that his reason for not wearing shoes at home if he didn't have to was because he had back problems and having them off at home was better for his balance. (When out in public, he'd generally use a walking stick.) I have not seen him, let alone lived with him, since October of that year when he to undergo a couple of diabetes-imposed amputations (left leg almost to the knee, followed by a toe on the right foot a week later, and eventually another toe on said foot...he's got prosthetics in place of these parts now) and I had returned to my mom, so I don't know whether or not he wears shoes around the house now. Whether or not going shoeless necessarily contributed to the damage, I'll never know.

I don't know if I will ever turn up diabetic myself or not (as genetics threaten me with this). If I do, I'm hoping I can get away with slippers (a route that I opted for as of March)as that's what I generally opt for when I'm going to be doing something active at home, such as housework. (My grandma on my mom's side of the family is also diabetic but will wear slippers if she has no intention of going anywhere. My grandma on my dad's side has no problem being up and about her house barefooted or sock-footed. So there are at least SOME elderly people out there who are willing to go shoeless.)

Bob said...

was your mom spending the night or just visitng for the day?
Did the snow that you have had play into her decision to bring slippers?

Celestial Fundy said...

She was just visiting. She might have been influenced by the snow. She said "I don't want to let Matt down." Though I don't think this was meant to be taken altogether seriously.

Bob said...

well good for you...change occurs one person at a time!