They are the first things we use in the morning when we get up and the last thing we use when we go to bed at night. Of course, I am talking about our feet. Even though we use them in some fashion during virtually of our waking hours, we don’t think of them until they start to hurt. As a result, we don’t take care of them as much as they really need.
The elderly especially require attention to foot care . As we age, the years of being on our feet really begin to take their toll. The natural cushion and padding on our feet wear away. The tendons in the foot begin to stretch out which makes the foot wider and flatter. Another thing to consider is that problems with diabetes and the cardiovascular system often materialize in the feet. Luckily, some basic foot care for seniors can go a long way to keep things healthy and comfortable. The first thing to consider is the shoe. Do they fit properly? Are they too tight or too loose? Are they comfortable to walk around in? Many seniors wear shoes that do not fit properly and cause discomfort. A simple change of shoes can mean the world to foot care in the elderly. Also, make sure that the socks are not too tight. Another important thing is keeping the feet moisturized. This is especially true in the winter when the dry air will wreck havoc on the skin. Cracked feet can be painful. Pay special attention to the heels.
Alternatively, keeping the feet dry will prevent athlete’s foot and other fungal infections that can plague seniors. Sprinkling the feet, socks, and shoes with powder can prevent these irritating infections from spreading. A few other foot care problems that plague the elderly include:
- Hammer Toe– This occurs when the toe permanently bends as a result of the shortening of the tendon. It can be painful to walk so selecting shoes with plenty of toe room can help with hammer toe. In extreme cases, it can be fixed through surgery.
- Bunions– Especially common in elderly patients, bunions are often caused by years of wearing shoes that are too small. A bunion is a bony knot at the base of the big toe that forces that toe to push up against the next one. Shoe inserts or other orthotic devices can ease the pain of bunions. Cortisone shots may help in extreme cases.
- Toenails– The more common toenail issues afflicting seniors include ingrown toenails and fungal infections. This can best be avoided through proper toenail cutting and cleaning.
Good foot care will make your loved one more comfortable and happy. Don’t neglect it!
At iCare, our Nurse at Home caregivers pay special attention to the foot care of our clients. Enquire with us for a more detailed outline of our services! We also offer Home Care services for seniors and those in need. Liked this article and want to get them on a monthly basis in your inbox? Subscribe to our newsletter