Even very healthy seniors will need to pay more attention to their feet as they age. A normal part of aging is the thinning of skin around the feet. This is what gives rise to the parody of the senior who says, “Oh, my aching feet!”
Yes, foot ache is going to be more common in people over 65. In addition to the lost skin buffer, there is a higher incidence of dry skin and dried out toenails among the elderly. If an elderly person spends too much time sitting and lying down, the loss of circulation to the feet will also cause problems.
Seniors are at greater risk of developing serious foot conditions such as athlete’s foot, hammertoe, in-grown toenails, calluses, and corns. The good news is that there are fairly easy treatments for most foot conditions. Preventing foot problems, however, will always be the gold standard.
Prevent foot problems with these steps
- Go barefoot. It should be noted that this will not work for seniors with diabetes. But for others, going barefoot or wearing flip flops allows feet to spread naturally with every step rather than being compressed. That means the blood flow to the feet remains good. And that prevents pain, chafing, and the corns and calluses that result from chafing.
- Measure feet. Adult feet change sizes much more often than people think. They can spread with daily exercise, and they can swell with heat or water retention. Make sure your parents measure their feet every time they go shoe shopping. Pay attention to width as well as length, and make sure the new shoes fit before leaving the store. This requires putting on the shoes and walking around the store for at least a minute.
- Ditch the fashion; go for comfort. Old age is definitely the time to ditch the high heels, forever, if at all possible, and go for good-fitting shoes. Rubber soles are really helpful to prevent falls, and memory foam insoles compensate for thinned foot padding.
- Keep the blood circulating. Exercise, even just slow walking, can drive more blood into the extremities, including the feet and toes.
- Clip toenails. Making sure toenails are well trimmed is essential for everyone, really, but in the elderly, it is paramount. Too long nails will make a good fitting pair of shoes painful to move around in. And your parents can’t easily get in-grown nails if they are kept nice and short.
- Practice good foot hygiene. For people with a history of athlete’s foot and poor circulation in their feet, daily bathing in warm water will prevent fungus from developing and also open the veins to relieve pain.
Home care can provide vital services to senior feet
Many seniors have difficulty tending to their feet. This could be a matter of obesity, poor circulation, or any condition that makes it difficult to stretch the hands all the way to the feet.
This is where home care can provide really essential services to seniors still living at home. Most home care professionals are highly skilled at helping the elderly bathe their feet and trim nails that elude care.
Home care aides can also help your parents shop for the right shoes and reassure them that the shoes are both comfortable and attractive. Finally, home care professionals will also encourage your parent to take a walk, even if just in the safety of his or her own home.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Home Care in Colorado, TX please contact the caring staff at Viv Health Care Services today at. (832) 871-4223