Foot pain can be a recurring challenge for many seniors. If your ageing loved one has foot disorders that are interfering with his or her daily routine, there are steps he or she can take to alleviate some of the pain and discomfort. North Coast, NSW, respite care experts explain why seniors are prone to developing foot disorders and offer tips to help your loved one take better care of his or her feet.
Why Foot Disorders Are Common in Seniors
Feet naturally lose their cushioning with age, and the skin and nails can become dry and brittle. Circulatory issues caused by diabetes and other health conditions can also lead to foot sores and slower healing. All of these factors, as well as years of wearing ill-fitting shoes, can make seniors especially prone to foot disorders, ranging from heel spurs to ingrown toenails.
Prevent Dry Skin
Encourage your loved one to apply a moisturiser with petroleum jelly or lanolin to his or her feet on a daily basis. This process prevents the skin from cracking and being open to possible infections. After applying the moisturiser, your loved one should put on socks and shoes before attempting to walk because moist feet can increase his or her risk of slipping and falling.
To increase blood circulation, encourage your loved one to sit down and elevate his or her feet several times a day. While sitting, your loved one should wiggle his or her toes and ankles for several minutes to stimulate blood flow and avoid crossing his or her legs for extended periods.
Schedule an Appointment with a Podiatrist
Corns, calluses, and ingrown toenails are especially dangerous for seniors with circulatory problems or diabetes, and many older adults find it difficult to bend over or operate nail clippers and other devices used to care for their feet. If your loved one experiences any of these issues, have them addressed by a podiatrist or other healthcare professional trained in proper foot care techniques.
Choose the Right Shoes
Over time, shoes that are too tight or offer inadequate arch support can lead to heel spurs or hammertoes. A good pair of shoes should be wide enough that the toes are not squeezed together. Heel cups and other orthotics can alleviate foot pain by decreasing the pressure on the heel and plantar fascia.
If your loved one needs assistance with foot hygiene and other grooming tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our part-time and 24-hour caregivers are available around the clock to provide the support your loved one needs and assist with a wide variety of everyday activities. For more information on the senior care North Coast families trust, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at 1300 LIVE-IN or (02) 6646 3527 to schedule a free in-home consultation.