The American Podiatric Medical Association estimates that by the time an American reaches age 50, they have already walked a total of 75,000 miles. This helps explain why so many seniors suffer from frequent and painful foot disorders.
According to Foot.com, in addition to being painful, foot disorders reduce a senior’s mobility and are more likely to need additional assistance from their caregivers. However, home care providers like First In Care can assist their clients by examining and tending to their feet regularly.
Trained, professional caregivers know that proper foot care is essential for seniors who have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or other health conditions causing poor foot circulation.
Here are eight foot health tips for seniors and their caregivers that promote good foot health and can keep your senior’s feet comfortable for years to come.
1. Shoes should fit
According to Health in Aging, three out of four adults over age 65 wear shoes that are too small. Ill-fitting shoes are a major cause of foot pain. Shoes should be snug around the foot, but not too tight. The big toe shouldn’t be touching the tip of the shoe, and shoes shouldn’t be laced too tight. Slip-ons tend to be more comfortable and easier for the senior to put on and take off.
2 Avoid ingrown toenails
This is important for any senior. Podiatrists advise that an ingrown toenail and subsequent infections could eventually lead to amputation. Caregivers should cut the nails, then file them straight across and round at the edges.
3. Wear socks and shoes whenever awake
Seniors with poor circulation in their feet are more likely to sustain an injury without knowing it, which can lead to infections. Wearing moisture-wicking socks and closed-toe shoes can protect the foot from injury.
4. Be a weight watcher
Overweight individuals are more likely to rely on their tendons to maintain their balance, putting pressure on the entire foot. A senior’s doctor can recommend solutions, including a change in food choices and regular exercise. These lifestyle changes also benefit other areas of life, such as reduced anxiety and improved circulation.
5. Get any sores checked
Corns, ulcers, or ingrown toenails are painful, yet many seniors suffer through them. Feet should be inspected regularly for any unusual changes, like discolored nails or newly formed marks. If spotted, a doctor or podiatrist should be consulted immediately to prevent development into something more serious.
6. Keep the blood flowing to the feet
Sitting with legs crossed for an extended period inhibits blood flow to the feet. One way to keep blood flowing is to set alarms throughout the day as a reminder to wiggle toes and move ankles up and down and in and out for five minutes, two to three times per day.
7. Avoid using artificial heat
Seniors with poor circulation can suffer burns to their feet from heating pads and using hot water bottles. If feet are cold, a better solution is to wear seamless socks to bed to keep feet warm and comfortable.
6. Apply moisturizing lotion
Moisturized feet stay healthier and help seniors feel more comfortable. When moisturizing, apply moisturizer to the top and bottom of the feet, but never between the toes.
First In Care Can Help!
The skilled caregivers at First In Care understand the importance of proper foot care for seniors, and they help their clients with foot hygiene and overall foot health. Contact us today to learn about all of the services we offer seniors. Give us a call or fill out our contact form. We provide senior care services in Bradenton and Manatee County, and we would love to assist your family.