Why Is Foot Care Important to Older Adults?
Living a satisfying life as a senior adult often requires the ability to move about as you please, making proper senior foot care a very important topic. With average American life expectancies having increased by approximately 30 years over the last century, by the time you hit age 50, you’ve most likely walked at least 75,000 miles! That’s a LOT of walking. No wonder so many seniors suffer from foot pain or other disorders of the feet. Understanding what causes foot pain in elderly citizens is important, as early signs of systemic conditions or diseases can often appear in the feet. To avoid complications of circulatory issues, diabetes and arthritis, it’s critical that you or your caregiver pay special attention to what’s going on with those toes!
What Are Common Foot Problems in Older Adults?
Some of the most common foot disorders in older adults include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Bone spurs
- Cracked heels
- Diabetic foot conditions or ulcers
- Fat pad atrophy
- Flat foot syndrome
- Ingrown toenails
- Morton’s neuroma (pain in the front of the foot)
- Plantar fasciitis
- Poor circulation
Avoiding the negative effects of these disorders requires the proper treatment of senior foot disorders, whether at home or in a senior health care facility like Willow Care Rehabilitation and Health Care Center.
Proper Foot Care for the Elderly
Below are some great ways to help take care of your feet or those of your senior loved one:
- Take a close look at the bottom of the feet. If cracks, blisters, cuts, sores, etc., are not healing after 24 hours, it might be time to contact the physician.
- Make sure to wear socks and shoes whenever possible. Seniors with poor circulation are more likely to experience an injury to the foot without being aware of it, making it less likely that it will be treated properly and more likely that it will result in an infection.
- Check the fit of those socks and shoes, first! Be sure you are not wearing socks that are too tight or shoes that are too small. Tight socks can cause the inhibition of blood flow necessary to keeping feet healthy. Additionally, 75% of individuals older than 65 tend to wear shoes that are too small, which can lead to unnecessary foot pain. Get the right fit for your footwear!
- Moisturize. Prevent issues of cracked heels or calluses by using foot lotion; just avoid putting it between the toes!
- Trim those tootsies. Take care of ingrown toenails from the get-go by remembering to file your toenails after cutting them. Ingrown toenails are a particularly nasty issue that can potentially lead to amputation for individuals with circulation issues. Run a filing board over your toenails, filing straight across first and then rounding out the edges.
- Relieve foot tension with a spa day. Help those tense feet muscles relax – and, as an added bonus, help soothe cracked or chapped skin and bunions – by resting your feet in a foot spa or bath. Regular foot baths, coupled with proper stretching of the feet, can help prevent foot disorders caused by muscle tension or damage, including plantar fasciitis.
The Care You Deserve at Willow Care
At Willow Care Rehabilitation Center, our experienced staff has the knowledge to help you or your loved one with your foot pain or disorders. Our comprehensive approach to senior therapy includes creating a personalized rehabilitation plan based on your needs as well as the advice of your primary care physician and your family.
Soak your toes in a foot spa in our beauty and barber shop and learn more about how you can take proper care of your feet with our health education sessions! We offer numerous social, wellness and daily fitness programs to get the most out of your recovery.
Learn more about our admissions process by calling 573-221-9122, or contact us to schedule a tour or receive a personalized consultation for your stay at Willow Care. We look forward to answering your questions.