Foot care in the elderly
It is not uncommon for older people to have foot problems. These problems can result from the normal wear and tear on the feet that occurs over time. Or they can be a sign of a more serious illness such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve or blood disorders. Therefore, it is important for senior citizens to practice good foot care. Health care providers or family members responsible for caring for the elderly should help with foot care.
Don’t forget to check your feet regularly. If you think you have a serious problem, consult your doctor, who can then refer you to an orthopedist if necessary. You can also elevate your feet when sitting to improve blood circulation, stretch and walk regularly, massage your feet, take a warm foot bath and gently dry your feet afterwards, and always avoid ill-fitting shoes correct.
Pressure on the feet caused by shoes that do not fit properly can cause unnecessary problems. Here are some tips for wearing the right shoes:
- Shoe size can sometimes change with age. You should measure your feet regularly and do it at the end of the day when your feet are bigger.
- Most people have one foot that is bigger than the other. Be sure to put shoes on the larger foot.
- Always try on shoes before you buy them.
- Walk in shoes before you buy them to make sure they feel good.
- Choose a shoe that is shaped like your foot, avoid heels or designer shoes that don’t look or feel comfortable.
- Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
- Don’t buy tight shoes hoping they will stretch
- The heel of the shoe should not slide up and down your foot as you walk.
- The upper part of the shoe should be made of a soft, flexible material that fits the shape of your foot.
- Soles should be stable and non-slip, thick soles will cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces.
- Low heels are more comfortable, safer and easier on your feet.
Fungal infections.This may include mycosis. Fungal infections thrive where it’s damp, dark and warm, like in a shoe. Fungal infections cause dry skin, redness, blisters, itching and scaling. There are many over-the-counter treatments to treat these infections. You can prevent infection by keeping your feet clean and dry, changing shoes and socks to keep your feet dry, buying well-fitting shoes that are not too tight, or dusting your feet with a healing foot powder
Dry skin. This can lead to itchy and burning feet. Using a mild soap, lotion, or adding oils to your bath water can help with this.
Calluses and calluses.This is caused by the bones of the feet rubbing against the shoe and leads to rough skin. You can wear special shoes or put extra padding in your shoes to prevent this.
Warts.Viruses cause these skin growths. They can usually be treated with over-the-counter medications.
Bunions. When the joints of your big toe no longer fit together, they can become swollen and tender. Treatment may include wrapping the foot, wearing special shoes that adjust or protect the tender areas from rubbing, surgery, or physical therapy.
Ingrown nails. If you don’t cut your toenails straight, the nail can break the skin if it grows in at an angle. This can cause bleeding and discomfort. Regular nail clipping or surgical removal of the nail is used to treat this hammer toe condition. When the tendons that control the movements of the toes shorten, the knuckle grows and pulls the toe back, causing the joint to stiffen over time and rub against the shoe. This can interfere with the balance. To treat this, people can either wear socks and shoes that provide more room and comfort, or undergo surgery if necessary.
The spurs.Stress on the feet can cause calcium bumps to form on the bones of the feet. This can become more uncomfortable if these areas are stressed more by ill-fitting shoes or standing upright for long periods of time. To relieve symptoms, people can wear leg supports, foot pads, or have surgery if necessary.
Swelling. This could be a sign of more serious problems. If you have persistently swollen feet, you should see a doctor.
If you have a condition that is known to affect your feet, such as diabetes or peripheral artery disease, monitoring your feet is very important. These conditions can cause poor blood flow to the feet, and untreated bruises or scrapes can become infected more easily. Whether you have a condition like this or not, make sure your doctor regularly checks your feet during appointments.
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