Healthy Feet for the Elderly are more important
Healthy feet are important for us all but especially so for the elderly as when they are sore to walk on this may lead to an increased risk of falling.
Walking is also the perfect exercise to keep weight down, prevent blood clots and keep their muscles and bones strong.
Maintaining good balance – Feet that are healthy and pain free help keep good balance. Good balance prevents falls, a major cause of injury and hospitalization in the elderly.
Provide early warning signals – Keeping an eye on the feet of an elderly person you care for can provide early warning signals for health concerns such as diabetes, arthritis, poor blood circulation and nerve damage.
For good foot health to be maintained it is also important to improve general health by daily exercise, stopping smoking and eating healthily.
Basic Foot Care Techniques
Many foot problems can be avoided using basic foot care techniques:
Checking someones’ feet as often as possible and look for
swelling, redness, sores, cuts, blisters, bruises and ingrown or infected toenails.
- Try to ensure their feet are washed daily – Use warm water. Pat dry instead of rubbing and dry well between and under your toes.
- Trim toenails regularly – Cut nails straight across and never shorter than the end of their toe. Use a nail file for sharp edges.
- Keep feet soft and smooth – Use unscented cream on the top and bottom of feet if the skin is cracked or dry.
- Wipe off excess cream and do not apply between toes – Use talcum powder if their feet are sweaty.
- Comfortable shoes and socks help – Foot problems can be caused or worsened by shoes that don’t fit properly, don’t give enough support or don’t have enough grip on the ground.
- Wear clean socks everyday when wearing socks – They help keep feet dry.
- Avoid socks with ridges or elastic at the top – These can irritate or restrict circulation. Coseyfeet sell a range of wonderful socks for wide and swollen feet.
If an elderly person is unable to reach their toes or does not have feeling in their feet, it is usually recommended a healthcare professional – such as a foot care nurse or podiatrist – do their foot care if feasible.
Elderly foot care can sometimes be funded through the NHS/public health system and it is always worth getting them to ask their GP’s practice what is available.