How to Keep the Feet Healthy During the Golden Years

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Caring for your senior loved one’s feet helps reduce the risk of serious infections. Seniors often have poor circulation and are at higher risk of infections in the lower legs and feet than younger adults. Having a daily care routine and proper footwear are two ways you can help your loved one maintain healthy feet. 

Examine Feet Daily

Injuries to the feet and lower legs of the elderly often take a long time to heal, which increases the risk of infection. A daily foot examination can reduce the risk of serious infections. Look for cuts, scrapes, or bruises daily, and treat any visible injuries immediately. An infection can be present even if a cut or wound isn’t visible. Signs of infection can include red skin and failure to heal within a reasonable amount of time.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional in-home senior care. Caledon, ON, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Prevent and Treat Dry Skin

Dry skin is a common cause of microtears, or tiny cracks in the skin, on the feet. Microtears increase the risk of infection, and dry skin can make walking painful. To help prevent dry skin, your loved one should use warm water and a mild, non-drying cleanser to wash his or her feet every day. Avoid using hot water because it can strip skin of its natural oil, leading to excessive dryness and cracking. 

Seniors should also apply a lotion or moisturizer daily to keep their skin well-hydrated. If corns or calluses are present, consult a doctor immediately. Talk to your loved one’s physician about using over-the-counter medicines for treating corns and calluses.

Trim Nails Regularly

Nail care is important when seniors want to maintain healthy feet. Keep your loved one’s toenails trimmed, but avoid cutting the nails too short to prevent ingrown toenails. Signs of an ingrown nail include redness and pain. Typically, ingrown nails are treated by a physician, especially if the skin surrounding the nail appears infected. After cutting the nail, use a nail file to smooth any sharp or jagged edges. 

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Caledon families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.

Wear Protective Footwear

Well-fitted footwear, such as orthopedic shoes, is recommended for seniors. It is best to have your loved one’s foot size measured before buying new shoes, even if he or she is comfortable with his or her regular shoe size. Aging can change the size and shape of the feet, and some seniors need shoes in two different sizes to ensure a proper fit. Many shoe stores offer professional sizing services to customers. 

Generally, seniors should wear shoes both indoors and outdoors. When choosing slippers, look for a firm sole, covered toe, and structured shape to prevent foot injuries. Your loved one should also change his or her socks daily to prevent fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. If your loved one has a condition that causes poor circulation, such as diabetes, visit an orthopedic specialist for advice on choosing the right pair of shoes.

Caring for an aging loved one can be challenging at times. Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour care, Caledon, ON, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at 905-951-8885 and create a comprehensive care plan for your senior loved one.