Foot health is important for people of all ages, including your elderly loved ones who are receiving senior care.
Seniors may have difficulty looking after their feet on their own. As people age, they can become less flexible, and reaching the feet gets harder. Poor eyesight, arthritis, and other conditions can also make foot care difficult. If your loved ones can’t care for their feet, they’ll need help. Here are seven senior foot care tips to consider.
1. Regularly Examine the Feet
If your loved ones develop foot problems, they may not tell you. Some seniors don’t say anything because they’re worried about being a burden. Others think foot pain is a normal part of aging.
If your loved ones have a condition like diabetes, they may not be able to feel their feet. Regularly examine their feet for changes like cuts, calluses, cracks, ingrown nails, or anything else that doesn’t look normal.
2. Practice Proper Foot Hygiene
Proper foot hygiene is very important for foot health. Even if your loved ones can bathe on their own, they may not be able to wash their feet. If they need your help, wash their feet every day with warm water and mild soap. Remember to dry their feet thoroughly—including between the toes—to help prevent fungus.
3. Keep Toenails Properly Trimmed
If your loved ones’ toenails get too long, they could have difficulty walking. The nails could also become ingrown. To help prevent these problems, keep their toenails properly trimmed. Trim the nails straight across. Be careful not to cut the nails too short. Toenails should reach the tips of the toes. Sharing nail clippers can spread diseases, so remember to use a different pair of clippers for each of your loved ones.
4. Keep the Feet Moisturized
As people get older, their skin can become dry. Dry skin on the feet can crack, and this is uncomfortable. If your loved ones have diabetes, cracks are more serious. To help prevent cracks, keep your loved ones’ feet moisturized as part of your daily senior care routine.
After you’ve washed and dried their feet, apply a foot lotion.
5. Ensure Appropriate Shoes Are Worn
Many people wear shoes that look good but don’t fit well. Wearing shoes that are too tight can lead to a number of foot conditions. Bunions, corns, hammer toes, ingrown toenails, and other problems can all be caused by footwear.
To choose the right pair of shoes, look for shoes that have low heels and provide solid support. Of course, the right shoes also need to be the right size. Many people wear shoes that are too small, so you may want to have your loved ones’ feet professionally measured.
6. Go for Walks
Regularly exercising the feet helps keep them healthy. Walking is the best exercise for the feet, so if possible, take your loved ones for a walk when you visit.
By walking, the feet are put through a full range of motion. Walking also helps improve circulation to the feet. If your loved ones have any conditions that could affect their ability to exercise, be sure to clear your walking plans with their doctors first.
7. Get Help with Foot Care
When you’re busy with your career and children, you may not have a lot of time to perform foot care tasks. One of the services that professional caregivers provide is help with personal care. Having a professional help your loved ones with their daily foot care routine can take some pressure off you. Caregivers receive the latest training, so you can trust that your loved ones will be well cared for.