Foot health is important at any age, but it may be especially important for older adults since foot problems can make them more likely to fall.
Older adults can have problems with their feet that are related to age or because of other medical conditions. Understanding common foot problems affecting seniors will allow you to ensure your aging relative’s feet stay as healthy as possible.
Age-Related Foot Changes
Just like other parts of the body, feet change as people age. Some of the ways your aging relative’s feet may have changed are:
-Feet spread and get wider with age. This can cause shoe sizes to change, so it’s important for older adults to have their feet measured each time they purchase new shoes. An elderly care provider can drive your family member to the shoe store and ensure they get shoes that fit well.
-The fatty pad that cushions the bottom of the foot becomes thinner, especially at the heel.
-The skin on the feet becomes thinner and more prone to injuries and infections.
-The tendons and ligaments in the feet lose their elasticity.
-Toenails get thicker and may become brittle.
Common Foot Problems
Foot problems occur frequently in older adults. Experts say that one-third of adults over the age of 65 experiences problems with their feet, like pain, stiffness, and achiness. Some common foot problems are:
Bunions: Bunions usually affect the big toe. They are either a bony growth or a bone that has become misaligned. Bunions can cause the big toe to bend toward the other toes.
Calluses and Corns: Thickened areas of skin that look yellowish.
Toenail Issues: Toenails may become ingrown or discolored.
Heel Pain: Heel pain is usually caused by heel spurs or plantar fasciitis.
Diabetic Foot Problems: People with diabetes may get ulcers on their feet, which may not heal easily. They can also lose feeling in their feet.
Hammertoes: Hammertoes occur when the senior’s toe joints cause the toe to curl under. Sometimes the toe will be flexible, but it may also be rigid. This can result in permanent deformity.
Elderly care providers can assist with your aging relative’s daily foot care. An elderly care provider can wash the feet with warm water and soap every day. Afterward, they can pat feet thoroughly dry to prevent fungal infections. An elderly care provider can also inspect the senior’s feet for any sores or problems they may not have noticed.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior care in Ozark, AL, please contact the caring staff at Wiregrass HomeCare today. Call us at 334-539-5900.