Seniors face new health challenges as they grow older that require special care. Often, their daily care needs change as well. Their skin needs more nourishment and current health problems, such as diabetes, require close monitoring. One area that is often neglected when caring for seniors is their feet. Proper foot care will not only improve a senior’s mood, it is a necessity.
As people age, they often experience a decrease in mobility. This can result in poor physical health, poor management of health conditions, such as high blood pressure, and obesity. Seniors risk a wealth of problems when they are not mobile.
One of the reasons for this decrease in mobility is discomfort. When seniors do not receive proper foot care, it can be painful to walk or move properly. The result is less mobility. These common concerns are often identified when a senior receives proper foot care:
- Hammer Toes. Hammer toes can be caused by a variety of things. This condition causes the toe to point up instead of forwards like the other toes and is often seen in the big toe. Having hammer toes can cause discomfort and pain when wearing shoes or walking.
- Bone Spurs. Bone spurs can be present themselves any time in senior patients. As seniors walk, it puts pressure on the bone causing severe pain. If bone spurs are identified before they cause a high level of pain, accommodations can be made so that seniors can still participate in activities that they enjoy, such as going for a walk.
- Nail Disorders. Nail disorders, such as toenail fungus, are extremely common in seniors. These can cause discomfort when any pressure is put on the foot, such as when they walk. Proper foot care can result in identifying these disorders as soon as they begin so that they do not affect mobility.
It is important that seniors and caregivers ensure that proper foot care is provided to identify any issues that may affect a person’s mobility. If these conditions are noted, seniors can use their Fanmi phone to contact their health care provider to receive treatment as soon as possible. Preventative treatment and early diagnosis are both important to help seniors maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.
Identify Health Concerns
Proper foot care involves being in contact with the feet, which can make it easier to identify health concerns. For example, a caregiver might notice that a senior parent has dry, flaky skin or cold toes while caring for the feet. When these health concerns are identified, they can be properly treated. If a caregiver is not in contact with the feet while providing foot care, health conditions may be left untreated. Common health conditions that can present themselves through problems with the feet include:
- Diabetes. When diabetes is not properly managed, it can cause problems in the feet. Diabetics are more likely to experience various foot problems, such as athlete’s feet and toenail fungus. These conditions could be linked to poor health management.
- Poor circulation. If the feet are consistently cold to the touch, this could be a sign of poor circulation. This may be due to a decrease in mobility, but several other conditions can cause this as well, such as heart conditions.
- Arthritis. Seniors that have not been diagnosed with arthritis might not realize that constant heel pain could be a signal that they are having a flare-up. This could also be because of inflammation, a common symptom of arthritis.
It is important that seniors use their Fanmi phone to contact their podiatrist regarding any changes in their feet to determine if an underlying condition is the cause. Please note that the above advice should not be used as a substitute for proper medical advice. If seniors or caregivers are concerned with foot care or conditions presenting themselves through the feet, they should seek treatment through a licensed specialist.
Seniors Are More Likely to Get Infections
As people grow older, their circulation often decreases. Because there is less blood flow to certain areas, seniors are more likely to take longer to heal from injuries and get infections. When they receive proper foot care, however, it can increase circulation to the feet, preventing injuries from becoming infected due to them taking longer to heal. This is a method of preventative care that is essential for seniors to maintain a happy, healthy life.
Methods of Foot Care
Proper foot care for seniors involves much more than a simple shower and putting on lotion once a day. This is why it is important for seniors to remain in contact with their podiatrist. It will ensure that they are receiving foot care that is tailored to meet their needs. Common methods of foot care for seniors include:
- Medical Pedicures. These are often used for diabetics and seniors that have specific foot problems or nail conditions. Medical pedicures will help provide foot care while simultaneously treating existing medical conditions.
- Massages. Massages are an important part of foot care. These are used to decrease inflammation caused by conditions such as arthritis and to increase blood flow. This is used as a treatment option as well as a preventative measure.
- Proper Shoes. When seniors receive proper foot care, it is important to note whether their shoes fit properly. When shoes do not, it can result in painful blisters forming. Ensuring that seniors have proper footwear and are educated about the importance of proper footwear is an important method of preventative treatment.
These three types of foot care are just three examples of ways that seniors receive different foot care than other patients. Seniors also need to apply lotion regularly, wash feet daily and wear cushioned socks for comfort.
Seniors face growing needs as they age that extend far beyond the need for a senior phone. Foot care is one area of care that is often neglected by seniors or caregivers due to them not understanding the importance of good foot care. It is vital that both remember that good foot care is one of the most important health concerns among this age group to help seniors enjoy their lives.