As adults age, taking proper care of their feet can become challenging for a variety of reasons. However, the older we get, the more important foot health becomes. Seniors commonly experience poor circulation, mobility issues and changes to the foot itself, including increased dryness to skin and nails, which leave feet prone to injuries and potential infections. The good news is that most of these conditions can be prevented or treated with simple, proactive care regimens. Below are 3 of the most common foot conditions that plague seniors and tips on how they can be prevented.
1) Ingrown toenails – many seniors suffer from ingrown toenails and infections due to improper nail trimming techniques. The best way to prevent ingrown toenails is to regularly clip and file your nails. Nails should be cut straight across without curving on the edges. The speed of natural nail growth varies, but this routine should typically be completed every 3-4 weeks to lessen the risk of having toenails break, crack or become ingrown.
2) Corns & calluses – these sores are not only painful and unsightly, but they can become dangerous, especially for seniors with diabetes or other circulation issues. Corns and calluses are caused by friction from ill-fitting shoes or socks or from toes rubbing against each other. To avoid corns and calluses from developing, make sure you have shoes that fit properly. It’s also a good idea to wear both socks and shoes as often as possible to prevent minor injuries that may not heal properly.
3) Foot ulcers – diabetics who can’t properly take care of their feet due to neuropathy or mobility issues risk serious problems that can lead to amputation if left untreated. Untended cuts, fungus and dry cracked feet can eventually become infected and lead to foot ulcers. Don’t ignore any foot pain or signs of infection. If you are diabetic, schedule routine check-ups annually to ensure you maintain foot health.
The best thing you can do to ensure your feet stay healthy and avoid these three issues is to check them daily. Make sure you wash them every day with warm water but keep them dry throughout the day by wearing soft, absorbent socks. It’s also important to keep your feet moisturized but avoid applying lotion between toes since trapped moisture can increase the risk of fungal infection. If you have a sore or pain that doesn’t go away, promptly contact a medical professional. When it comes to your feet, it’s always better be proactive rather than reactive with care regimens.
There are services to help prevent these issues from the start. Belle Cares, located in Middle Tennessee, specializes in providing pedicures that pamper seniors and ensure they avoid medical issues that arise from nail and foot care neglect. Trained nail technicians ensure that feet stay healthy and that clients are referred to podiatrists or doctors if they need medical attention. Services come directly to the senior’s home or community. To schedule an appointment, visit BelleCares.com or call 615-873-0344.