As you age, you may put in mind a great deal about your overall health and how to live healthily and give less or no attention to your feet. Well, if your feet are not healthy, you are likely to find yourself housebound or immobile or in a worse situation. This is because it becomes more difficult to maintain feet at an old age that is why it is necessary for you as a loved one or a caregiver to take over the job. While helping the elderly with foot care, there are steps you can take to mitigate problems and keep the patients comfortable.
Regular Foot Inspection
Elderly foot care should be a priority and you should always watch out for discoloration in the foot or toenails, wound that is not healing, or sores and burning or tingling sensation in the feet. By noticing any irregularity during the routine maintenance, you can help prevent serious outcomes by promptly seeking medical assistance. During the aging process, the circulation slows down and many elderly patients fail to feel their feet as they used to, therefore, may not notice problems that have bothered them in the past.
Drying the Feet Completely
Always ensure that you have dried the elderly person toes and between the toes thoroughly after bathing. This helps keep the feet warm and dry thus avoiding fungal infections and reduced circulation. After you have dried the feet, make sure the elderly put on clean cotton socks.
Using Lotion on the Feet
Always wash the elderly feet with a mild soap that will take time to dry the soap, unlike harsh soaps. Also, when dry, apply lotion to avoid itching and cracking.
Ensuring socks and shoes fit correctly
Ensure the elderly person has proper fitting shoes. Poorly fitting shoes may result in a number of conditions such as calluses, corns, spurs as well as contributing to fungal infections.
Using a Footstool When Seated to Elevate their Feet
Ensure the elderly use a footstool when seated. According to doctors at the National Institute on Aging report, by keeping their elevated, the elderly can maintain a better foot circulation. Also, remind them not to sit with their legs crossed for a long period of time since this cuts down the circulation.
Trimming Toenails on a Regular Basis
No sane person wants to stay with long untidy nails, right? Nail care is very important especially in the case of an elderly, nails that are improperly done can lead to an infection or ingrown toenail.be sure to trim nails in an area that is well lighted after your elderly loved one(s) has taken a shower or a bath so it will be easier to cut the nails.
While taking care of the elderly foot may seem easy, you need to pay more attention to those elders who are diabetic. The risk of poor foot care for diabetics may develop serious problems that could lead to amputation and gangrene. Ulcers and infections that are left untreated could lead to gangrene too. Unattended cuts, dry cracked feet, and fungus under the nails could lead to infections and ulcers.
Having healthy feet is a crucial component of living a good quality of life as one age. It is not so difficult to ensure your feet and those of your loved ones are in good shape. You just need a little maintenance and proper planning.