People rely on their feet to support the entire weight of their bodies, and it is not difficult to keep feet healthy throughout life. Healthy feet are also necessary as we age. Without proper care, a variety of problems are likely to arise.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Vancouver families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Here are a few ways seniors can keep their feet healthy and clean.
Keep Them Clean and Dry
Maintaining healthy feet begins with personal hygiene. When taking a bath, seniors should also clean their feet. As microbes thrive under moist conditions, it is important to properly dry the feet after bathing. Pay particular attention to areas between and under the toes where moisture tends to get overlooked.
If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Vancouver seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Feet sweat when heated, and each foot has approximately 250,000 sweat glands. Cotton socks or socks made from synthetic fibers draw moisture away from the skin, which keeps the feet dry. On the other hand, wool socks and pantyhose tend to trap moisture.
Similarly, footwear made of canvas, leather, or mesh fabrics enable air to circulate and keep feet dry and healthy. These types of shoes are helpful for seniors whose feet sweat excessively.
Wear Properly Fitting Shoes
Try not to let your loved one wear tight-fitting shoes or narrow footwear with pointed toes. Wearing these types of shoes creates problems over time such as cramps and misshapen toes. Snug shoes also place undue pressure on other areas of the feet, which may lead to blisters, calluses, corns, or open sores. Try selecting shoes for your loved one that are broad enough to accommodate the natural width of his or her feet. Opt for shoes with rounded toes and wide and low heels.
Regularly Examine the Feet
After bathing and drying, older adults should check their feet. They should look at the soles for any scaly or peeling skin and apply moisturizing cream, lotion, or petroleum jelly to the tops and bottoms of the feet to keep the skin soft.
Notice if your loved one’s toenails are thickened or discolored, which could indicate a fungal infection. Seniors with diabetes should inspect their feet daily. This condition requires taking special care of feet, as infections or open areas heal more slowly.
Do Pedicures Properly
When your loved one’s toenails need trimming, be sure to cut them straight across. Rounding the corners commonly causes ingrown nails. He or she should also avoid cutting the nails too short, which could lead to discomfort. If the toenails are thickened or discolored, seniors should resist the urge to cover them with nail polish, which interferes with oxygen exposure and encourages microbe growth.
When to See a Doctor
Seniors with severe foot pain, redness, swelling, or unusual discoloration should consult a physician. Seeking medical assistance for the problem prevents the condition from getting worse. In most instances, medication or simple procedures alleviate conditions related to the feet.
Whether you need respite from your caregiving duties or your aging loved one needs 24-hour care, Vancouver, BC, Home Care Assistance can meet your family’s care needs. Our dedicated caregivers are available around the clock to provide transportation to doctor’s appointments, ensure seniors take their prescribed medications, and help with a variety of tasks in and outside the home. If you need a break from your caregiving duties, call us today at (778) 279-3634 and hire a professional caregiver for your aging loved one.