Pain in the heels can cause great discomfort at any stage of life, but it can be even more challenging to manage past age 65. Luckily, conditions like plantar fasciitis are preventable, and it doesn’t even take much effort for seniors to reduce their risk. The Vancouver live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance want to share a few tips to help your senior loved one prevent plantar fasciitis.
Do Achilles Tendon Stretches
Plantar fasciitis takes place when the plantar fascia is stretched too far and microscopic tears form. One of the most effective ways to prevent this condition is to make sure the calves and Achilles tendons are stretched and loose at all times. Calf stretches should be carried out at least 3 times a day for around 30 seconds each. The easiest way for your loved one to stretch this soft tissue is to place his or her hands against a wall, step one foot back, and then gently move the hips forward until pressure can be felt on the back of the leg.
Try New Shoes and Inserts
Even seniors who are relatively sedentary still need shoes that properly support the unique shape of their feet. Shoes that provide good cushioning and support limit the amount of pressure placed on the heels when taking a step. Inserts can be used to add even more cushioning to your loved one’s feet if he or she stands or walks for long periods.
Stay at a Healthy Weight
A 2007 study funded by the World Health Organization found that adults with a BMI of 25 or higher were 1.7 times more likely to develop chronic heel pain. Seniors who are overweight and have plantar fasciitis should speak with their doctors about low-impact exercises to help them lose weight. Two of the best devices for seniors with this condition to use are stationary bikes and elliptical machines.
Avoid Walking Around the House Barefoot
Seniors who spend quite a bit of time in their homes often go barefoot for much of the day or only wear slippers. This extra pressure on the arches and heels can aggravate the soft tissue on the bottom of their feet. If your loved one is not comfortable wearing shoes around the house, he or she should invest in slippers with additional arch support, padding for the heels, and excellent grip.
For additional tips to help your loved one prevent plantar fasciitis and other disorders, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with exercise, provide transportation, and help with a wide variety of everyday tasks. To learn more about the elder care Vancouver seniors count on, call to speak with a knowledgeable Case Manager.