Our feet will carry us close to 110,000 miles over the course of our lives – that’s 216,262,500 steps! It’s truly no surprise that as we get older, our feet can start to have a range of issues. A few of the more widespread foot conditions for older adults include:
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis affects multiple joints through the entire body, and the feet are no exception. Women are more prone to be diagnosed with arthritis in later years – 16% of senior women as compared to 10% of senior men. Additional risk factors include past injury to the foot or ankle, being overweight, bunions, and hammertoe.
- Gout: A specific type of arthritis, gout is an autoimmune disease that may cause excruciating discomfort due to the accumulated uric acid crystals that surround a joint, typically presenting first within the big toe.
- Dry Skin: Left untreated, dry skin on the feet can cause soreness when walking, and allow bacteria to be introduced, generating the potential for an infection in senior feet. Applying moisturizer to the feet daily as a preventative measure before skin ends up being damaged often helps.
- Flat Feet: Resulting from stretched ligaments that can take place in the aging process, this condition brings about pain and inflammation within the arch of the foot and inner ankle, and in some cases in the lower back, hip and knee too. Flat feet could cause a senior to have balance and stability issues and increase the risk of sprains in the feet and ankles.
- Seborrheic Keratosis: Often referred to as stucco keratosis, this disorder will cause lesions to show up on the tops of the ankles, feet, and/or toes which can be incorrectly identified as warts. Although not painful, these lesions can result in itching and irritation, particularly when shoes are worn.
- Toenail Changes: As we grow older, toenails thicken and become more brittle, which makes them more difficult to clip. Nails can likewise change in color and develop ridges and cracks.
- Circulation: Edema (built-up fluids), medication side effects, diabetes, as well as other circumstances may lead to circulation problems for senior feet. Swelling, numbness and tingling in the feet and legs are common warning signs of circulatory concerns.
- Shortened Achilles Tendon: The Achilles (and other tendons) can lose water in aging, which can shorten them while making them far less flexible, more susceptible to tears or ruptures and contribute to a far more flatfooted gait.
Any changes in an older adult’s feet should be brought to the attention of his/her physician; plus, it’s also a smart idea to schedule routine appointments for your senior loved one with a podiatrist, who’s able to provide nail care and keep a close watch for any possible issues.
Grace Home Care can assist in lots of ways to make certain older adults’ feet are as healthy as possible, such as:
- Transport to medical appointments
- Ensuring proper nutrition and hydration
- Encouraging safe, physician-approved physical exercise
- Assessing the house for fall dangers
- And many more
Grace Home Care has the best caregivers Topeka and the surrounding area has to offer. We’re ready to help your loved one age safely in the comfort of home. Make the first step to improving health for your senior loved one! Contact or call us at 708-286-2273 for additional information about our services in Shawnee County.