Our feet will transport us approximately 110,000 miles during our lives – that’s 216,262,500 steps! It is truly no wonder that as we get older, our feet can begin to experience a range of problems. A number of the more prevalent foot problems for the elderly include:
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis impacts various joints throughout the body, and the feet are no exception. Women are more prone to be diagnosed with arthritis as they age – 16% of senior women in comparison with 10% of senior men. Other risk factors include things like past injury to the foot or ankle, being overweight, bunions, and hammertoe.
- Gout: A specific kind of arthritis, gout is an autoimmune disease that can cause severe discomfort because of build-up of uric acid crystals that surround a joint, usually presenting initially within the big toe.
- Dry Skin: Left untreated, dry skin on the feet can lead to soreness when walking, and allow bacteria to be introduced, bringing about the possibility for an infection in the feet. Using moisturizer on the feet daily as a preventive measure before skin ends up being damaged often helps.
- Flat Feet: Resulting from stretched ligaments which may take place in aging, this condition generates discomfort and inflammation in the arch of the foot and inner ankle, and sometimes in the lower back, hip and knee as well. Flat feet may cause a senior to have balance and stability issues and increase the possibility of sprains in the feet and ankles.
- Seborrheic Keratosis: Sometimes referred to as stucco keratosis, this problem causes lesions to appear on the tops of the ankles, feet, and/or toes that may be mistaken for warts. While not painful, these lesions can cause itching and irritation, particularly when shoes are worn.
- Toenail Changes: As we age, toenails thicken and become more brittle, which makes them harder to clip. Nails may also change in color and develop ridges and cracks.
- Circulation: Edema (built-up fluids), prescription side effects, diabetes, as well as other circumstances may cause circulation problems for older adults. Swelling, numbness and tingling in the feet and legs are typical signs of circulatory issues.
- Shortened Achilles Tendon: The Achilles (and other tendons) can lose water in aging, which can shorten them and make them less flexible, more vulnerable to tears or ruptures and lead to a flatfooted gait.
Any changes in your senior loved one’s feet should be brought to the attention of his/her physician; plus, it’s also a good idea to set up routine appointments for your loved one with a podiatrist, who is able to provide nail care and keep a close watch for any possible issues.
- Transport to doctor appointments
- Ensuring adequate nutrition and hydration
- Encouraging safe, doctor-approved exercise
- Assessing the home for fall dangers
- And more
Partnering with Inspired Home Care , the leaders in providing eldercare in Algonquin and surrounding areas, increases quality of life for seniors and offers peace of mind for individuals who love them. Take the first step to improving health for your senior loved one! Email or call us at 847-787-7572 for more information.