Caring for your senior loved one’s feet can reduce the risk of serious infections. Seniors often have poor circulation and are at higher risk for infections in the lower legs and feet than younger adults. Having a daily care routine and proper footwear are two ways you can help your loved one maintain healthy feet.
Examine Feet Daily
For elderly people, injuries to the feet and lower legs often take a long time to heal, which increases the risk of infection. A daily foot examination can reduce the risk of serious infections. Look for cuts, scrapes, or bruises daily, and treat any visible injuries immediately. An infection can be present even if a cut or wound isn’t visible. Signs of infection can include red skin and failure to heal within a reasonable amount of time.
Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior home care. Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.
Prevent & Treat Dry Skin
Dry skin on the feet is a common cause of microtears, or tiny cracks in the skin. Microtears increase the risk of infection, and dry skin can make walking painful. To prevent dry skin, your loved one should use warm water and a mild, non-drying cleanser to wash his or her feet every day. Avoid using hot water because it can strip skin of its natural oils, leading to excessive dryness and cracking.
Trim Nails Regularly
Nail care is important when seniors want to maintain healthy feet. Keep your loved one’s toenails trimmed, but avoid cutting the nails too short to prevent ingrown toenails. Signs of an ingrown nail include redness and pain. Typically, an ingrown nail is treated by a physician, especially if the skin surrounding the nail appears infected. After cutting the nail, use a nail file to smooth any sharp or jagged edges.
Seniors with cognitive decline due to Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia often need assistance to remain healthy. If your senior loved one has Alzheimer’s and needs help managing daily tasks, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Fort Myers Home Care Assistance provides reliable caregivers around the clock to help your loved one age in place safely and comfortably while living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Wear Protective Footwear
Well-fitted footwear, such as orthopedic shoes, is recommended for seniors. It’s best to have your loved one’s foot size measured before buying new shoes, even if he or she is comfortable with his or her regular shoe size. Aging can change the size and shape of the feet, and some seniors need shoes in two different sizes to ensure a proper fit. Many shoe stores offer professional sizing services to customers.
Generally, seniors should wear shoes both indoors and outdoors. When choosing slippers, look for a firm sole, covered toe, and structured shape to prevent foot injuries. Your loved one should also change his or her socks daily to prevent fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. If your loved one has a condition that causes poor circulation, such as diabetes, visit an orthopedic specialist for advice on choosing the right pair of shoes.
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 elderly home care. Fort Myers families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. Call us at (239) 449-4701 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.