By the time your senior loved one is 50, he or she will have walked an estimated 75,000 miles, according to research by the American Podiatric Medical Association. The motion of walking puts hundreds of pounds of pressure on the feet. This, combined with a lifetime of walking, means special care needs to be given to the feet.
1. Feet Change with Age
As your loved one ages, his or her feet will naturally grow wider. This is because the ligaments and tendons in the body lose their elasticity with age. Feet contain 26 small bones that are linked together with these ligaments and tendons. As the elasticity decreases, the bones in the toes widen and the arch flattens, causing the overall foot to become wider and longer. Some researchers estimate this results in the feet growing one-half size per decade after the age of 50. These foot changes may means your elderly loved one needs to have his or her shoe size and fit examined regularly.
2. Medical Conditions Can Harm the Feet
Obesity, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis are common conditions in seniors that can damage their feet. Seniors who are obese put additional weight on their feet, which multiplies the force applied to the feet. Diabetes can cause neuropathy in the toes and feet that can limit the blood flow and cause severe complications. Rheumatoid arthritis may cause pain, swelling, and soreness in the joints of the feet. If your loved one has any of these conditions, examine his or her feet regularly and seek medical assistance if you notice any problems.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional senior home care. Montgomery families can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep their loved ones safe and comfortable while aging in place.
3. Inherited Foot Conditions Can Cause Problems
It isn’t only acquired medical conditions that can damage your loved one’s feet. Genetics may also be to blame. Some inherited conditions include:
- Flat feet
- High arches
If your loved one complains of foot pain, it’s a good idea to bring him or her to a podiatrist. Special orthotics can address many inherited foot conditions.
If your elderly loved one is living with a serious medical condition and needs help managing the tasks of daily living, reach out to Home Care Assistance, an at-home care agency you can trust. Our caregivers are available 24/7, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all of our in-home care services.
4. Falls Can Be Prevented with Properly Fitting Shoes
One out of every four seniors falls every year. Falls are the reason for thousands of emergency room visits, surgeries, and even deaths every year. Prevent your loved one from falling by buying properly fitting shoes. Your loved one may not pay attention to how his or her shoes are fitting and just wear what he or she has been wearing for years. Take your loved one to the shoe store and have a professional measure his or her feet and make shoe recommendations.
5. Circulation Needs to Be Increased
Because of their distance from the heart, the feet often experience circulation problems due to vascular disorders, obesity, and diabetes. Increasing circulation in the feet can save them. Encourage your loved one to wear compression stockings, check his or her feet for open sores and cuts, and do foot exercises together by rolling the ankles and wiggling the toes.
Professional in-home caregivers can help older adults maintain good foot health and great overall wellbeing. If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Montgomery, Alabama, Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To schedule a complimentary at-home consultation, call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988