Our feet will transport us somewhere around 110,000 miles over the course of our lives – that’s 216,262,500 steps! It’s certainly not surprising that as we age, our feet can begin to experience a range of challenges. Examples of the more widespread senior foot conditions include:
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis has an effect on a variety of joints throughout the body, and the feet aren’t an exception. Women are more likely to be diagnosed with arthritis as they age – 16% of senior women as opposed to 10% of senior men. Other risk factors consist of previous injury to the foot or ankle, obesity, bunions, and hammertoe.
- Gout: A specific kind of arthritis, gout is an autoimmune disease which can cause terrible pain resulting from the accumulated uric acid crystals encompassing a joint, most frequently presenting initially within the big toe.
- Dry Skin: Left untreated, dry skin on the feet can bring about discomfort when walking, and enable bacteria to be introduced, creating the possibility for an infection in the feet. Applying moisturizer to the feet on a daily basis as a protective measure before skin becomes damaged can help.
- Flat Feet: Arising from stretched ligaments that can occur in the aging process, this condition leads to pain and inflammation in the arch of the foot and inner ankle, and frequently up through the lower back, hip and knee too. Flat feet can cause a senior to have balance and stability problems and increase the risk of sprains in the feet and ankles.
- Seborrheic Keratosis: Often known as stucco keratosis, this problem causes lesions to show up on the tops of the ankles, feet, and/or toes that can be mistaken for warts. Although not painful, these lesions may cause itching and irritation, specifically when shoes are worn.
- Toenail Changes: As we age, 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), prescription side effects, diabetes and other conditions may result in circulation problems for seniors. Swelling, numbness and tingling in the feet and legs are typical symptoms of circulatory concerns.
- Shortened Achilles Tendon: The Achilles (and other tendons) can lose water in aging, which may shorten them while making them a lot less flexible, more prone to tears or ruptures, and lead to a more flatfooted gait.
Any changes in your senior loved one’s feet should be brought to the attention of a doctor. It’s also a smart idea to schedule routine appointments with a podiatrist, who is able to provide nail care and keep a close watch for any possible issues.
Absolute Companion Care can help in a variety of ways to make sure senior loved ones’ feet are as healthy as possible, such as:
- Transport to medical appointments
- Ensuring appropriate nutrition and hydration
- Encouraging safe, physician-authorized physical activity
- Assessing your home for fall risks
- And much more
Make the first step to improving health for your senior loved one! Absolute Companion Care, providers of senior home care in White Hall and the surrounding areas, is here to help seniors improve their overall wellbeing. Contact us at 410-357-9640 to find out more about services in your area and to schedule a free in-home consultation.