Our feet will transport us somewhere around 110,000 miles during our lives – that’s 216,262,500 steps! It’s truly no surprise that as we get older, our aging feet may start to experience a number of issues. A few of the more prevalent foot conditions for the elderly include:
- Arthritis: Osteoarthritis impacts a number of joints throughout the body, and the feet are no exception. Women can be more prone to be diagnosed with arthritis in later years – 16% of senior women as opposed to 10% of senior men. Other risk factors include former 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 severe discomfort due to accumulated uric acid crystals that surround a joint, most frequently presenting first within the big toe.
- Dry Skin: Left untreated, dry skin on the feet may bring about discomfort when walking, and enable bacteria to be introduced, generating the potential for an infection in the feet. Applying moisturizer on the feet every day as a preventive measure before skin gets cracked can help.
- Flat Feet: Resulting from stretched ligaments that may occur in the aging process, this disorder leads to pain and swelling in the arch of the foot and inner ankle, and in some cases in the lower back, hip and knee, too. Flat feet may cause a senior to have balance and stability issues and increase the chance of sprains to the feet and ankles.
- Seborrheic Keratosis: Sometimes called stucco keratosis, this disorder causes lesions to appear on the tops of the ankles, feet, and/or toes that can be mistaken for warts. Although not painful, these lesions could cause itching and irritation, especially when shoes are worn.
- Toenail Changes: As we grow older, toenails thicken and become more brittle, which causes them to become harder to clip. Nails also can change in color and develop ridges and cracks.
- Circulation: Edema (built-up fluids), prescription side effects, diabetes and other circumstances can result in circulation problems for seniors. Swelling, numbness and tingling in the feet and legs are typical indications of circulatory issues.
- Shortened Achilles Tendon: The Achilles (and other tendons) can lose water in aging, which may shorten them and make them less flexible, more prone to tears or ruptures and result in a more flatfooted gait.
Any changes in your loved one’s feet should be brought to the attention of his/her doctor; plus, it’s always a good idea to set up routine appointments for your senior loved one with a podiatrist, who will provide nail care and maintain a close watch for any potential issues.
Anthem Home Care can help in a variety of ways to make sure that older adults’ feet are as healthy as possible, such as:
- Transport to doctor appointments
- Ensuring adequate nutrition and hydration
- Encouraging safe, doctor-approved exercise
- Assessing the home for fall dangers
- And more
Anthem Home Care offers some of the best Corpus Christi senior services and home care throughout the surrounding areas. Our team is committed to helping your loved one age safely in the comfort of home. Take the first step to improving the health for your senior loved one by emailing or calling us at 361-643-2323 to find out more about our services.