Sometimes our human body does not react well with ageing. As we age, several physical problems surface and we get occupied catering to these needs. In this scenario, we tend to forget about simpler problems that can grow into something chronic. Foot care is such an issue.
Over time, our ageing parents present challenges with mobility. Elderly feet problems start with the flattening of the base of the feet and becoming wider. This results in the grinding and friction on the bones directly.
In this situation, a whole lot of elderly feet problems could start from a simple blister or an in-grown toenail. These, in turn, will severely affect the mobility, and overall balance of the physique.
Elderly feet problems can also begin due to improper blood circulation in the feet, or due to improper diet and inadequate exercises. Obviously, this will result in a whole lot of pain, discomfort and increased risk of infection and fall risk.
We will look at three of the most common elderly feet problems:
1. Dryness resulting in cracked heels
• Dry skin is a condition that can affect both the elderly and young people. However, unlike young people, the metabolism rate in elderly is not very good. Therefore, elderly feet care includes cracked heels.
• It is recommended for elderly to use a medicated moisturizing solution for their soles and heels. It has to be kept in mind that the lotion is not greasy.
• Ageing bones tend to be brittle and fragile. They lose their malleability. Therefore, even a simple sprain could be devastating.
• Light sessions of exercises regularly without over-exerting themselves in elderly can be helpful.
3. Persistent infections
• Most of the elderly feet problems begin with a stubborn athlete’s foot. As the skin grows drier, it becomes easier for fungi and bacteria to nestle themselves under the cracked skin. This causes swelling, redness, sores, constant itching and can even get gangrenous.
• Over-the-counter fungal medication can help in this condition. However, a qualified physician should always be consulted before applying directly on the bare skin.
Here are some of the simplest steps to counter elderly feet problems:
- The person should bathe regularly and have their feet cleaned periodically. If the elderly requires help with his/her activities, make sure to instruct the caregiver to use warm water to wash the feet properly.
- Use of mild soap while bathing and dry your body thoroughly after the shower.
- Use mild/medicated lotions or moisturizers to keep the skin hydrated.
- The house should be clean and the surroundings should be healthy. If the person has issues with allergies, make sure to implement air filters in the house to keep the air clean.
- Trim toenails periodically.
- Most of the elderly feet problems occur due to improper or worn out footwear. Consult a specialist to get detailed information on the type of footwear or insoles that would help the elderly in their daily activities.
- Get medical attention whenever needed. Never hide pain or discomfort.
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