As loved ones age, it is important to pay close attention to their health, helping them to maintain a high quality of life. Foot care is sometimes overlooked as we care for those who need a little extra help caring for themselves. Feet are the foundation of our bodies, and healthy feet contribute to good balance, mobility and independence. Healthy feet foster an active lifestyle. A practical way to show you care is to help the aging adult maintain proper foot care by employing some simple principles.
Choose the Right Shoes
Over time, the feet change and may grow a size or more. It is important to wear properly fitting shoes for many reasons. Many foot deformities occur over time because of ill-fitting shoes. As people age, communicating sometimes becomes more difficult, so check to make sure that shoes are fitting correctly. Schedule a professional shoe fitting for your loved one in order to ensure proper shoe size. When shopping for shoes, look for shoes that fit comfortably, have a roomy toe box, and are adjustable. Shoes with a stretchable fabric upper are a smart choice, since the stretchable fabric “gives”, minimizing friction which can cause blisters or exacerbate pre-existing foot issues. It is also a good idea to have insoles custom-made for feet, to ensure proper fit and minimize rubbing. This can be done easily with an at-home custom insole kit.
Maintain Proper Foot Hygiene
A simple daily foot routine lays the groundwork for healthy feet. Wash feet daily with soap and water, ensuring that you’ve washed between the toes. Take extra care to dry the feet thoroughly in order to prevent bacterial or fungal growth. If dry or cracked feet are an issue, apply a non-greasy lotion to the feet. Use caution to avoid falling, as walking on bare feet with lotion can be slippery. There are foot sprays available to keep feet dry and odor-free. Shake footwear out before putting them on each day, to remove any irritants that may be present.
Maintain Proper Foot Health
With age often come foot issues of different types. It is imperative to address the specific foot needs of the loved one for which you are caring. Whether bunions, hammertoes, crooked toes, or overlapping toes are present, there are many options available to help alleviate associated pain or discomfort.
Proper circulation is necessary for foot and general health, and the use of circulation hosiery assists in foot and leg circulation. If a lot of time is spent in bed, your loved one will greatly benefit from comfortable and attractive bed socks. If diabetes is present, take special care to address diabetic foot health, along with the help of their healthcare provider. Routine foot inspections should be done, noting any change in feet.
With proper foot care, life quality can be maintained or greatly improved for our loved ones who require help caring for themselves. Following simple principles gives peace of mind while tending to our loved ones.