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  • Writer's pictureChristian Companions

The Importance of Foot Health for Seniors: How In-Home Caregiving Can Make a Difference




Our feet are an extremely important part of our bodies and one that we use every single day!


From walking, to running, or even just standing, our feet are the crucial supports to our daily lives and our mobility. Using our feet every day for years on end will also have significant impacts on the rest of our body and overall health.


As our feet are the foundation of our body, any foot issues can greatly affect our posture, balance, and our ability to perform daily activities. Issues with our feet can easily become issues with balance, posture, and begin to affect our knees, hips, and our back.


That’s why it’s crucial for seniors to have proper foot care.


In this article, we will explore just some of the common foot problems that affect our seniors and how an in-home caregiver can help mitigate those problems.



Common Foot Problems



Corns and calluses


What are they?

Corns are hardened areas of skin that often begin to form on the tops or sides of our toes. They’re typically caused by repeated pressure or friction at a particular spot. Calluses, while similar, are areas of thickened skin that develop on the soles of our feet.


How it affect seniors

Corns and calluses can cause quite a bit of discomfort and even pain for seniors. This pain and discomfort might keep a loved one from doing some of their daily activities. It can easily become a reason why seniors choose to skip some of their usual walks as the discomfort turns into pain. Moreover, corns and calluses, when untreated, might cause a senior to lose some of their balance as they adjust their posture so as to avoid the corns or calluses.



Bunions

What is it?

Bunions are bony protrusions that develop on the joint at the base of our big toe. When our big toe encounters prolonged pressurefrom repeated shoe use, for example it begins to lean inwards towards our other toes. This then causes our long toe bone to jut out towards the outside of our foot.


How it affect seniors

Bunions can be a real pain in, well, in the foot!


Besides causing serious inflammation, which can limit a senior’s ability to walk properly or just stand, bunions can also cause balance issues. When a senior citizen is hesitant to press against their bunion, they’re more likely to change their posture or walk in a way that is unnatural to their normal gait. This change can greatly influence a senior citizen’s balance and even increase the likelihood of a fall.


Plantar fasciitis


What is it?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition of the foot that occurs along a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia runs through our foot’s arch and connects our toe bones to our heel bone. With repeated use, the plantar fascia can become irritated, inflamed, or even torn. This condition is known for causing significant levels of pain in our feet, especially in the morning and with the first few steps of the day.


How it affect seniors

Like some of the other foot problems, plantar fasciitis can cause a great deal of pain in our feet and cause a senior to skip some of their more active movements. But plantar fasciitis can also make it very uncomfortable to even stand for extended periods. So seniors may find themselves wanting to or having to sit more than usual.


The pain from plantar fasciitis has been known to cause some seniors to compensate by limping or favoring one foot for another which can, in turn, cause issues in other parts of the body such as the knees, hips, or back.



How an in-home caregiver can help with foot problems in seniors


In-home caregivers can play a critical role in helping seniors maintain and improve their foot health. By having an extra set of eyes and hands, many foot conditions can be noticed in time for preventative measures so as to keep the condition from worsening.


Regular Foot Inspections


Our companions here at Christian Companions can help to regularly inspect a senior’s feet to identify any signs of common foot problems. By helping to identify the issue early, caregivers can ensure that seniors are receiving the proper care before a problem grows.


Proper Foot Care

Caregivers can help seniors with proper foot care, including washing, drying, and

moisturizing the feet to prevent dry skin, cracking, and fungal infections.





Foot massage and stretching

Caregivers can provide foot massages and assist with foot stretches to help alleviate pain and discomfort caused by common foot problems.

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