Foot problems and pain are a common complaint among the elderly. In fact, one in three people over the age of 65 have foot pain. This type of pain and discomfort can lead to decreased mobility, lack of exercise and diminished socially engaging activities. Ultimately, a cycle ensues—foot pain leads to inactivity which leads to diminishing muscle mass which leads to further decline. As a family caregiver, stopping this cycle in its tracks can be a great service to your aging parent.
Many foot problems are the result of years of wear and tear. Wearing the wrong shoes or standing for long periods can ultimately affect the arches and pads of the feet as well as the ankles and foot joints. Medical conditions such as diabetes, arthritis and atherosclerosis can affect the feet. Other foot problems common to the elderly include bunions, calluses and fungal infections in the toe nails.
If you notice your parent having difficulty with movement due to foot pain, make an appointment with a podiatrist. These specialists may just have the solution that will help your loved one remain active as they age.
How to Help
There are strategies and solutions that you and your parent can also do together to help their feet. This includes soaking their feet in a warm bath filled with Epsom salts and lavender. A nightly bath is also a relaxing ritual that can help them sleep better. If you, as the family caregiver, are not inclined or able to provide foot care, consider bimonthly pedicures to help your loved one’s feet and nails stay healthy. Recommend your parent spend twenty minutes every day elevating their feet to help prevent swelling. Despite the pain, exercise is an important contributing factor to healthy feet. Consider water aerobics—a fun workout that takes the pressure off of the joints.
Make sure that your loved one has comfortable shoes that fit correctly and provide good support. The Comfortable Shoe Guide has several shoes recommended specifically for seniors. These include: Hush Puppies Gil Slip-on, Easy Spirit Traveltime Women’s Clog, Hush Puppies Power Walker Sneaker, New Balance 577 Leather Hook-and-Loop, and Propet Life Walker Strap Shoe.
Elderly Care Provider
If your loved one is having difficulty performing the everyday activities of living, consider an elderly care provider. They can assist with these daily tasks as well as accompany your parent on daily walks and provide transportation to exercise classes.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Islip, NY, please contact the caring staff at Family First Home Companions. Serving all of Long Island. Call today: (631) 319-3961
Jennifer has specialized training in Alzheimer’s disease through the Long Island Alzheimer’s Association and the Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation.She also volunteered her time with the Alzheimer's Disease Assistance Center of Long Island for 3 years by providing cognitive stimulation to an Alzheimer’s patient group.
Jennifer educates the community about elder care and speaks to caregiver support groups, senior centers, and at professional organizations.Topics include home safety, effective strategies for family caregiving, elder care planning, and awareness about elder abuse.
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