As people age, normal wear and tear on the joints can lead to significant foot pain. Seniors also have thinner skin with less elasticity, particularly on their feet. However the pain they experience in their feet is often preventable. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Placer County elder care, discusses 5 common causes of foot pain in seniors.
1. Improper Footwear
Most aging adults eschew fashionable and impractical footwear in favor of shoes that provide greater traction and arch support. However, just because your senior loved one’s shoes look practical does not mean they are necessarily right for his or her feet. The best shoes for seniors have solid, flexible soles, generous arch support, and ample range of motion at the midportion of the foot. If finding the right pair of shoes becomes too challenging, your loved one can consult with a podiatrist about acquiring custom orthotic shoes.
2. Unmanaged Arthritis
Learning how to mitigate the symptoms of arthritis can be essential for limiting and controlling foot pain. Your loved one should avoid tight-fitting shoes and prolonged periods of standing whenever joint inflammation is an issue. He or she should also have a doctor check for signs of hidden infections. Arthritis affecting the ankles and feet often indicates the presence of an unknown, untreated infection in another portion of the body.
Thinner and less elastic skin can make the feet more prone to blisters and painful rashes. Shoes for seniors should have plenty of ventilation for preventing the buildup of moisture, and they should also have interior linings that naturally absorb moisture from the skin. Wearing these types of shoes can limit the likelihood of chafing, fungal infections, and general irritation in the feet.
4. Misaligned Spine
Poor spinal alignment is another common cause of senior foot pain. Your loved one should consult with a chiropractor to ensure no part of his or her body is overcompensating due to problems with another. Chiropractors offer a range of alternative therapies for gradually realigning the spine and increasing balance and posture.
5. Ingrown Nails and Fungal Nail Infections
In addition to keeping the feet clean and dry by wearing well-ventilated footwear, your loved one should also groom his or her toenails regularly. Toenails should be cut straight across when they are relatively soft, such as just after a warm bath. If your loved one notices his or her toenails are soft, peeling, or discolored or detects any other signs of fungal nail infections, they should be reported to a doctor and treated right away.
Foot pain and other ailments can make accomplishing daily tasks more challenging for seniors. If your loved one needs some help in and outside of the house, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our dedicated caregivers can assist with mobility, provide transportation for errands and medical appointments, and help with a wide array of other activities. We also offer comprehensive Parkinson’s, stroke, and Alzheimer’s care Placer County seniors can count on. For more information and to request a free consultation, call 916.226.3737 today.