As people age, normal wear and tear on the joints, along with weakening bones, 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. Here are some 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 doesn’t mean they’re necessarily right for his or her feet. The best shoes for seniors have solid, flexible soles, provide generous arch support, and allow for 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. Untreated 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 untreated infection in another part of the body.
If your loved one needs help with daily tasks that are challenging because of foot pain, a home caregiver can be your ideal choice. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Oakville respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
Thinner and less elastic skin can make the feet more prone to blisters and painful rashes. Shoes for seniors should have plenty of ventilation to prevent 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.
Aging adults can strengthen their posture and balance with regular physical activity, and a professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise at home in safety and comfort. When considering senior care, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.
5. Ingrown Nails & 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’re 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, he or she should report these symptoms to the doctor right away.
6. Stress Fractures
Because bones get weaker with age, a fall or even a slight misstep on an uneven surface could cause a stress fracture in a senior’s foot, resulting in pain when standing or walking. Doctors typically recommend resting the foot while a stress fracture heals, and a walking boot, cast, or crutches may also be necessary. Aging adults can avoid stress fractures by making sure to include plenty of bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D in their diets, exercising every day, and performing balance training exercises.
Foot pain and other ailments can make accomplishing daily tasks more challenging for seniors. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care. Oakville Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. If your loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at (905) 337-1200