Seniors who have been diagnosed with diabetes need to be diligent about their foot care. Without proper care of their feet and legs seniors with diabetes can develop ulcers and other foot problems. In extreme cases seniors may need to have toes amputated.
But many seniors struggle to wash, massage, and take care of their feet because they aren’t as flexible as they used to be. Poor balance and flexibility can make foot care difficult for seniors who have diabetes. Personal care at home can help. With personal care at home seniors have all the assistance they need to shower, attend to hygiene issues, and do the foot care necessary to promote circulation and protect their feet and legs.
In addition to personal care at home seniors with diabetes should use these tips to take the best possible care of their feet:
Conduct Daily Foot Inspections
Seniors with diabetes should inspect their feet daily for any signs of redness, swelling, cuts, blisters, or changes in skin color. If they notice any changes in foot health, or if a caregiver does, they should get immediate attention for their feet. Preventing problems is easier than treating them later on.
Wash Feet Carefully Every Day
Seniors should wash their feet daily in lukewarm water using a mild soap. A caregiver can make sure that seniors are washing their feet properly. Drying the feet is also important because moisture can lead to fungal infections. Seniors who have trouble reaching their feet need personal care at home to help with daily foot care.
Moisturize Feet Only
After washing seniors need to have a strong moisturizing lotion or cream applied to their feet to keep the skin hydrated. But, the lotion should only be applied to the foot and ankle and not in-between the toes. That way seniors are less likely to contract a fungal infection. If seniors get a fungal infection they will need to have prescription medicated cream applied between the toes.
Keep Nails Trimmed
Ingrown toenails can cause big problems for diabetic seniors. Seniors with diabetes need to keep their toenails carefully trimmed and avoid cutting themselves. It’s often much easier for seniors to have personal care at home or to get professional medical pedicures for keeping their toenails trimmed.
Wear The Right Shoes
Your senior parent needs to wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes that provide proper support. Look for shoes with a roomy toe box to prevent pressure on toes. Avoid tight shoes, high heels, and open-toed shoes that may increase the risk of injuries.
Wear Clean, Dry Socks
Make sure that your senior parent has enough pairs of moisture-wicking socks made of natural fibers to keep feet dry. But, make sure the socks don’t have a tight elastic band at the top that will constrict circulation. They should be changing socks daily, or whenever their feet get wet or sweaty.
Regular exercise will help seniors improve circulation and blood flow to their feet. Seniors with diabetes should be engaging in low-impact exercise like walking for at least 30 minutes per day most days of the week.
Elevate Feet When Resting
Elevating the feet when resting can help reduce swelling and improve circulation. Seniors with diabetes should make it a habit to elevate their feet when sitting, especially after long periods of standing or walking.