Community Blog

Seniors and Diabetes: Keeping Their Feet Healthy

By Michael Hagman, RN, BSN

Senior Care in Great Falls MT

Diabetes does not only affect one’s blood sugar, but can also affect the health of the elder’s feet. Approximately 70 percent of seniors with diabetes develop neuropathy, causing them to lose feeling in their feet or hands or possibly getting an infection.

In order to keep your elderly loved one safe from foot-related injuries or health issues, here are several tips to follow. For additional help, enlist the assistance of a professional senior care provider.

  • Inspect the feet daily. Most adults with diabetes will not be able to feel any cracks or blemishes on their feet, so it is important they are thoroughly inspected every day. For older adults who have trouble inspecting their feet by themselves, they should have a family member or senior care provider do this for them.
  • Avoid hot tubs. If your loved one has neuropathy, they will be unable to tell if the water is too hot. Stepping into water that is too hot can cause severe burns and blisters on the feet, which may result in infections. One way to check the water temperature is to place the elbow in the water.
  • Wear comfortable and supportive shoes. The footwear your elderly loved one wears can make a huge difference in the health of their feet. For example, wearing uncomfortable, unsupportive shoes, such as flip flops or high heels, could cause damage to the feet. However, by wearing non-slip shoes that help support the feet will provide more comfort to the senior’s feet.
  • Make sure the feet are dry. Keeping their feet dry, including the skin between the toes, will help prevent infections from growing. Not only should the feet be towel dried after a bath or shower, but sweaty or wet socks or shoes should be changed frequently to keep the feet from becoming moist.
  • Watch for any sores or infections. When an infection, callus, corn, bunion, or other irritant is noticed on the elder’s feet, they should immediately make an appointment with their doctor. The sooner these problems are removed from their feet, the less likely they are to grow into a serious infection.
  • Do light exercising. Exercising is important for people of all ages, but especially for adults with diabetes. It is an excellent way of helping elders lose weight and will help them manage their health condition. Non-impact aerobic exercises can also be great for the feet. Walking is one exercise that will keep your loved one healthy without hurting their feet.

Keeping the feet healthy is critical for seniors with diabetes. Encourage them to try these tips in order to help them manage their chronic condition.

Source:
http://www.everydayhealth.com/foot-health-pictures/11-tips-for-good-diabetes-foot-care.aspx

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Great Falls, MT, contact the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (406) 438 - 2231.