Simply put, older people’s feet have more wear and tear, making them more prone to damage and even deformity. People with these aging-related foot issues may experience pain and lose part of their mobility.
You might not consider the health of your elderly loved one’s feet while considering their physical state. It’s simple to forget that they are supported primarily by their feet.
Unfortunately, geriatric people frequently experience foot discomfort and other foot issues, which are associated with the following:
- Alteration of gait
- Balance difficulties
- Increased swaying while walking
- Decreased walking
- Walking speed
- Seniors who have foot issues are more likely to fall. Thus, maintaining excellent foot health is crucial to preventing falls in seniors.
What types of foot issues are prevalent in the elderly?
It makes sense that many older people get painful foot diseases after a lifetime of standing, moving about, and running. Among the conditions that affect older people’s feet the most frequently are:
The skin surrounding the sensitive parts of the foot where a lot of pressure is applied into thick, hardened layers called corns and calluses. They are primarily brought on by uncomfortable footwear, though an awkward gait can also bring them on.
It becomes drier and less pliable as the skin ages because it produces less oil and elastin. If not taken care of regularly, your heels could get painful or stiffen. Obesity makes the issue worse.
There are many different types of toenail issues, and they can be very painful. Fungal infections and ingrown toenails are two of the most common toenail conditions in the elderly.
Sometimes, the side of a nail (usually on the big toe) grows into the skin. While it can occur at any age, older people are more likely to experience it. Your toe could become infected, swell, and ache. Being overweight, having diabetes, and having sweaty feet increase your risk of developing an ingrown toenail.
Seniors may have an increase in fungal infections due to less elastic skin and weakened immune. Your foot’s sole can itch and scale. Your toenails could become infected if it is not treated. Antifungal lotions and sometimes pills are used as a kind of treatment. Use your medication for the recommended duration because the fungus is challenging to eradicate.
- Bunions, hammertoe, and claw toe
These painful deformities develop when a toe develops extra bone or gets misaligned.
These bothersome bony lumps develop where your big toe and foot meet on the inside of your foot. The big toe’s gradual inward inclination causes bunions. High heels and other tight, thin shoes may make them worse. Bunions affect women far more frequently because of this. They may also run in families.
Your toe’s middle joints are bent abnormally. It sits next to your big toe as your “second” toe. However, the third, fourth, and fifth toes may also be impacted. You’ll notice an odd shape, discomfort when you move it, corns and calluses from the toe rubbing against your shoe, and other symptoms like these.
This type of deformed foot is comparable to hammertoe. However, claw toes also affect the joints closest to your toes’ tips, not just the central joint. Your feet curl inward and press firmly into the ground or the bottoms of your shoes. With aging, claw toes become more rigid. Try strengthening exercises like picking up a stone or piece of paper with your toes if you can move them.
These fat pads can disappear with aging, which can cause uncomfortable pressure to be applied to vulnerable areas of the feet, like the heel and foot. That hurts because your tootsies require a cushioned layer to protect them from daily pounding. Cushioned shoes or orthotics, which are made-to-order foam shoe inserts, may be beneficial.
- Connective tissue disorders
Cartilage, bone, tendons, muscles, and ligaments make connective tissues. Foot tendonitis, Achilles tendinitis, bursitis, and plantar fasciitis are all painful disorders that can develop when the connective tissues of the feet become irritated or inflamed.
The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs along the bottom of your foot and supports your arch. It can get irritated by constant stress, such as jogging, or even by ordinary strain, leading to discomfort and stiffness. You can be more prone to this issue if you have high arches or are overweight.
Inflammation of a tendon in the foot or ankle is referred to as tendonitis or tendinitis. Due to the frequently repeated action in the joint area, your ankle is one of the most likely areas to get tendonitis.
When you climb stairs or stand on your toes, your foot flexes thanks to the Achilles tendon. The tendon may become weak due to aging and reduced blood flow. It might cause pain in your heel or the rear of your ankle.
Your joints, bones, and tendons are padded by little sacs filled with fluid referred to as bursae. They may swell as a result of friction or repetitive action from shoes. Your toes or heel may become sore, swollen, and red in the foot. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, can aid with ice, cushioning, and rest. A corticosteroid dose or perhaps surgery may be necessary for difficult situations.
Poor circulation can result from insufficient blood flow, which can be brought on by several reasons, such as a sedentary lifestyle, advanced age, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and blood clots. The consequences could be pretty terrible if ignored. You must inform your doctor about any foot circulation problems you experience.
Systemic illnesses, which can cause nerve pain, weak and painful joints, and swollen feet, are other causes of foot problems.
Osteoarthritis may develop due to years of wear and tear or a prior accident. The breakdown of cartilage, a flexible structure that reduces friction, causes it to occur. Bone might rub against bone as a result.
You cannot feel minor cuts or wounds if you have diabetes, which damages your nerves. You can also have tingling, numbness, or sharp pain in your feet. Foot ulcers, like a blister, can begin small but become larger and infected. They are a significant contributor to amputations in people with diabetes. Maintain healthy blood sugar levels and check your feet frequently.
Best diabetic socks for the elderly
Yomandamor Breathable Diabetic Socks
These socks offer a padded sole, a wide, stretchy band to prevent irritation, a non-binding top to keep them up all day, and a seamless toe. They are exceptionally breathable because of the subtle mesh detail.
It fits persons who want a lot of comforts, especially people like the elderly.
Teehee Diabetic Crew Socks
These colorful socks for kids and adults with entertaining patterns are designed to treat many foot problems, such as leg weariness, edema, and dry skin.
They are perfect for senior citizens with delicate and vulnerable feet since they are made with yarns and comfort elements that assist minimize foot irritability and pressure on the legs.
Creswell Sock Mills Diabetic Crew Socks
These are a no-fuss option at a reasonable price for a simple pair of white diabetic socks with all the soft, seamless characteristics you seek. These socks are incredibly soft, well-ventilated, long-lasting, and comfy, with no irritating seams.
These socks are an excellent option for older individuals because the loose-fitting top stretches over the ankle and promotes better blood circulation.
Hugh Ugoli Loose Diabetic Ankle Socks
Diabetic socks by Hugh Ugoli are made to keep your feet dry and comfy all day. The loose fit design prevents cutting off circulation, while the moisture-wicking material keeps your feet cool and dry.
The seamless, non-binding toe secures the sock, and the diabetic socks add additional support to the ankle. Excellent for senior citizens with circulation issues, diabetes, edema, neuropathy, sensitive feet, or swollen ankles.
Dr. Scholl’s Diabetic and Circulatory Health Socks
For over a century, Dr. Scholl’s has been the go-to brand for foot care, and the business produces this classic pair of diabetes socks in a moisture-wicking, antimicrobial material. The non-binding, soft-stretch top gently conforms to your legs while allowing circulation to flow freely. Strong moisture management technology and anti-odor features keep feet feeling clean and dry.
These socks are made with high-quality materials for the utmost comfort, preserving the health and mobility of the elderly.
Dr. Segal’s Diabetic Socks
These socks have more cushioning and are composed of a breathable cotton blend. They are made of a non-restrictive material and stay high on your calves rather than squeezing your legs.
For elderly persons with tired, achy legs or minor swelling, Dr. Segal’s Diabetic Socks come in fashionable designs that are trendy and incredibly cozy, and functional.
Warrior Alpaca Therapeutic Crew Socks
These ultrasoft and warm socks have a wide ribbing that fits perfectly on your shins and is made of a luxurious alpaca wool blend. Wide-calf sizes are now offered for an ideal fit.
With these Warrior Alpaca Therapeutic Crew Socks, elderly people may cradle their feet in comfort that wicks moisture and provides breathable warmth.
Orthofeet Extra Roomy Socks
Wide-fitting, non-restrictive, seam-free Orthofeet has a great moisture-wicking system, and the interior is softly cushioned.
These socks will provide senior patients with sensitive feet, circulation issues, and edema with unmatched comfort and protection.
Facool Wide Ankle Diabetic Socks
These extra-thick socks can keep your feet warm if they get cold. They have a fully cushioned sole, are non-irritating, and have a broader ankle.
Perfect for elderly people who are tired of wearing tight socks that block off circulation and have diabetic feet, large feet, swelling feet, or sensitive skin. These diabetes socks are wider in the foot, ankle, and leg and have a more relaxed fit. They stay up and are simple to put on and take off.
Diabetic Sock Club Cotton Diabetic Ankle Socks
Diabetic Sock Club Cotton Diabetic Ankle Socks offers a wide, non-binding top with extra stretch for comfort and loose-fitting. Thanks to the fabric’s excellent moisture management, your feet will stay cool, dry, and comfy.
Your feet are protected and given additional comfort by their cushioned sole. These socks can undoubtedly assist the elderly suffering from neuropathy, diabetes, edema, and circulatory issues.
Caring for Older Elderlies’ Feet
There are three significant factors to consider for proper foot care for the elderly:
Foot care is essential for all ages, but taking good care of your feet as you age can help you stay active and pain-free so you can keep doing the things you love, like strolling to the store or working in the yard. Make sure someone checks your elderly loved ones’ feet daily for changes. Malformed toes, toenails that are discolored or otherwise altered, open sores or fissures, and other skin changes like thickening should all be looked for. Make sure to wash their feet regularly and, if necessary, trim their toenails to prevent infection. Have a podiatrist examine a loved one’s feet if you notice anything strange.
Along with diabetic socks, you may help your elderly loved ones safeguard their feet by teaching them what to look for in footwear. Feeble seniors have trouble with heavy shoes. For this reason, the heel of the shoe shouldn’t be any thicker than an inch. Have your loved one’s feet measured to ensure they wear the proper shoes. Encourage them to wear shoes that provide additional stability and support as well.
Foot orthoses are specialized shoe inserts ranging from over-the-counter adhesive pads to individually made devices that a podiatrist prescribes. They alleviate foot discomfort, improve walking comfort, and fix structural problems. Consult a podiatrist to find out if your loved one would benefit from orthoses. Foot care is simply one method for senior persons to practice fall prevention.
Your overall health greatly depends on your feet. Due to a lack of knowledge about what is typical and what is abnormal, many foot issues go undiagnosed. It would help if you treated your feet with the appropriate care. Visit your podiatrist if you are currently dealing with problems affecting one or both of your feet. You will first undergo an evaluation to help you understand the foot care treatment choices that are accessible to you.