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Assisted Living Facilities Give Aging Feet The TLC They Need

According to a recent survey by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 80 million Americans have foot problems. America’s senior citizens are becoming more active than ever before. As a result, the quality of senior life has improved. However, whatever their activity may be; stretching, walking, biking, or golf, the feet of these active senior adults need extra protection to prevent injury and retain comfort. As we get older being active can cause our feet to hurt. The pain may be a sign that there is something wrong. Bones in the feet of older men and women naturally become more fragile. Our foot’s natural cushioning also tends to become thinner with age, with an accompanying loss of shock-absorbing ability. Assisted living facilities are aware of these underlying problems that seniors face and make sure to treat them in a timely manner.

Shoes with good shock-absorbing soles, cushion insoles, shoe inserts or orthotic devices prescribed by a podiatrist should keep seniors in the swing of things. aging feet also show other signs of wear and tear, including a tendency for them to spread or flatten. In these cases, wider shoes are recommended for maximum comfort. Human feet are marvels of engineering, but even the most sophisticated pieces of equipment need routine care and maintenance. Regular foot examinations by a podiatrist are the best assurance for pain-free activity in the years ahead.

Many inactive elderly or disabled persons are unable to bend or reach their feet which prevent them from keeping their feet in quality condition. Caregivers are frequently on the front line for noticing and preventing potential problems. Assisted Living Facilities make sure to examine their patients regularly to keep an eye on developing foot problems among many other senior health conditions. Frequent inspection of feet and regularly scheduled examinations by a Podiatrist will help prevent and treat some of the most common foot problems.

Common Foot Problems For Seniors:

  • Fungal and Bacterial Infections
  • Dry Skin
  • Bunions
  • HammerToe

Fungal and Bacterial Infections, including athletes foot occur because aging feet spend a lot of time in shoes – a warm, dark, humid place that is perfect them to grow. Fungal and bacterial conditions can cause dry skin, redness, blisters, itching, and peeling. If not treated, an infection may be hard to cure. Aging seniors are not able to fight off infection as easily as someone younger. Assisted living facilities make sure to treat these conditions in their patients so they do not develop into something serious. To prevent infections, feet, especially the area between the toes, should be kept clean and dry. Changing shoes, socks or stockings often, helps keep them dry. Dusting feet daily with foot powder is also a great way to maintain your aging feet.

Footprints in the Sand by *Lorelei89 on deviantART

Dry skin can cause itching and burning feet. Use mild soap in small amounts and a moisturizing lotion on legs and feet every day. Corns and calluses are caused by friction and pressure when the bony parts of feet rub against shoes. A doctor should treat corns or calluses. Sometimes wearing shoes that fit better or using special pads solves the problem. Self-treatment may be harmful, especially if one has diabetes or poor circulation. Over-the-counter medicines contain acids that destroy the tissue but do not treat the cause. Warts are skin growths caused by viruses and over-the-counter medications rarely cure warts. A doctor can apply medicines, burn or freeze the wart off.

Bunions develop when the joints in the big toe no longer fit together as they should and become swollen and tender. Bunions tend to run in families. If a bunion is not severe, wearing shoes cut wide at the instep and toes, taping the foot, or wearing pads that cushion the bunion may help with pain. Other treatments include physical therapy and wearing orthotic devices or shoe inserts. A doctor can also prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections for pain. Sometimes surgery is needed to relieve the pressure and repair the toe joint. Ingrown toenails occur when a piece of the nail breaks or grows into the skin, which can happen when nails are cut improperly. Ingrown toenails are very common in the large toes. A doctor can remove the part of the nail that is cutting into the skin. This allows the area to heal. Ingrown toenails can often be avoided by cutting the toenail straight across and level with the top of the toe.

Hammer Toe is caused by a shortening of the tendons that control toe movements. The toe “knuckle” is usually enlarged, drawing the toe back. Over time, the joint enlarges and stiffens as it rubs against shoes. Balance may be affected. Wearing shoes and stockings with plenty of toe room is a treatment for hammertoe. In very serious cases, surgery may be required. Spurs are calcium growths that develop on bones in the feet. They are caused by muscle strain in the feet. Standing for long periods of time, wearing badly fitting shoes, or being overweight can make spurs worse. Sometimes spurs are painless, at other times they can be very painful. Treatments for spurs include using foot supports, heel pads, and heel cups. Sometimes surgery is needed.

Side Note: Some foot problems are directly related to back pain.

800Seniors.com is a leading referral system in the Elderly Healthcare industry. We are located on 5400 Atlantis Court, Moorpark, California 93021. 800Seniors.com provides the perfect match between seniors searching for health care provisions such as Home Care, Home Health, Skilled Nursing, Hospice Care, Medical Supplies, as well as a variety of Assisted Living Dallas and Care Homes nationwide. Take the confusion and hassle out of the search. For more information call 1-800-768-8221, visit http://800seniors.com or fax us your details at (805)517-1623.

About The Author: Gloria Ha’o Schneider is an expert in senior citizen and baby boomer issues. Her topics revolve around Senior Living and Healthcare to provide the latest information to this demographic as well as their families and loved ones.

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