Senior Citizen Foot Care and Diabetes

Foot-Pain-Examination-300x204.jpg​​Statistics indicate that almost 12% of Americans age 65 or above (about 26% of sen​iors) have diabetes, and foot ulcers, caused by diabetes-related nerve and blood vessel damage, are common among diabetic individuals.

An article in the journal PLOS ONE estimates that the country spends $1.9 billion per year treating diabetic foot ulcers in emergency rooms; when the costs of inpatient diabetic foot ulcer treatment are included, that number leaps to almost $9 billion.

Senior citizen foot care

Elderly individuals with diabetes need to take extra care to care for their feet and decrease the risk of foot injury. Among the recommended steps are:

Do a check every day. It only takes a few minutes to inspect feet for damage on a daily basis. Look for sores, cuts, blisters, redness, swelling, infected toenails, or anything else that is out of the ordinary. Because diabetes may decrease foot sensitivity, seniors with diabetes may damage their feet without realizing that they have done so. If mobility issues make inspection difficult, ask a family member or friend to help.

Wash and care for your feet every day.  If there are days when you don't shower, a quick wash is fine. Avoid soaking your feet for long periods of time, as soaking has a tendency to deplete oils and cause the skin to get dry. Regularly apply lotion to the tops and bottoms of feet to keep skin moisturized, but do not put it between the toes. Keep toenails trimmed neatly. Again, if these tasks are difficult, ask for help.

Consult with a doctor about corns and calluses. A doctor can recommend the best daily treatment for common issues such as corns and calluses.

Avoid going barefoot. If diabetes has de-sensitized your feet, you may step on a sharp or otherwise painful object and not realize it. Wearing shoes and socks helps to minimize the risk of damage.

Keep blood flowing. Being more physically active helps keep blood flowing, so try to get an appropriate amount of exercise throughout the day. Avoid sitting for extended periods of time; when you do sit, keep your feet raised on an ottoman, stool, or other support. Try not to cross your legs, as this can impede flow.

Manage diabetes. The most important step a senior with diabetes can take to improve senior citizen foot care is to take adequate care of his or her diabetes. Following the prescribed course of treatment is crucial to obtaining the best possible outcome.


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