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Self-help Tips for the Elderly


Foot Care

Our Feet

Our feet consist of skin, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels. It is one of the most important organs of our body. A pair of healthy feet enables us to balance our body effectively in walking, running, dancing and in many other daily activities. Our feet are vulnerable to repetitive mechanical stress and skin irritations due to tremendous daily usage.


Common Foot Problems

Common foot problems in elderly people include dry skin, calluses, corns, friction blisters, ingrown toenail, foot deformity, fungal infection and warts. These problems are usually caused by inappropriate or inadequate foot care, mechanical cause, infection, as well as underlying problems e.g. diabetic vascular disease, congenital foot deformity, etc.

We can promote foot health and prevent foot problem through proper daily care.


Daily Care

  1. Clean both feet thoroughly with warm water

  2. Dry both feet especially the space between the toes

  3. Apply body lotion onto feet and massage lightly to prevent dryness

  4. Avoid applying body cream or lotion in-between toes

  5. Trim toenails straightly across. Do not cut too close to the nailbed

  6. Sharp corner or edges should be smoothened out by using a nail file

  7. Immobile elderly should perform daily foot exercise to ensure good blood circulation

  8. Put on footwear when walking to avoid slipping or foot injury

  9. Do not apply treatment or drugs onto foot without appropriate advice


Daily Inspection

  1. Inspect the feet on skin color, dryness, swelling or tenderness

  2. Look out for blister, crack, sores, ulcers, corns and any ingrown toenail ( Nails growing into skin)

  3. Any unusual sensation: tingling, paraesthesia or pain

  4. If there is joint pain or deformity, seek proper treatment


Selection of Shoes and Socks

Socks

  • Use cotton which can absorb sweat

  • Wash socks frequently to ensure hygiene

Shoes

  • Choose the proper size and shape ( able to put one finger at heel side)

  • The front should be roomy enough for the toes to lie flat and wiggle, but it should not be too wide, otherwise the friction will cause calluses

  • The material should be soft, breathable and flexible

  • The heel part should be strong and rigid enough to provide support for the ankle to avoid sprains

  • The height of the heel should be around 0.5-1 inch

  • Use in-soles and cushions to more evenly distribute the body weight


Related topics

Aging

Diabetes Mellitus

Skin Care for the Elderly

 
   
 
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2006 copyright logo | Important notices Last Revision Date : 1 October 2006