Footcare is particularly important for individuals with diabetes because diabetes can lead to a variety of complications that affect the feet. Caring for our feet properly can help prevent these complications and maintain overall health.
Here are several reasons why foot care is crucial for seniors with diabetes:
Reduced blood circulation: Diabetes can damage blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the extremities, including the feet. Poor circulation can slow down the body’s ability to heal and fight infection, making foot injuries more prone to complications.
Nerve damage: Diabetes can cause nerve damage and a loss of foot sensation, often called neuropathy. When you can’t feel pain or discomfort, you may not notice injuries, blisters, or sores, allowing them to worsen and become infected.
Increased risk of infection: Diabetes can weaken the body’s ability to fight off infections. A small cut, blister, or sore on the foot can lead to a serious infection if not promptly and properly treated.
Foot ulcers: Untreated or poorly managed foot injuries can develop into foot ulcers and become infected or lead to more severe complications.
Gangrene: In severe cases, untreated foot ulcers and infections can lead to tissue death (necrosis). Gangrene is a serious condition that may require amputation to prevent the spread of disease.
Charcot foot: Diabetes can also cause a condition called Charcot’s foot, which weakens the bones in the foot and can result in deformities, instability, and joint damage.
Calluses and corns: High-pressure areas on the feet due to altered gait or poorly fitting shoes lead to the development of calluses and corns. These can become problematic if they become too thick or develop open sores beneath them.
To maintain healthy feet and reduce the risk of complications, individuals with diabetes should follow these foot care guidelines:
- Daily inspect your feet for any cuts, blisters, sores, or changes in colour or temperature.
- Daily wash your feet with a gentle soap and lukewarm water, and pat them dry gently.
- Moisturize your feet, but avoid putting lotion between your toes to prevent fungal infections.
- Toenails should be trimmed straight across, and avoid cutting the corners too closely.
- Protect your feet by wearing well-fitting, comfortable shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning.
- Look inside your shoes for foreign objects or rough areas before putting them on.
- Avoid going barefoot at home.
- Your blood sugar levels can be controlled through diet, exercise, and medication as your healthcare provider prescribes.
- Regularly visit a healthcare professional or podiatrist for foot exams and follow their advice for managing foot-related issues.
Proper foot care and good blood sugar management can help prevent foot complications in individuals with diabetes and promote overall well-being. If you have diabetes, it’s essential to make foot care an integral part of your daily routine and seek professional guidance when needed.
For many of our senior loved ones living at home, it is a challenge to manage diabetes and care for their feet properly. Promyse Home Care provides in-home support to seniors with diabetes in Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge.
Promyse Home Diabetes Care
We are pleased to receive the Readers Choice Diamond Award 2023 for Best Footcare Clinic in Kitchener and Waterloo! We want to thank everyone who voted, our incredible clients, and our valued community clinic partners in retirement and long-term care.
It’s a true honour to serve this community! Here’s to keeping those feet happy and healthy!