The Significance of Foot Care for Senior Loved Ones

Foot care for our senior loved ones is integral to their health. Taking care of their feet and checking for problems has many benefits.

The importance of staying active

Being able to walk easily is essential, especially for our senior loved ones, and walking is a great way to keep fit. Foot problems can quickly reduce mobility. If walking is painful, an older adult will walk less. This can lead to less independence, little exercise, and risks of the development of blood clots (deep-vein thrombosis).

Healthy feet improve balance for seniors

With better balance, there is a reduction in the risk of falls. Painful foot conditions such as corns, bunions, hammertoes, osteoarthritis and diabetes can affect a senior’s balance and coordination when walking or standing. Exercise can maintain lower body strength even though painful foot and ankle conditions can make exercise for seniors difficult. Minimizing or eliminating foot pain in seniors improves their balance, coordination and stability when walking or standing.

Feet can help alert you to health problems at an early stage. Issues such as diabetes, arthritis, poor blood circulation and nerve damage can affect the feet.

Source: Ontario Chiropodists

Diabetes and foot problems

Some foot problems are not just painful; they can affect the nerves in the feet and numb the feeling of hot, cold or pain. Minor cuts or sores can then become more profound and more prominent. Diabetes can cause poor blood flow in your legs, so it is imperative to:

  • look at your feet every day to check for things like cuts, sores, ingrown or infected toenails, dry, cracked skin or swelling
  • wear shoes that fit well, so you don’t get blisters, corns, or bunions on your feet
  • ask your doctor or healthcare provider to check your feet at each visit

What Caregivers can do

Home healthcare providers can examine clients’ feet to learn about their health. It is helpful if caregivers ask seniors if they have any cramping, numbness or tingling in their feet.

Bottom of the foot – If the feet show any cuts, calluses, blisters, and pressure sores, they usually should heal within 24 hours; if not, caregivers should contact the client’s physician.

Toenails – Ingrown toenails should be avoided for any senior, especially if there are circulation issues, as ingrown toenails could lead to more severe concerns. Once the toenails are cut, caregivers want to be sure to file the toenails straight across and round out the edges.

Proper fitting shoes – Health in Aging indicates that three out of four people over 65 are wearing shoes that are too small, which is the primary cause of foot pain. Caregivers can check to see how the shoes fit and if they have the correct size.

Wash feet daily – Warm water is the most soothing, and soak for no longer than 10 minutes; otherwise, the skin can dry and start to crack – dry well between the toes. Moisturize the feet top and bottom but avoid getting moisturizer between the toes.

Teach seniors to stretch their feet – Stretching the feet will reduce muscle tension and address knot formations before these knots become painful. It is good to speak with the seniors’ doctor to see what stretches are possible, and then the caregiver can teach their clients stretches like the plantar fascia stretch.

Keeping Blood Flowing to Their Feet – Seniors crossing their legs for an extended length of time can inhibit blood flow to their feet is essential. Have the seniors elevate their feet as often as possible. Suggest how important it is to wiggle their toes and move their ankles up and down twice a day.

Our senior loved ones need advice, education, and support to maintain foot health. Healthcare professionals play a significant role in promoting health and educating seniors.

At Promyse, our team is carefully screened for their training, knowledge, and experience and selected for their care and compassion. Our Nurse Case Manager will work with you and your caregiver to adapt the plan of care to ensure the best possible outcomes.

Other Resources:

Sign up for a free

In-Home Consultation

I am looking for:
What is the best time to call?

stay connected to your loved one's health

book a free health-care consultation

I am looking for:
What is the best time to call?


hire your personalized nursing team today