Diabetes in seniors requires spacial attention in several aspects of the senior patient’s care. This article focuses on footcare for seniors with diabetes.
Self Care or Support for Seniors With Diabetes
A senior adult who has had diabetes for a number of years, will be aware of the importance of listening to their diabetes doctor’s instructions. They know the importance of regulating their sugar and the effects that diabetes can have on the nervous system.
Family members and carers have to take on a supportive role, assisting the senior adult in their diabetes care.
The main things care will focus on are: medication management, exercising and maintaining a nutritious diet. Footcare for seniors with diabetes is another area of care.
Footcare for Seniors with Diabetes
Until a person thinks about it, they might not realize how much they rely on their healthy feet. Every person should give their feet care and attention, but senior adults with diabetes, more so.
Diabetes can cause nerve damage. In that case the feet cannot effectively feel hot, cold or pain.
These points are pointers for what you or your loved one should get or do as part of their diabetes care.
- Be in touch with the doctor for foot issues. Don’t wait it out.
- The doctor for diabetes is responsible to check the feet at every visit.
- Book an annual foot exam with the diabetes doctor.
- A podiatrist appointment should be scheduled every two or three months for prevention or treatment.
Shoes and Accessories
- Avoid bumps and foot injuries by wearing closed toe footwear.
- Do not walk bare foot in the house, by the beach or anywhere.
- Invest in soft comfortable socks and stockings and always wear them. Diabetic socks are specially made to keep the feet dry and warm, are padded and use gentle elastic.
- Shoes should be chosen for a good fit and for airiness. They should be made of natural breathable material. Leather or canvas shoes are suggested.
- Before shoes are to be worn, check there are no objects inside.
- Exercise your feet to improve circulation. Wriggle toes and circle and lever the ankles throughout the day.
- Position the legs in a way that promotes movement and circulation. Don’t cross over the legs.
- While not exercise, raising the legs while seated will allow the blood to flow better to the feet.
Foot and Nail Care
- The feet should be washed daily,without long soaking, using a soap-free soap and patted dry. Pay attention to drying in between toes.
- Apply a light lotion to feet with dry skin, avoiding spaces in between the toes.
- Daily, check the feet for sores or signs of infection.
- If you find dry hard skin or other conditions, book a doctor’s appointment to treat it.
- The podiatrist can cut the toe nails. If yourself or a family member will be cutting the nails the rule is: Cut straight across the top of the nail, use a nail file to smooth sharp edges, don’t cut the nails very short since that is a risk factor for ingrown toe nails.
Footcare for seniors with diabetes need not be complicated, but time and attention need to be set aside for it. In this way serious infection can be prevented.