Foot Injuries Aging Adults Frequently Experience

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Seniors are often at greater risk for foot injuries as their muscles lose mass and their bones become weaker. Vision or balance problems increase the risk of injury due to falls. In the majority of cases, minor injuries heal without the need for medical attention. Even so, family caregivers should familiarize themselves with the most common foot injuries sustained by the elderly.

Neuromas

Regularly wearing high-heeled shoes or shoes that are too tight puts excess pressure on the nerves between the toes, a condition known as Morton’s neuroma. The problem causes discomfort that can range from numbness and tingling to severe pain. Applying ice to the area usually relieves the discomfort. You can help your senior loved one avoid this injury by choosing shoes with lower heels and wider toes, which eliminates the stress on nerves. Some seniors might also need padding or orthotic inserts.

Bunions

This unsightly bulge on the outer part of the foot just below the big toe occurs when the joint connecting the toe to the foot gradually shifts outward. Shoes with high heels or narrow toes are most often to blame. However, for some, heredity is a factor. If the problem remains untreated, the condition can become extremely painful and prevent seniors from walking or wearing shoes. Ice applications, footpads, and more appropriate footwear can alleviate the discomfort. In severe cases, surgeons can reverse the displacement.

If your loved one needs help with daily tasks while recovering from foot surgery or an injury, a home caregiver can be your ideal choice. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Green Valley respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Achilles Tendinitis

The long Achilles tendon that rises from the heel upward can thicken or become inflamed or swollen when overworked. Tight calf muscles and high-impact exercise routines are contributing factors. The symptoms often resolve on their own when seniors choose low-impact activities or perform exercises designed to stretch and strengthen calf muscles. Some reasonable exercise options include cycling and using elliptical machines.

A professional caregiver can help your loved one exercise at home in safety and comfort. When considering home care service, families should make sure their senior loved ones have the resources they need to maintain their independence and remain healthy. Trusted in-home care professionals can assist seniors with daily tasks like cooking, bathing, and exercise, and they can also encourage them to focus on healthier lifestyle habits.

Sprained Ankles

Statistics suggest that every year, up to 25,000 people fall, make missteps, or accidentally twist their feet in ways that result in sprained ankles. The injury commonly occurs when the connective tissues on the outer side of the ankle abnormally stretch or tear. The individual experiences immediate pain along with swelling and possible bruising. The discomfort often prevents a senior from bearing weight on the affected foot. Mild cases only require rest, ice, bandage wraps, and elevation to heal, but it’s important to see a doctor to verify the sprain isn’t something worse.

Stress Fractures

Because bones weaken with age, a fall or even stepping awkwardly on a curb or uneven surface could cause your elderly loved one to experience a stress fracture in his or her foot. This crack in the foot bone results in pain when walking or standing, and it’s often characterized by severe bruising. Doctors typically prescribe resting the foot, and a cast, walking boot, or crutches may be necessary while the fracture heals. You can help your parent avoid stress fractures by making sure he or she gets plenty of bone-strengthening calcium and vitamin D in his or her diet, encouraging your loved one to exercise every day, and helping him or her perform balance training exercises. 

Foot pain and other ailments can make accomplishing daily tasks more challenging for seniors. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of homecare. Green Valley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at 520-625-2050 today.