Beyond Neighbours-Physician Directed Mobile Seniors Care Service

After all the hopping around the Easter bunny did the other week, it had me thinking about foot care. I’m going out on a limb, but feet are the most overlooked part of our body. Dad jokes aside, long term neglect of the lower legs and feet can lead to pain, infection, falls and amputation. Everyone should pay attention to their feet but particularly those who are considered high risk.

Who is at high risk? Those who have pre-existing conditions including but not limited to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neuropathy, limited mobility, and those with impaired cognition. These individuals are more prone to adverse outcomes such as infection and even amputation.

Be Kind to Your Feet

Regular care is crucial to keeping you on your feet. Here are five things that you can routinely do to keep your feet happy.

Inspect your feet

Look in between the toes, feel around the heels and observe for changes. Changes in colour, sensation (numbness and tingling),texture, nail growth pattern, and presence of pain can all be subtle yet important changes. It is important to report these changes to your primary care provider or podiatrist as they may warrant further investigation or assessment.

Dry the area between toes after a bath or shower.

Prolonged moisture leads to skin breakdown.  Observe for any discharge, peeling skin, redness, blisters, and pressure points. Bring any concerns forward to your health care team.

Moisturize your feet.

Applying lotion daily can help prevent skin breakdown and also prevent irritation due to dryness. Low residue lotion is ideal. If your skin is prone to calluses and/or excessive dryness consider a lotion with urea. If you have a history of gout, discuss with your health care provider prior to using lotion with urea. Call us if you have a question about selecting a good emollient. When applying lotion, take care to avoid in between the toes. Ensure adequate time for lotion to absorb and dry to avoid slips and falls. Ideally, non skid socks or shoes would be applied after lotion is applied. 

Beyond Neighbours-Physician Directed Mobile Seniors Care Service
Beyond Neighbours-Physician Directed Mobile Seniors Care Service
Gently file calloused areas.

Use a foot file or pumice stone to lightly remove calloused skin. A tip is to do scrub before your bath. The dead skin is easier to remove, it then washes off during your bath or shower. 

Ensure proper fitting foot wear.

Foot wear that is ill fitting can lead to pressure, skin breakdown, foot and toe deformities and decrease an individuals desire to ambulate due to fear of pain or discomfort.

Aim for  good control of your diabetes and quit smoking. These factors take a large toll on your blood vessels and nerves in your legs and feet. Feet are often the canary in the coal mine for your health. Contact Beyond Neighbours if you need a hand with your foot care.

Contact Us

Alberta Seniors Benefits has provisions for partial reimbursement for foot care for individuals that qualify. We are happy to walk you through this process! Many private insurance companies also provide partial or complete reimbursement for these services as well. 

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