Winter foot care for the elderly

08 December 2016

This article has been written for you by our regional partner for North Nottinghamshire, Claire Hemsworth. Claire is a podiatrist/chiropodist by profession, and therefore truly understands the importance of keeping your feet well cared for in the Winter months.

Generally speaking feet should be kept well moisturised, heels are callus free and essentially, wear warm socks and protective shoes with a good grip when you go out in the cold.

Keeping warm generally, helps to keep extremities warm, so my advice is to wear several layers of thin clothes to keep warm air trapped rather than one thick layer. Ideally the temperature in the house should be around 21 degrees but due to rising fuel costs this is not always possible. My advice is to heat only one room during the day and heat the bedroom just before bed.

The cold weather can have detrimental effects on the feet, the following are a few examples of medical conditions affecting the feet which you should watch out for:

  • Chilblains – these can be itchy, painful and can develop into blisters on the feet, they can be particularly slow to heal if you have poor circulation, on average they last 7 – 10 days and then usually disappear.To prevent chilblains you need to make sure that the affected areas are kept as warm as possible with warmer socks, less time spent in the cold and resting and raising your feet on a footrest to encourage better circulation. Smoking affects our circulation too and can in turn make chilblains worse.
  • Raynaud’s Syndrome – This is a common condition whereby the blood vessels to the feet go into spasm, blocking the blood flow. The condition can affect the fingers too. The obvious sign to look out for are areas going white then blue and returning back to red once an effective blood flow returns. Raynaud’s can develop just on its own or it can be as a result of a secondary trigger, for example, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. A result of Raynaud’s sometimes brings about lower leg/foot ulcers. Stopping smoking can really help, and medication can be prescribed to dilate the blood vessels.

 

In conclusion, if you have any signs or concerns regarding the health of your feet, speak to your GP or local podiatrist.

If you need help getting around the house, undertaking daily activities or attending appointments due to health problems in your feet or otherwise, a Promedica24 live-in companion and carer could be a helpful addition to your household. For more information contact us on 0800 086 086 or email info@promedica24.co.uk

Promedica24

Promedica24 Nottinghamshire

Live-in care in Nottinghamshire

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