If you are the caregiver for an elderly adult who is living with diabetes, it is important to understand that there is more to this care than just making sure that they check their blood sugar and follow the dietary guidelines given to them by their doctor. Diabetes can impact the entire body and lead to a wide range of complications and concerns, including serious problems with their feet. Properly caring for your elderly parent’s feet as they deal with diabetes is an important step in protecting them from serious consequences such as ulcers, skin damage, and infection.
Use these tips to care for the feet of a senior who is living with diabetes:
- Examine their feet daily. Nerve damage can make it so that your parent does not feel when they have damage or injuries to their feet. This can make them vulnerable to infection and other serious issues. Take the time to look over their feet daily to detect issues such as ulcers, dry areas, tears, blisters, callouses, and more so that you can address them promptly and effectively.
- Be extremely careful with temperature. Inability to feel can mean that your parent might not be able to detect extreme temperatures. This does not mean, however, that they will not suffer damage from the temperatures. Your parent might put their feet in water that is extremely hot and suffer burns without realizing it. If they are also suffering cognitive difficulties, they might go outside in cold temperatures without shoes. Both can result in very serious damage.
- Wash their feet daily. Even if your parent does not take a full bath or shower every day, make sure that they wash their feet thoroughly. This is a good opportunity to examine their feet and also removes debris, dirt, and germs that can lead to complications.
- Moisturize properly. Diabetes can lead to very dry skin, which can be vulnerable to damage and infection. Make sure that your parent applies high quality moisturizer to their feet daily to keep their skin healthy and resilient. Make sure that they do not put heavy moisturizer or oil between their toes, as this can increase the chances of infection.
- Ensure proper-fitting shoes. Shoes that are too tight or too loose, or that are not the right shape, can lead to friction, pressure, pinching, and other problems that increase the risk of damage to their feet.
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult is challenging and can lead to a tremendous amount of stress. Fortunately, home care can help. An in-home care provider can be there for your aging parent when you are not able to, or if your schedule, limitations, or challenges make it so that you are not able to fulfill all of their care tasks so that they always have access to all of the care, support, and assistance that they need. This relieves your stress and ensures that you are able to give your parent the care that they need while also focusing energy and attention on the other elements of your life, including your children, your partner, your career, your friends, and yourself. The customized schedule and personalized services of this care provider ensure that your loved one gets the care that is truly right for them and for the lifestyle that they desire and deserve as they age in place.
If you have a loved one who could benefit from caregiver services in Concord, CA, contact the caregivers at A Better Living Home Care Agency. We help seniors and their families with many levels of home care. Call 925-566-2366 for more information.