Increasingly, McDermott Footcare receives out-of-town and out-of-province enquiries from people requesting nursing foot care services for their parents or other family members who live in Toronto, Canada. This indicates families’ close involvement in the care and well-being of their elderly parents.
Often, people express concerns that mom and dad are unable to care for their feet because of these common underlying factors:
- a diagnosis of diabetes
- arthritis that makes self-care challenging
- limited mobility
- poor eyesight
- inability to reach their feet
- a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia
- other medical conditions that limit self-care
- the use of blood thinner medication
- thickened, fungal toenails that are difficult to clip
In the elderly population, fungal nail and skin conditions as well as painful corns, calluses and structural changes are common. An important consideration to note is that parents may be reluctant to show their feet or talk about foot-related issues because they are embarrassed by the appearance of their feet. Patience and understanding are needed when discussing these issues with elderly parents since mom and dad hesitate to show their feet, even to their adult children. Very often a new client will say to me: “oh nurse, you’ve never seen feet as ugly as mine.” Mom and dad need reassurance that they can seek nursing foot care without embarrassment or fear of judgement.
If mom or dad express pain and difficulty when walking, gently ask them about their feet. In most cases, maintaining regular nursing foot care visits will resolve their concerns and enable them to remain active and on their feet.
Copyright Terry McDermott. May not be reproduced in whole or in part without permission of author