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Common Foot Problems for Older Adults

There are 26 bones and 33 joints in each of your aging relative’s feet. Not to mention the 120 muscles, ligaments, nerves, and tendons. So, it’s no wonder that things can go wrong, causing pain and making it hard for them to do some of their normal activities. In fact, about one third of all people aged 65 or older suffers from pain, aching, or stiffness in their feet. Part of the reason foot problems occur in older adults is because they have been exposed to decades of weight bearing and hard work, so the bones and joints suffer from wear and tear. There are many kinds of foot problems that can happen with age. Here are just a few of them.

Dry, Cracked Skin

Skin on the soles and heels of the feet can get very dry and flaky. Although dry skin may seem like a minor issue, if it’s not taken care of, it could cause more serious problems. Dry skin can crack, especially on the heels. The cracks can be painful and make walking difficult. And, if the cracks get too bad, they can allow bacteria to enter and lead to an infection.


Between 10 and 16 percent of older adults have osteoarthritis, which is caused by normal wear and tear. Ankles and big toe joints are commonly affected by this disease. Another kind of arthritis that can affect the feet is gout. Gout is caused by the build up of uric acid crystals in joints. It often affects the big toe.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails happen when the edge of the toenail grows into the groove between the nail and the skin. They can be very painful and can get infected. They are caused by ill-fitting shoes and by the toenails being clipped incorrectly. They can also be caused by an injury to the foot.

Flat Feet

Ligaments in the feet can stretch out as people age. This can result in the lowering of the arch of the foot, a problem commonly referred to as flat feet. Flat feet can cause pain in the middle of the foot. Pain may also occur in the lower back, hips, and knees. Because it changes the angle of the foot, fallen arches can make the feet unstable.

Senior care can assist older adults with flat feet to manage the pain and live more comfortably. If the doctor has approved the use of over the counter medications for pain, a senior care provider can remind your aging relative to take them when pain occurs. Senior care can also monitor them to make certain they don’t take too much. Senior care can also help spare older adults foot pain caused by exerting themselves to do household chores, allowing them to spend more time pain free and doing the things they love.


if you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Elizabeth, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.