One of the top concerns for diabetics, aside from managing the disease itself, is the havoc diabetes can wreak on the feet. Because of the potential for nerve damage, restricted blood flow, and a weakened immune system, wounds, particularly on the feet, can be difficult to heal.
To stay a step ahead of diabetes-related foot problems, try these tips courtesy of the American Diabetes Association:
- Keep your diabetes in check: Stay on top of your diabetes care overall with your health care team, keeping your blood glucose in the appropriate range.
- Check your feet daily: Set aside time each day to look at the bottom of your feet for any red spots, cuts, swelling, blisters, etc.
- Stay active: Work with your physician to implement an appropriate exercise program.
- Wear specially designed shoes: Try out shoes made especially for diabetic feet; Medicare may even cover the cost.
- Keep your feet clean: Be sure to wash and carefully dry your feet each day, especially between the toes.
- Take care of your skin: Apply a thin layer of skin lotion on the tops and bottoms of your feet (not between toes).
- Trim toenails: Cut toenails straight across and then file the edges with an emery board.
- Never go barefoot: Wear comfortable shoes that fit well at all times.
- Avoid hot and cold: Treat your feet like you would a baby, by testing water temperatures before stepping in, and avoiding the use of heating pads, electric blankets and hot water bottles.
- Maximize blood flow: Avoid crossing your legs for long periods of time, elevate your feet when sitting, and take time throughout the day to wiggle your toes and flex your ankles.
For more tips on proper diabetic foot care, call on the Massachusetts home care experts at North River Home Care. We help those with diabetes and other chronic conditions with home health services including bathing/showering, dressing/grooming, and mobility, as well as homemaker/companion services to offer emotional support, recreational activities, light housekeeping and laundry, and much more. We’re here for you according to your schedule, whether it’s just a few hours occasionally or full-time, around-the-clock care. Call us at 781-659-1366 and let us know how we can help you.