10 Senior Foot Issues Home Care Agencies Should Monitor Closely

July 16, 2015

Seniors who dismiss pain or abnormalities on their feet would be advised to take another look at the root cause of their discomfort.

The condition of your feet can be an indicator of some serious health problems. For instance, brittle toenails could be a sign of a vitamin A or D deficiency, and loss of toe hair may reveal poor circulation since the blood isn’t delivering enough nutrients to hair follicles to keep them healthy. Most concerning, toes that tip up could mean heart, lung or intestinal issues.

Home care agencies should task their care providers with monitoring foot health, particularly when the client has certain medical conditions like diabetes. Most foot issues in the elderly population should not be left to home and over the counter remedies. Instead, a doctor should evaluate any persistent sore or pain.

Here are seven foot symptoms that should be taken seriously. See a physician if you experience any of the following:


Potential Issues

Common Treatments

Pain and swelling in heel.

Plantar Fasciitis–strain of connective tissue along bottom of foot

Physical therapy. Night splints. Orthotic shoes. Steroid shots. Surgery.

Pain in ball of feet

Neuroma- inflamed nerve

Foot pads and arch supports. Steroid injection. Decompression surgery.

Blister on side of big toe

Bunions – result from tight shoes)

Better fitting shoes. Padding and splinting to get foot in better position. Surgery to realign foot.

Discolored Toenails

Fungal infection

None: it can resolve on its own or never resolve.

Oral Anti-fungal drugs.

Medicated nail polish or cream.

Nail removal.

Laser and light therapy.

Brittle, chipping toenails

Vitamin A or D Deficiency potentially caused by Raynaud’s Disease, hyperthyroidism and others

Varies depending on underlying cause.

Toe hair falling off

Circulatory issues with weak heart-pumping underlying

Varies depending on underlying cause. Consult with vascular surgeon as well as physician.

Burning feet

Nerve dysfunction caused by diabetes, vitamin deficiency, medication side-effects, chemotherapy, kidney disease and more.

Varies depending on underlying cause.


Peripheral neuropathy cause by misaligned foot or diabetes

Diabetes treatment: medication, diet, exercise.. Surgery and shoe padding if foot misalignment.

Curled toes

Hammer toes caused by tendon malfunction

Changing shoes to roomier styles. Exercises. Surgery.

Persistent sore


Diabetes treatment: medication, diet, exercise.

The Best Home Care Agencies Assist with Senior Foot Care and Monitoring

Many senior home care agencies provide special training to their employees surrounding foot health. Caregivers should acquire a keen eye for foot issues common among the aging population. When you complete your profile with MyCareMatch.com, caregivers with the skills to treat your or your loved one’s specific care needs would like to meet you! Contact us with any questions you may have. Find your next care solution at MyCareMatch.com!  

About the Author

Doug Breuer is co-founder of MyCareMatch.com and has worked in senior care for the last 9 years for the State of Oregon. From investigating cases of elder abuse to managing the delivery of long term care to residents of Central Oregon, Doug has been involved in all aspects of senior care.

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