Your aging family members are likely to experience declining health and develop several conditions as they age. Foot problems are one of the most typical sufferings that are not just painful but also raise mobility issues and fall risks. Research suggests that about 36 million elders in America experience falls, many of which are directly associated with poor foot and leg health.

Cracked heels, ankle sprains, and fungal infections are some common issues that occur due to underlying health conditions like diabetes, poor circulation, obesity, or other reasons. Understanding the root causes can help address the concerns and give your elders relief from discomfort.

Therefore, we will here have a discussion on the common foot problems in seniors and how to care for them effectively.

Common Foot Problems in Older Adults and How to Deal With Them

1. Plantar Fasciitis:

The first on the list of Plantar Fasciitis, characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. The sufferer witnesses intense heel pain, especially during the first few steps in the morning, which gradually decreases after walking for a while. However, after a longer rest period, when the person walks again, the pain will pop up.


  • Stretching exercises, orthotic shoe inserts, and supportive footwear help relieve this condition. Aging foot issues
  • If the senior is obese, managing weight can also help deal with this problem.

2. Bunions:

For many seniors, bunions – bony bumps that develop at the base of the big toe, can result in discomfort and difficulty wearing certain types of shoes. The aging foot issue is raised due to the bones in the feet’s front part moving from their correct position. This way, the toe will be stretched toward the little toe, causing soreness or reddish skin around bunions. 

How to ease the pain: 

  • Wearing wider and soft shoes can help soothe the pain.
  • Wrap ice in a towel and position on the bunion for about 5 minutes.
  • If the pain worsens, take prescribed painkillers.

3. Diabetic Foot Ulcers

Research in 2021 showed that over 16.5 million American seniors aged 65 and older had diabetes. This condition results in bringing several issues to the body, foot ulcers are one of them. 

Due to an imbalance in blood sugar, poor circulation, and diabetic neuropathy, old adults may develop open wounds on their feet. About 15% of diabetes patients are likely to have this issue. These wounds may turn into severe infections if they remain untreated. 

How to Manage:

Typically this treatment needs a podiatrist’s consultancy. Here are some of the ways that help prevent infections:

  • Keeping the wounds clean and bandaged. 
  • Avoid walking barefoot; instead, use soft footwear.
  • Ensuring that glucose levels are under control. 

4. Corns and Calluses: 

Another very common foot condition in the elderly is corns and calluses, which occur when the feet start developing hard and thick layers of skin on a foot’s bottom in response to protection. 

Corns are smaller in size yet deeper, with a hard center and swollen surrounding area. On the other hand, calluses are relatively larger and usually grow on the pressure points. Both of these are painful and make it difficult to walk properly. 

It is usually considered a chronic condition that may reoccur even if handled appropriately; however, this does not apply to everyone with corns and calluses.

What can Help Relief or Alleviate Corns and Calluses:

  • Remove the thickened dead skin to sweep away the corn or calluse. Taking professional consultation is recommended for this trimming process. 
  • Salicylic acid and urea-based lotions or capsules are usually prescribed for cure.

5. Flat Feet:

Flat feet, a condition where the arches of the feet collapse inwards, are common among seniors. The consequences of flat feet include feeling discomfort, reduced mobility, and even pain.  Thankfully, there are solutions to improve foot function and keep your senior loved ones moving! 

What can help in senior foot care?

  • Orthotic inserts, specially designed shoe inserts that support the arches, can significantly improve comfort.
  • In some cases, physical therapy exercises that strengthen the muscles supporting the arch can also be beneficial.

6. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD):

Seniors are at an increased risk of developing Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). PAD is a condition developed due to narrowed arteries that restrict blood flow to the lower limbs. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including cramping or pain in the legs during activity, wounds on the feet or toes that heal slowly, and a noticeable difference in temperature between the two legs. Fortunately, managing PAD often involves lifestyle changes. Here’s how: 

Managing PAD:

  • Engaging in regular exercise to improve circulation and alleviate senior’s foot pain.
  • Meticulous foot care to prevent complications like infections.

7. Hammer Toe:

Hammer toe, a condition that causes a toe to bend abnormally, can impact seniors. This deformity, often affecting the middle joint, can develop due to wearing ill-fitting shoes for extended periods, arthritis, or other factors. Hammer toes can cause pain, irritation, and difficulty wearing shoes.

Things that help with Hammer Toe:

  • These treatments include toe splints, appropriate footwear with a deep toe box that allows for proper toe movement, and gentle toe-stretching exercises.
  •  In severe cases, surgery may be necessary for correction.

Final Thoughts

Foot problems are a common concern for seniors, but they don’t have to be a barrier to maintaining an active and fulfilling life. By providing necessary companionship for elderly and taking proactive steps, you can help your loved ones in preventing foot problems in old age.