Ways to boost blood flow to seniorsí feet
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By Julie Ann Anderson  December 20, 2013 12:00 am

Practicing effective senior citizen foot care is a worthy goal for both caregivers and their patients. 

Many seniors encounter foot issues ranging from tingling to swelling to corns to more serious problems. One of the most effective steps one can take in this area is to strive to increase blood circulation to the feet.

 How does improved blood circulation help?

Proper blood circulation does not solve all senior citizen foot care issues, but it's an important component in maintaining foot health as one ages. The better the blood circulates, the more effective it is at transporting oxygen and nutrients around the body, including to the feet. When the body receives its share of oxygen and nutrients, it's simply able to function at a higher level.


What to do

• Walk it off: People with poor blood circulation often experience pain in their feet, so it may seem odd to suggest walking as a way to improve blood flow. Nevertheless, it's true for many people that a regular, moderate amount of walking improves foot health. This is especially true if a person is prone to sitting for long periods of time.


• Don't get cross: Crossing the legs while sitting impedes proper blood flow. If you are unable to sit with both feet on the floor, try putting your feet on a foot stool rather than your crossing legs.


• Keep your feet warm: Cold temperatures can negatively affect circulation. Covering your feet with a warm blanket or using a heating pad can help. If you use a heating pad (or other heating element), make sure that it doesn't get too hot and isn't left on for too long.


• Rub it in: Foot massages can help keep blood happy and ready to move.


• Keep the weight off: It may seem like maintaining a proper weight is a recommendation for almost every ill, and with good reason. Being overweight has consequences, such as forcing the heart to work harder and therefore affecting circulation. Also, the heavier a person is, the more weight is applied to the feet when they walk, and this in turn increases pain and decreases blood flow.


• Stop smoking: As with obesity, smoking is simply a bad idea for those desiring good health. Smoking can make it more difficult for blood to flow to the arteries, so quitting smoking is essential to keeping feet healthy.


Proper older adult foot care must include keeping blood flowing freely to and from the feet. This isn't a cure-all for foot issues, but it is a good cure for many minor foot issues and benefits other parts of the body as well. Put your best foot forward & have a great week ahead.


Julie Ann Anderson is the owner of Home Instead Senior care office in Rohnert Park; mother of two and passionate about healthy living at all ages. Having cared for her parents, she understands your struggles and aims, through her website, www.homeinstead.com/sonoma to educate and encourage seniors and caregivers. Have a caregiving or aging concern? She’d love to hear from you at 586-1516 anytime.

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