To support National Diabetes Week (July 9-15), we want to heighten awareness around the important role carers play in helping people living with diabetes.
Carers can help their patients, partners or family to maintain healthy feet by ensuring they receive regular podiatry care.
Around 10,000 Australians living with diabetes are admitted to hospital every year for diabetes-related foot ulcers. With a staggering 4400 ending up with an amputation to the lower limb.
Here are five healthy feet tips for carers to remember when looking after people with diabetes:
- Regular monitoring schedule – Get into the daily habit of visually examining feet for any marks, spots, cuts, swelling or redness. The skin mirrors what is happening underneath it.
- Maintain hygiene – Religiously wash and dry feet daily to avoid infections which can lead to bigger problems.
- Appropriate footwear – Ensure shoes are correctly fitted to provide support and reduce points of possible irritation.
- Appropriate socks – Wear cotton socks with no elastic in the tops to both absorb sweat, assist circulation and reduce pressure on the foot.
- Annual podiatry visit – People with diabetes need to visit a podiatrist at least every 12 months (as recommended by Diabetes Australia), or more frequently for those with peripheral neuropathy, foot deformities or reduced circulation.
Around 85 per cent of diabetes-related amputations are preventable if problems are detected early and a care plan and foot protection program is established.
Do you know someone with diabetes or who cares for someone living with diabetes? Make feet the topic of conversation this week and help us stomp out Australia’s foot problem.
For more information on how we can help with diabetes foot health book an appointment with your local podiatrist today.