Thursday, April 25, 2024

Get on the front foot with diabetes


By Julianna Stewart

How well do you know your feet? It might seem like an odd question, but for diabetics, the health of your feet is critical.

It’s common for people who have diabetes to suffer from bunions, corns, fungal infections, calluses, skin dryness and ingrown toenails.

If you haven’t checked lately, it’s a good time to get to know your feet to see if you notice anything unusual.

If a lack of flexibility or other mobility issues make it difficult to see the soles of your feet close up, you can try putting a mirror on the floor and looking at the bottom of your feet from a seated position.

Diabetes can cause nerve and vascular damage in your feet or legs, which can make them
less sensitive to touch, heat or cold. This is problematic if you have a sore or cut which goes unnoticed, or if the nerve damage to muscles in your feet is causing you to walk incorrectly.

The other foot health issue is the lack of blood flow caused by diabetes which can result in ulcers.

The old man sat on the sofa to help the grandmother use the pedicure to repair the dead skin on the foot.

For 80-year-old diabetic, Ying Wang, keeping up-to-date with the latest research into diabetes has helped her manage her own condition properly.

“I used to just soak my feet now and then when I remembered, but now I check my feet
daily when I’ve had a shower to see if there are any changes,” she said.

To ensure she was accessing the latest information about diabetes and how to look after
herself to prevent any further symptoms. Ying joined a Wellness for Independence program
called Foot and Diabetes Wellness through aged care service provider integratedliving Australia.

Through her participation in the 16-week on-line course, Ying discovered how to adjust her
diet and nutrition to maintain her blood sugar levels as well as some aspects of diabetes
management that she hadn’t realised before.

“I found out that not all medications can be broken into two for ease of swallowing and that
some tablets can’t be crushed because of the way they are formulated for slow release or
extended release,” she said.

“I’m also more aware of how my sleep, mental health and daily emotions are connected
with diabetes management.”

Ying enjoys new friendships with like-minded seniors who also participated in the online
program, and regularly shares experiences with the group on how she is keeping herself
healthy by walking 3,000 steps per day and doing gentle exercises and stretches.

Looking for changes in her feet, ankles and lower legs is now important as she realises that
diabetes makes her more susceptible to skin and circulation ailments.

To hear how another older Australian, 74-year-old Marji, is managing her diabetes and the
changes she has made to keep well, listen to the Live Well podcast here.

Being informed is critical to helping you manage your diabetes and there’s no better and
more engaging way than to join a Wellness for Independence Program with other seniors to
share stories, meet new friends and learn about better ways to maintain and improve your

To find out more about integratedliving and how it can help you or your loved ones stay
well and independent in your own homes, visit www.integratedliving.org.au or phone 1300
782 896.

Latest Articles