Jan 25, 2018 by Alan White
Swollen ankles may be the result of many chronic or acute medical conditions. If your mom or dad has help from elder home care services, they may be able to ask for some help reducing swelling. Treatments for swollen ankles can be as easy as resting for a while, or they can be a sign that they need long-term medical treatment. It’s imperative to understand the cause of foot swelling, so your loved one should take a trip to the doctor and get a diagnosis. Although rest and sitting with their feet raised may be a treatment, it may only be a fraction of what your parent must do.
One cause of ankle swelling may be an accumulation of fluids in ankles and calves because of high blood pressure in your loved one’s heart and lungs. Increased blood pressure in these areas means your loved one’s blood will be backed up far away from their core, and gravity will drag this blood down into the feet. This is called an edema, and it has serious implications for your loved one’s immediate health. Foot swelling is a common symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and your loved one should see a doctor immediately to pursue further treatment.
Kidney disease can also lead to foot swelling. If your loved one’s kidney isn’t functioning properly, it won’t remove extra fluid from their diet. The heart can only take up so much fluid, so it builds up in your loved one’s legs, ankles, feet, and hands.
Elder home care services have seen ankle sprains lead to swelling as well. If blood vessels break during a sprain, it can cause swelling and bruising. In addition, the body’s natural healing mechanisms lead to swelling as extra resources are poured into the ankle to get it back in shape.
The way to handle ankle swelling depends on what causes it. If your loved one has an ankle sprain, they need R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation). If their swelling is caused by a lack of activity, they should consider getting regular exercise to reduce their discomfort. And if they have an edema due to a disease such as a kidney disease of COPD, they should seek medical treatment immediately.
Elder home care services recommend checking with a doctor to determine why your loved one’s ankles are swelling, so that your loved one doesn’t allow a potentially life-threatening health condition to go untreated.