There is nothing physiologically or in the processes of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease that would directly cause foot problems. However, those with Alzheimer’s disease have more foot pain and the mechanism for that increase will be multi-factorial. This study showed that almost 90% of those with Alzheimer’s disease had at least one foot problem and up to a half were wearing the incorrect size of footwear.
The reason for such a high number would be the age (older people have more foot problems) and the general inadequate ability to self care to prevent foot problems and help the foot problem when they develop. The high prevalence of inadequate footwear could be a neglect issue and would be contributing to the number of foot problems. The physical frailty that is associated with Alzheimer’s would predispose the foot to develop more problems.
Podiatrists can play an important role in providing foot care to those with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and at times this can be challenging.