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Have had a lot of experience with this issue over the years with my Mom. She's 95.

Since it's in both legs, like blannie, it's unlikely that it is deep vein thrombosis. Edema (swelling, dimpling) in the legs can be caused by a number of physical factors: congestive heart failure, kidneys, veinous insufficiency. My Mom had really bad varicose veins most of her life. She now has moderate CHF. Keeping the swelling off her legs is a real challenge. When they are swollen, they are really red and inflamed looking. When we can get the water off, they will literally turn blueish purple when she stands or sits because the blood just pools in her legs. The valves in the leg veins are completely broken down. Asked the doc what we could do, he said "we could hang her from her feet." :-)))

The doctor has her on lassix for the swelling due to the veinous insufficiency and the congestive heart failure. It is a management nightmare. Complications are cellulitis (infection under the skin, usually indicated by a pocket of swelling on the leg) leg ulcers. If infection sets in, it can go into sepsis.

Best to take her to a doctor to see if you can get some meds to control the swelling. It will help if she elevates her legs as much as possible. My Mom is typically resistant to doing anything that's good for her including elevating her legs. The doctor said once the skin becomes so stretched the nerves get dulled and they are not really in pain so that may be why you were ignored, i.e., doesn't hurt, no need for doctor.

To reduce the threat of leg sores and infection is what you're after in getting them treated.
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Are her calves unusually warm to the touch? Redness, swelling and warmth are all signs of clots, which can be life-threatening if they move to her heart. I think it would be somewhat odd to get clots in both legs at the same time...but I'm not a doctor for sure. Like NancyH says, if she won't go to the doctor, get her legs elevated.

Did anything in her routine change or some recent activity which could have caused the problem with her legs? I got my mom a new lift chair that she doesn't like as much as her old one (which died) and so she sits on the couch more now with her feet down. As a result, her ankles/feet started swelling, since they weren't elevated.
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I'd say, if after keeping her legs up for the day the swelling doesn't go down, get her to the doctor. Don't want a blood clot messing with her.
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