Foot Care for the Elderly Part 2

Loss of mobility caused by foot related conditions is one of the biggest problems that many older people face. While the effects of age cannot be totally eradicated, with proper care the effect of aging on mobility can be minimized and controlled. Ideally a foot care plan should be developed after a complete check of the condition of the feet and any other health related issues that may affect them. This means that regular foot checkups by a podiatrist are important. Persistent or chronic pain or other foot problems should never be ignored.

Besides wearing well-fitting shoes and regular foot checkups, there are a few other simple precautions that can help to protect aging feet.

Foot Health – Tips for Aging Feet
  • Besides shoes that fit well, support is another important factor. Old well-worn shoes may be comfortable, but that does not mean that they are good for your feet. Do not hesitate to get rid of worn out shoes. Besides fitting properly, your shoes should have a firm sole and a soft upper. If you do a lot of walking or are on your feet for long periods, wear walking shoes or those that will give you any extra support you need.
  • Exercise is important for keeping your feet healthy. Walking is the simplest and best way to do this. If you have any medical conditions that may be affected by walking, consult a medical practitioner before starting a regular walking regimen.
  • Wear thick absorbent cotton socks that allow your feet to breathe.
  • Pantyhose and stockings should not be too tight as this can affect blood circulation. Wearing designs that do not have seams will be more comfortable.
  • If garters are used, these too should not be so tight as to affect circulation.
  • Corns and calluses are common complaints. Because of this it is easy to make the mistake of treating them casually. Cutting them off with a knife or other instrument can make the condition worse as well as opening the door to other foot problems. It is advisable to consult a podiatrist before using an over the counter callus removal product. They are not all the same and using one that is best suited for you is important. There are also conditions where their use may be contraindicated.
  • Feet should be thoroughly washed once a day in lukewarm (not hot) water. A mild soap is usually best. If the soap does not contain moisturizers or if the feet become dry after washing, a moisturizer should be massaged into the skin.
  • Trim your toe nails regularly and cut them straight across. If cutting them yourself is difficult or if some nails are overgrown or too thick to cut, consult a podiatrist. The doctor will be able to either cut these nails or work with you to find a solution you can apply yourself.
  • Inspect your feet carefully every few days for any injury or signs of discoloration or changes in the condition.  Visible changes to the feet are often observable before other symptoms show themselves. If you cannot check your feet yourself, have someone do it for you.
  • Have your feet examined by a podiatrist every 6 months or at least once a year.
Age affects everyone. But, it should not be a reason for pain or a loss of mobility. The earlier a foot condition is diagnosed and treatment begun, the g the chances of success and the faster the recovery.


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