5 Foot Care Tips for the Elderly

Our feet help us with the crucial functions of walking, running, jogging, dancing, swimming and of course transporting ourselves. With age, the elderly may start suffering from various foot ailments. From wearing shoes with an improper fit that could either cut off circulation or cause damage to the toes to ingrown toenails and uncontrolled diabetes, aging feet could suffer from a wide range of problems. If left untreated, many of them can worsen and trigger more serious issues like infections, falls, etc. This makes it important to take proper care of aging feet. Here are five tips to do it right:  

1. Use the Right Footwear with the Right Fit: Make sure you get the right footwear that fits your feet comfortably and doesn’t rub or slide around on your heel as you walk. Ideally, you should shop for your footwear in the afternoon when your feet are a bit swollen as a result of daily activities. You should try on your chosen shoes to ensure that they give you the proper fit before buying them. By wearing the right footwear, you’ll not only maintain your balance but you will also reduce the risk of blisters (that can transform into bitter sores and infections) and prevent falls. Podiatrists advise the elderly to avoid shoes that have pointy or high heels, are too tight or have a slick bottom that fail to provide adequate grip while walking.

2. Trim Toenails Properly: To prevent ingrown toenails, you should trim your toenails correctly (straight across the toenail and not shorter than the tip of your toe). If you have flexibility issues that make it difficult for you to reach your toes, you can ask a family member or caregiver to trim the toenails. If you suffer from diabetes triggered neuropathy, you should ideally see a podiatrist for regular nail trimming and medical pedicures.

3. Prevent Fungal Infections: Wearing sweaty or wet socks and shoes for long will lead to the consistent presence of moisture around your feet which can possibly trigger fungal infections. So, ensure your feet, socks, stockings and shoes are dry. If they’re not, change them as frequently as needed to prevent this. You may even use a good foot powder to help your feet stay dry. In case you experience a persistent itching or burning sensation in your feet, make sure you consult your podiatrist to have your feet checked out before something serious develops.

4. Promote Good Circulation: Not crossing your legs for long while sitting, stretching your legs and feet, rotating your ankles around and wiggling your toes are some ways to encourage good circulation in your feet. Keeping your feet raised on a footstool or on the couch when you’re relaxing would reduce the chances of swelling. You could even try swimming or yoga to encourage further blood flow in your feet.

5. Opt for Regular Podiatrist Visits: You should see your podiatrist at least once a year or more frequently depending on what your doctor recommends. By being cautious you would be able to ensure that nothing which could trigger serious foot problems develops. By diagnosing and treating early-stage foot issues such as blisters, warts, bunions, corns, bone spurs, neuromas and hammertoes on time, the chance of these issues turning into major problems are eliminated.

Use these tips to take good care of your feet so that foot problems and diseases don’t end up adversely affecting your flexibility and mobility, thus diminishing the quality of life severely.


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