As if gray hair, slower reaction time, and a need for stronger glasses weren’t enough, aging affects feet, too! In fact, the older we get, the more prone we become to foot problems like balance issues, wear and tear, heel pain, and infections. It’s important to keep up with these changing needs, but let’s face it – sometimes it’s difficult to even bend over and touch our toes, much less take care of them!
So how do you stay on top of senior foot care? Whether you’re caring for a loved one or you’re entering the golden years yourself, follow these tips to keep senior feet safe and healthy:
Make sure shoes fit and offer plenty of cushion and support. As you age, feet often widen and the fat pads under the heels thin. Measure feet before purchasing shoes, and invest in orthotics to help provide added cushion and stability.
Keep skin clean and dry, but moisturized. Aging tends to zap the skin of moisture. Be sure to apply lotion after bathing.
Exercise regularly. Moving helps prevent stiffness, improves circulation that tends to slow as we age, and keeps muscles strong. Balance exercises can help steady wobbly joints, too.
Eat right. A nutritious diet helps maintain a healthy weight, putting less stress on your feet. It also aids in managing conditions like diabetes that have an increased risk of occurring as you age.
Take care trimming toenails. Keep nails even with the tips of toes and trimmed straight across. If you cannot clip your own, ask a loved one, or come see us and we’ll be happy to help!
Watch for symptoms. Being aware of changes in your feet is key to nipping problems in the bud. Check feet daily and look for signs of fungal infections (skin rash or yellow, thick, and distorted toenails), cracked heels, changes in sensation, sores that aren’t healing, corns or calluses, aching joints – anything out of the ordinary. If you notice something concerning, contact us immediately to get the treatment you need.
Protect yourself from falls. Those aforementioned balance exercises and good shoes will come in handy for this, too! Remove tripping hazards -- like loose rugs and cords -- from high traffic areas of your home. Watch where you’re walking and avoid uneven terrain.
Schedule regular foot care appointments. We can help you maintain your foot health, spot problems you may have missed, and treat conditions that arise. Call us for a visit in Chandler or Gilbert by dialing (480) 963-9000. We’ll help keep your senior feet safe, healthy, and happy for many years to come!