Something that never stops moving forward, no matter how much some people would like it to do so, is time. Time marches onward and affects both everyone and everything. Eventually, everyone gets older. This isn’t a bad thing—it’s normal and healthy. There are many good things that come from aging, like having new experiences and growing families. There are also many challenges, particularly for your health. You need invested care to stay healthy, including for your feet. This is where geriatric foot care plays a role.
Specifically for Seniors
Geriatric foot care deals directly with the concerns and issues that affect people as they get older. A lifetime of wear and tear can impact even the healthiest and strongest of feet and ankles. The older you get, the more prone you are to foot pain, injuries, infections, and even balance issues. Foot care for seniors involves regular maintenance to keep the nails and skin healthy, appropriate shoes to accommodate age-related changes, and treatment to address weakness or painful conditions.
Foot Concerns from Aging
Many things change throughout your body as you get older. Your feet widen, your fatty soles flatten, and you may feel stiffer. This happens as the connective tissue in your lower limbs stretches out and becomes looser. Wider feet mean a changing shoe size, so your feet don’t end up squeezed. Your lower limbs might need slightly different levels of support, too, to maintain healthy biomechanics. The thick, fatty lining in the sole of your foot to protect the bones squishes down over the years as well, so you’re much more prone to soreness. Even the skin dries out and grows thinner.
One common aging issue is a decrease in your circulation. This can have a significant effect on feet. Poor circulation in the lower limbs can increase your risk for infections, foot ulcers, injuries, and cold feet. You become more likely to develop fungal infections or have trouble recovering from an injury.
The changes in foot structure and the loss of circulation can contribute to a wide number of foot conditions. Corns and calluses may grow more prominent, or develop in new places. Pressure on the forefoot may eventually lead to bunions. Nail growth changes might make you more prone to ingrowing. With thinner fatty linings in your soles, Morton’s neuroma, heel pain, and metatarsalgia become more common. Circulation issues may contribute to other nerve and skin problems as well.
What to Expect
As you age, you need to be more intentional about your foot care and really invest in your lower limbs health. This means refusing to ignore painful problems and actually maintaining your feet. This is where specialists like our podiatrists at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona come in. We help you both treat problems that arise and work to prevent conditions from developing.
First and foremost, this means wearing shoes that appropriately support your feet. They should be properly fitted and match your unique needs. Inspect your lower limbs regularly for changes and damage. That way you can get help for a problem before it deteriorates into something serious. Wash your feet daily and maintain your nails and skin. Walk regularly and exercise safely, too, to keep up your lower limb strength and general health.
Feet are meant to last a lifetime, not give out as you get older. The right senior foot care can help you keep your lower limbs strong, healthy, and functioning at any age. Let our team at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona help you manage any lower limb conditions that may arise. Make an appointment online with us today! You can also call or fax our two offices. For our Chandler office, call (480) 963-9000 and fax (480) 963-0375. For our Gilbert location, call (480) 981-1800 and fax (480) 981-0229.