“If your feet hurt you hurt all over” — this is something we often hear from people who suffer from foot pain. And, it’s true. The health of your feet is invariably tied to your overall health and well-being. Especially when it comes to old age, the ability to move around freely and comfortably can make or break one’s quality of life. This is where the importance of maintaining foot health for seniors lies.
How foot health impacts the elderly
While foot care is key to happy and healthy life at any age, the issue of mobility arises as we age besides recurring foot pain. Well-maintained feet ensure that a person stays active and able to move around as they wish. On the other hand, someone with a pair of painful feet will struggle to perform even the most basic act of walking.
Loss of mobility and movement is a major problem among the elderly and can lead to obesity, impaired strength and balance, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. Many seniors may experience reduced blood flow in their feet and limbs, which can delay the healing of foot sores.
The range of problems
Foot problems get worse with age. Therefore, it’s not unusual to find seniors suffering from foot conditions even if they might have never dealt with any significant foot-related issue in their younger years.
One of the main reasons behind this the depletion in bone strength and density, which makes the bones weak, brittle, and more prone to fracture. This is why it takes longer for old people, in general, to recover from an accident. It has been observed that even post-recovery, some never fully regain their posture and stability.
Another common condition that affects seniors is osteoarthritis, which can severely impact some joints in the foot and ankle. In fact, osteoarthritis is the most common form of foot arthritis. While people over the age of 50 are susceptible to develop osteoarthritis, the likelihood of getting it increases as we age further.
Lack of proper foot care can also manifests itself in the forms of blisters, corns, and foot infections. As we age, the skin become thinner, weaker, and dry and loses elasticity. This is why it’s vital to ensure your foot skin is well cared for.
What to do
Taking good care of your feet isn’t particularly time consuming and can be incorporated into one’s routine rather easily.
While the absolute best thing you can do for your feet is opt for well-fitted and comfortable shoes, here are some other basic tips for general foot care:
- Make sure to clean your feet well, especially between the toes, as a part of your daily shower/bath routine.
- Dry your feet thoroughly after every wash to avoid fungal growth.
- Use a moisturiser on your legs and feet regularly. This will keep the skin soft and supple.
- You should also use creams and ointments to address specific concerns like dry heels, calluses, and sores.
- Toenails must be cut regularly and straight across making sure to round out the edges. This prevents ingrown nails.
- Take regular foot spas/baths. This will not only relieve the tensed foot muscles, but also soothe dry skin and painful bunions.
- See a reputable podiatrist in case of persisting foot pain. Most of the times, these can be easily diagnosed and resolved, if you don’t let them linger for too long.
These simple steps, if done properly and regularly, can go a long way in keeping many foot disorders at bay. Speaking of podiatrist Sydney has a number of reputable podiatrists that can help you with your foot problems. With little attention and care to your feet, you can enjoy pain-free movement and activity in the long run.