Top 3 Foot Care Tips for Older Feet
As we get older, it's especially important to look after our feet and give them regular TLC to keep them happy. It’s not just about buying and wearing the right shoes, although this is important too, it’s also about caring for your feet when they’re out of your shoes.
For many people, we notice changes to our feet as we grow older, we lose some padding and our feet can flatten and become wider. This might mean that you feel the strains and stresses change in your feet as you are walking, and can have a knock on effect on your balance. Foot problems like ingrown toenails, bunions, calluses and sprains amongst others affect older people more severely than those younger than them.
Proper foot care is, however, a no brainer to ensure that all these health issues are prevented and that the feet stay as healthy as possible.
Wash/clean feet regularly:
During a bath or shower, wash your feet properly concentrating in-between your toes. It’s also recommended to clean your feet after big bouts of activity or if you are prone to bad smells or soreness. All these help prevent viral, fungal and bacterial infections and if done at night, can promote relaxation before sleep.
Keep the feet moisturized to eliminate cracking, flaking and breaking of the skin– conditions that encourage the formation of open foot sores especially for older adults who have drier skin. After your feet have been carefully washed and dried, apply foot lotion to lock in moisture and keep the skin soft.
Trim and file Toenails:
Overgrown toenails can cause discomfort, often causing pain or interference with walking in footwear. To avoid this, it’s necessary to trim the toenails with clean and sterilized nail clippers making sure to avoid cutting straight across but cutting along the natural lines of your toenails. Keep the nails tidy by filing after trimming. Older adults who have health conditions like diabetes may require professional foot care services.
Manage sores:For older adults who spend most of their time in a chair, bed or resting their feet in a particular place for a long time, the possibility of tissue breakdown could be caused by pressure and skin irritation. This could lead to bedsores appearing on the heel which for older feet is a critical health condition because of how it affects the overall wellbeing of the senior. Prevent this by propping the ankles to keep the feet suspended without making contact with anything. If you notice a minor sore, keep it clean and dry and seek advice from a professional.
Towel after washing:
A damp foot is the breeding ground for bacterial infections, so it is important that you towel the feet and inner toes dry after each wash.
Air the feet:Perhaps like many of us, you love to wear socks for most of the day, especially during the cold weather. This can often lead to the feet retaining perspiration and could bring about smelly feet if not aired. Try to expose your feet at the end of the day to air dry.
Ensure Adequate Circulation
You may experience changes in your circulation, sensation or mobility as you get older, especially if you have other health conditions such as diabetes or heart-related problems. These changes making foot health even more important. Massaging and gently stretching the feet helps to promote circulation and eliminate such health concerns.
Massage and stretch:
Proper fitting Shoe:
Wearing shoes that are too small can impact circulation in older feet and also cause discomfort with all the rubbing and possible blister formations which ultimately affects their mobility. As an older adult, proper-fitting shoe is recommended for comfort and safety. Aim for closed-toe shoes that are comfortable and support your arch-type, ankle and foot width.
Compression socks:The use of compression socks can also help improve blood flow and circulation in older feet because they are specially designed to fit snuggly and gently squeeze the leg, wearing them can lessen pain and swelling and may also lower any chances of getting deep vein thrombosis along with preventing other circulation problems. Seek professional advice if you think that compression socks would support your needs.
Whatever your age it’s important to take care of our feet to keep them healthy. We recommend taking even greater care as we get older and adjust.
- Shumaker Team