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Foot Care for Seniors

As we get older, our bodies require more and more care in practically every area. Everything from our skin to our bones start to change, and need special attention. But because ageing can cause so many changes, it can be difficult to know how to take care of everything. In this blog, we’re going to be looking at some of the most important factors of foot care for seniors.

General Care

The feet are one of the most neglected body parts in general for people of all ages. Despite the fact that we use our feet to do almost everything, they are often covered up and easy to ignore. But because they are covered up with socks, shoes etc, they should be getting extra care. Regardless of age, it is important to make sure that the feet are kept clean, but this is especially important for seniors. Daily foot baths can help prevent bacterial or fungal infections, and using a pumice stone once or twice a week (before the foot bath, not after) can help only the healthiest skin.

Shoes

Choosing the correct shoes can help prevent a number of issues, and this is especially true for older people. What the correct shoe is will vary from person to person, but in Ireland at least, it’s a good idea to have warm, waterproof shoes to begin with. Choosing shoes that give the toes plenty of room can help prevent problems such as bunions or ingrown toenails, as well as maximising balance. Following that, flat shoes with good arch support can help improve balance. The importance of this should not be underestimated, as this can help prevent falls and serious injuries that may result from them.

Elevation

Our hands & feet are among the most at-risk body parts when it comes to the effects of aging. This is because they are extremities, the farthest points away from our heart. That means our blood has to travel longer distances in order to supply them with everything they need, which is why they can be the first to suffer in many cases.

The feet are not only the farthest point from our hearts, but are also the lowest points in our body, meaning the blood is likely to pool and be difficult to move. This is why it is important to elevate the feet as much as possible. When sitting or lying down, lift the feet up and keep them up to help the blood circulate. Avoid keeping the feet still for too long, and move them about for a few minutes at a time if sitting for extended periods. This keep the blood moving and the feet healthy.

Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis is a common condition in seniors that causes the nails to warp and break, and is responsible for about 50% of nail issues. The nails can become thicker, discoloured, and cracked, which can lead to growing discomfort. Keeping the feet clean is the best way to prevent this, but if it does occur, it should be treated quickly. Although the condition can be treated easily with antifungal or oral medication, allowing it to develop before treating it could mean a long recovery time.

The techniques we have described here are quite simple to implement, but could end up saving people a lot of pain in the long run. While we have many things to keep an eye on as we get older, keeping our feet healthy is fundamental to allowing us the ability to move around and deal with everything else. Following these tips can get you ready to do just that.