Foot pain is a very common issue for people after the 70s. Studies show that 87% of senior citizens have at least one foot problem. If you care your foot a little, it can help boost balance and coordination, prevent falls and pain, reduce mobility issues, and keep you moving well in your next stage of life. Senior citizens with diabetes should be very vigilant about their foot care, but all those who are above 65 should give good consideration to their feet. Here are 10 tips that will be very useful for your foot care. So here we go.
- Clean your feet daily
Use lukewarm water and soap to wash your feet daily. Also, check for dryness, rough patches, bruises or broken skin on your feet. Soak your feet first before cutting your toenails. This will make nails easier to manage. Cut the toenails straight across and avoid leaving sharp corners. This can cause ingrown toenails. Use a vitamin E-rich lotion or cream that penetrates the epidermis and provides long-lasting hydration to the skin to moisturise your skin. Make sure that you wear socks only after your feet is completely dry. You will be able to keep your feet healthy by daily cleansing of your feet. Also, checking your feet will help you to find problems with circulation, arthritis or diabetes at an early stage itself.
- Use footwear that perfectly fits your feet
According to studies, 3 out of 4 senior citizens wear shoes that is smaller for them. Wear clean, dry and fit shoes. Your feet will widen with your growing age. So it is better to measure your feet before buying new shoes. Also, socks with thick seams should be avoided because it will cause irritation and blisters on your feet. As women wore heels for years, they are four times more prone to foot pain and podiatrist ailments in their old age. Old women should avoid heels completely. If necessary, stick with shoes that have less than a 1-inch heel and that don’t pinch the toes. If you have foot pain associated with plantar fascistic, consult your podiatrist.
- Check for foot sores
There is a chance of developing pressure sores or ulcers on the heels of your feet if you spend a lot of time in bed or reclining in a chair. The early symptom of pressure ulcer is a simply reddened area on the heels of your feet. When the pressure increases, it can cause skin can crack, break down, and become infected. Do not take foot sores lightly because they can be really hazardous. They take longer to heal than skin breakdown in other parts of the body. Diabetes patients have to be extra careful of foot sores that occur as an effect of poor circulation and loss of feeling in the feet.
- Treat foot cramps
Consult a healthcare provider and test potassium, sodium and magnesium levels in your blood if you experience severe muscle spasms and cramps. Include mineral-rich foods like potatoes, acorn squash, bananas, avocados and dark leafy greens. You can also prevent painful foot and toe cramps with foot movement. Stretch the feet out regularly with recommended flexibility exercises to avoid pain in foot and toe.
- Visit a toenail clinic
Toenail clinics provide care for senior feet including soaking and massaging them, clipping and cleaning nails, and checking for issues that may need to be addressed by a physician. If you do not have a toenail clinic nearby, you can set goals with caregivers, home health providers, or family members to help you inspect your feet regularly and keep their care on your health and wellness radar.
- Consult a Podiatrist
If you have serious foot problems like bunions, calluses, hammer toes, corns, heel pain, arthritic affliction, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, or discoloured or hard toenails, consult a podiatrist. A physician can help you assess a home treatment plan in addition to medical or surgical treatment to heal your foot issues.
- Increase blood circulation
You can keep blood pumping all the way through your feet with some movement of your feet. Raising your feet up on a stool when sitting down, wiggling your toes and rolling or twirling your ankles can increase your blood circulation. Walk regularly and exercise your feet and legs with low-impact exercises like yoga, swimming, bicycling, and dancing. Being active will help you to promote blood circulation.
- Maintain a healthy weight
Stress and pressure will be more on your feet if you are overweight or obese. It will also shift your centre of gravity forward, pulling on foot muscles and tendons to help you balance. Do daily exercises and maintain a healthy diet. This is not only good for your feet, but also to your heart and brain.
- Always keep your feet warm and dry
Make sure your feet are clean and dry, especially between the toes. If your feet are dry and warm, it will prevent athlete’s foot as well as infections in the cracked skin or open sores.Make sure to wear covered toe footwear in colder and wet weather because cold feet will reduce blood circulation also.
- Take the help of mobile assistance
To maintain strong and healthy feet, you can take the help of mobility aids and assertive devices that help you get around easier and stay active. If you experience difficulty walking or standing for extended periods of time, frequent falling, and fatigue when travelling by foot, you should realise these as indicators that extra support from a cane, walker, or other assertive device is needed. You can talk about your mobility problems and avenues to your healthcare provider.
You have to understand that your feet are complex components of a body system that powers your every movement. Your feet suffer a lot of pressure when you walk a lot or stand a lot. So you have to take care of your feet with constant love and attention. Only then your feet will take care of you. So take necessary steps as early as possible.