Foot care is most likely not your first priority when thinking about your overall health and staying healthy, but it should be a priority. The wear and tear on our feet over many years of use cannot be underestimated! Without looking after your feet, you could find yourself becoming immobile, totally housebound or worse. As we age, foot complaints actually become more common and foot pain contributes to an increased risk of recurring falls. Every foot condition from hammertoes to bunions and even problems stemming from diabetes increase with age.
Most Common Foot Ailments:
- Ingrown toenails
- Heel pain
- Fallen arches
Any of these conditions can keep you off your feet for extended periods of time. Often recovery can be six weeks or more without being able to put any weight on the foot, so you may find yourself needing the assistance of a scooter, wheelchair or crutches.
- Putting on weight. There’s only so much weight our muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves can take!
- Losing weight. The heels of our feet need a bit of fat to act as shock absorbers.
- Compromised blood flow. Blood clots and diabetes can lead to bad circulation. This can make it difficult for wounds, sores and tissues to heal properly.
- Persistent foot ailments. Bunions, corns, calluses, hammertoes and fungal infections worsen with age.
- The wrong shoes. Our feet can swell with age and change shape with arthritis, so it’s important to wear correctly fitting shoes.
- Simple neglect of our feet.
As we age it can become more difficult to maintain our own feet and nails. It is important to keep an eye on any discolouration in the foot or nails, any tingling or burning sensation in the feet, or any sores or wounds that are not healing. Any of these can be signs of complications from diabetes or another serious condition, such as gout or circulatory issues.
Tips for Good Foot Care:
- Keep feet clean to prevent fungal, viral and bacterial infections.
- Trim toenails on a regular basis.
- Visit a Podiatrist regularly to attend to corns and ingrown toenails.
- Get proper fitting footwear.
- Always dry feet completely.
- Avoid walking around barefoot, even inside your own home.
- Seek assistance for any pain, tingling, numbness, inflammation or stiffness.
- Use lotion on feet to keep them moisturised to avoid cracking, flaking and breaking.
- Use a footstool when seated to elevate feet.
- Promote blood circulation by exercising and foot massage.
Don’t delay seeking treatment if you suffer from foot pain as it can be a sign of a more serious condition. Keeping your feet in tip top shape just takes some planning and regular maintenance.
If your elderly loved one can’t walk properly they are more likely to fall and hurt themselves. Reduced mobility means a loss of personal independence. It’s a vicious circle, so best to take care of your feet so they can do best what they are meant to do!
If you would like to know more details about any of our homes or respite accommodation, you can phone us on (03) 9559 0400 or contact us here.
We have aged care homes in Geelong as well as Melbourne.