Healthy feet allow active senior years
Good foot health is important if we want to be healthy and active in our senior years. Healthy feet can increase your comfort, limit the possibility of additional medical problems, reduce your chance of hospitalisation due to infection, and keep you active and mobile.
Foot pain need not be part of ageing
Painful feet are not something that we have to endure as we get older. If your feet are causing you discomfort and pain, there is probably a treatable reason for it. Our feet change as we age and require more support and care, especially if we have gained weight. A displacement and reduction in the fatty padding on our feet can mean older people are more prone to corns and calluses, easily treated conditions that cause pain and inhibit mobility.
Some chronic illness, such as diabetes, circulatory disease and arthritis can be identified early by a review of your foot condition. Signs such as dry cracking skin, brittle nails, numbness and discolouration, burning and tingling sensations, or feelings of cold may be indicators of a more serious condition and should be attended to without delay.
Trips and falls can be preventable
Trips and falls are far more likely to occur among the elderly than the rest of the general population. Foot-related reasons for this include:
- incorrect fitting or unsupportive footwear
- unstable gait due to poor foot function
- muscle weakness.
Falls can be serious as they may lead to fractures, head injuries or foot or leg lacerations that may develop into non-healing ulcers. Staying fit and active can help prevent falls as well as getting proper advice regarding footwear and having an assessment on your foot function, gait and biomechanics to provide greater foot stability.
Tips for healthy older feet
So to ensure good foot health in your senior years, it is important to:
- Wear correct fitting and supportive footwear
- keep as mobile and as active as you can
- keep nails regularly trimmed and filed
- attend to corns and calluses early
- inspect your feet daily.