Maintaining Mobility in the Golden Years
Aging is inevitable. Time passes and bodies get older. Many people start to feel all the pounding they subjected theirs to when they were younger! This is especially true for the lower limbs. Your feet log thousands of miles through your lifetime. After a while, that wears them down and makes it harder for you to stay mobile. Good foot care for seniors works to maintain your foot and ankle health, so that you’re able to comfortably stay on your feet and do the activities you love even as you age.
Wear and Tear of Time
Years of pounding around on hard surfaces and wearing out shoes stresses your foot structures and compresses your natural padding. Your ligaments loosen, allowing your feet to expand and flatten. Muscles weaken as well, making it more difficult for your foot to stay stable. The oil and sweat glands in your skin may not work as well, letting your skin dry out. You’re more prone to fungal infections, corns and calluses, heel pain, bunions, ingrown toenails, and hammertoes. Age also slows your circulatory system, making it more difficult for your immune system to respond and heal any conditions that do result. The best senior foot care involves maintaining your comfort, preventing avoidable problems, and catching issues before they have a chance to get out of control.
Simple Health Investments
Foot care for seniors involves some basic maintenance to clean and inspect the lower limbs. Wash and dry your feet completely every day. If your skin is dry, apply a gentle moisturizer and massage it into the foot. Avoid putting lotion or cream between your toes, though—that can create a fungus-friendly environment and invite infections. Trim your nails straight across to prevent ingrowing. Also, take the time when you’re washing to inspect your feet completely for visible changes, like lumps, bruises, sores, cuts, or discoloration in the skin or nails. You may need to place a mirror on the ground or have someone else look to see the bottom of your feet. Have anything you discover investigated by a professional, like those here at Sierra Foot & Ankle, to catch conditions before they get out of hand.
You should exercise regularly to keep your feet active and conditioned, even if it’s as simple as a walk. The movement works the muscles and helps your feet stay stable. Make sure you wear comfortable, supportive footwear to protect your lower limbs when you do exercise. Avoid narrow shoes or raised heels, and make sure there is plenty of padding in the high pressure areas under your heels and the balls of your feet. When you need new shoes, have your lower limbs measured at the end of the day when they are at their largest, and always choose a model based on comfort and fit, not just style or size. If you wear orthotics, make sure your shoes are able to accommodate them as well.
Aging is a normal part of life, and it’s unavoidable. You don’t have to let it keep you sitting down, however. Good senior foot care can keep you healthy and fit. Those active feet can then help you continue doing what you love, no matter your age. Don’t neglect your lower limbs—take care of them. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information on senior foot care. Visit the online contact page or call our Carson City, Nevada office at (775) 783-8037 to reach us.