It’s no big secret that our bodies go through many changes as we get older. Changes occur like losing elasticity in your skin, some of the hair from your head, developing osteoarthritis issues, and having difficulty with sensory processes like seeing or hearing. The aging process often comes into play regarding our feet as well.
The loss of skin elasticity leads to increased risk for dry, cracked heels. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and can lead to stiff, inflamed joints in the feet and ankles.
Tips on responsible senior foot care practices include:
- Exercise. It is important to stay physically active during your golden years for several reasons, including healthy circulation, stronger bones and muscles, and reduced symptoms from arthritis.
- Keep feet dry. Our immune system may not function as well as it did in our younger years, so keep your feet dry to prevent the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
- Moisturize. We just mentioned keeping your feet dry, but it’s important to make sure they aren’t excessively dry. Applying moisturizer to clean feet before bedtime on the tops and bottoms of your feet—avoid moisturizing between the toes—will help reduce your risk for dry, cracked skin.
- Keep toenails trimmed. Not only are ingrown toenails a source of pain and discomfort, they also create an opening into the body for potential infection.
- Choose comfortable shoes. Your body starts to lose natural padding from the bottoms of your feet. Be sure to choose footwear that is comfortable to compensate for the padding loss.
- Keep clear pathways at home. Fall risk is higher for the elderly and a source of trips to the hospital. Keeping clear walkways throughout your environment can lower that risk.
- Use night lights. A lighted path, especially to the kitchen and bathroom, reduces the risk of dangerous falls at night.
These are good starting points for senior foot care, but don’t overlook the importance of coming in for an annual foot exam with one of our podiatrists at any of our five Florida offices – Altamonte Springs, Orlando, Kissimmee, Lake Mary, and Mt. Dora. Our doctors can assess your current condition, recognize potential issues, and provide the treatment and care you need.
Contact Foot & Ankle Associates of Florida today by calling 407-339-7759 or 352-589-9550 (if you call from Lake County) or request your appointment online right now.