Life changes during what people like to call the “golden years.” Plenty of those changes are positive. When you retire, you have more time to devote to hobbies and to seeing family. Other changes are more challenging—particularly your health. The wear and tear of the years does affect your body and how well everything functions. Your feet are no exception. That’s why you need to invest in senior foot care.
The Effects of Aging and the Feet
Years and years of walking and standing around really does have an effect on your lower limbs. The natural fatty lining in your soles flattens down and gets thinner, providing you with less protection. Skin dries out and grows thinner as well. Ligaments stretch out, allowing your feet to spread and get flatter. At the same time, they tend to become less flexible. This means less shock absorption. Your muscles and tendons weaken somewhat, which can lower your stability and make you more likely to fall. Joints also become stiffer, often from arthritis, decreasing your mobility. Conditions like bunions, heel pain, hammertoes, toenail damage, arch pain, and fungal infections are much more likely to develop.
Other systemic problems can create discomfort for your feet and ankles. Poor circulation can weaken the feet and make them more prone to cramping and injuries. Weakened bones increase your risks for fractures. Diabetes can lead to nerve pain and contribute to foot wounds. Geriatric foot care is designed to address these changes in your lower limbs and help you maintain both your foot health and your mobility.
General Foot Care Tips
Despite all these changes and the potential for foot pain, you shouldn’t be living with uncomfortable lower limbs or limited foot function. You’ll just need to be more intentional about your foot health. Dr. Sanjay Patel will help monitor your age-related changes and improve your lower limb strength and function. Our team will also work with you to make any life and footwear changes you need to this to be successful.
To keep feet healthy as you age, you need to focus on support and daily foot care. Make sure you wear shoes that are appropriately cushioned and meet you unique needs. Footwear should have a low heel, wide toe box, and padding for your arch. You should have rubber soles that won’t slip easily. Look for breathable fabrics as well, since seniors are more susceptible to fungal infections.
Remember to wash your feet and dry them thoroughly every day. Take time to inspect them for damage, too, particularly if you have a systemic disease like diabetes. Look for changes in your skin or nails, sores that don’t heal, abnormal bumps, and anything else out of the ordinary. Invest in safe exercise as well—you want to keep your joints flexible and your muscles strong so you stay stable.
Just remember, your feet and ankles are supposed to last you a lifetime. They aren’t supposed to cause you pain or limit your mobility. If you’re noticing unpleasant or uncomfortable changes in your lower limbs are you get older, don’t ignore it. Contact the specialists at Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC in Milford and Hamden, CT. We’ve been caring for elderly feet for years. Use our website to make an appointment with us, or try calling: (203) 288-4055 for our Hamden office, or (203) 876-7736 for our Milford location.