Podiatric Considerations for Seniors

Foot health is particularly important for seniors who often have chronic health conditions that affect foot health, such as diabetes or peripheral vascular disease. Sunshine Coast podiatrist offer specialized care, including regular diabetic foot screenings, to help reduce serious complications like ulcers.

Moisturizing skin and trimming toenails straight across help prevent ingrown toenails, and podiatrists also instruct on proper shoe selection that will reduce rubbing or pressure on the feet.

Prevention

Foot problems are common in seniors and can worsen with age. Podiatrist in Buderim help prevent these issues by educating seniors on proper foot care practices; assessing fall risk and providing recommendations on shoes; and treating foot conditions like bunions, hammertoes, toenail problems, and plantar fasciitis. They also perform regular screenings to identify changes or injuries in the feet that can lead to serious complications, such as ulcers or infections.

Keeping the feet healthy helps to maintain mobility, which enhances independence and quality of life for seniors. Foot pain and injury can make it difficult or impossible for seniors to engage in their daily activities. This can lead to isolation and decreased social interaction, which is bad for emotional health. Podiatrists can treat foot conditions, including heel pain, to improve balance and comfort. They can recommend exercises or custom orthotics to alleviate pain and reduce imbalances, which can contribute to falls.

Seniors with diabetes should visit a podiatrist annually to get their feet checked. During these visits, the doctor can assess circulation and feeling in the feet, as well as spot signs of diabetes or arthritis. They can also recommend appropriate footwear and simple home remedies. For example, regular soakings of the feet in warm water can ease soreness and pain. Exercises like toe curls and marble pickups can strengthen muscles in the feet, and careful nail trimming prevents ingrown toenails.

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Foot Health

Whether you are the caregiver of an elderly loved one or yourself, foot health is essential for maintaining mobility and comfort as you age. A simple routine of regular washing, drying, and trimming the toenails prevents problems like ingrown nails or corns that can easily turn into wounds.

Moreover, it is crucial to ensure your feet are properly fitted with shoes and socks. Ill-fitting footwear can exacerbate common conditions in seniors, including flat arches, bunions, and hammer toes. Fortunately, podiatrists are trained to recognize these issues and can provide you with recommendations for proper care and prevention.

In addition, a podiatrist can help you manage painful swelling in the feet (edema) caused by gout, circulation issues, and medication side effects. We can teach you how to reduce or eliminate edema with proper foot elevation, compression stockings, and lifestyle adjustments.

Foot pain is not a normal part of aging, so seeking professional treatment is critical. A podiatrist can recommend proper shoe selection, stretch exercises, or custom orthotics to ease discomfort. For instance, Mr. Patel, a retired teacher, suffered from severe heel pain. After consulting with a podiatrist, he was provided with custom orthotics and learned stretching techniques, which helped him return to his love of gardening. This enhanced his quality of life and allowed him to spend time with his grandchildren, strengthening family bonds.

Toenail Care

As we age, our nails can become brittle, leading to broken or ingrown toenails. Keeping them well-trimmed is essential for good foot health, as overgrown toenails can press against shoes and lead to pain or infection. It’s recommended that seniors soak their feet before trimming and use a nail clipper that’s sanitized to cut straight across the nails.

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Infections of the toenails can also be a serious problem for older adults, especially those who may have weakened immune systems due to gout, diabetes or blood thinner medications. Fungal infections can cause the nails to thicken, turn discolored and even crumble, requiring professional treatment rather than over-the-counter remedies.

Seeing a podiatrist for regular pedicures is recommended for many senior patients, as it helps improve circulation and reduces the risk of ingrown toenails. In addition, a podiatrist can provide tips on foot care and recommend footwear that will help keep the toenails healthy.

Regular visits to the podiatrist can help with fall risk assessments, identifying any areas of concern and recommending the right foot care products for your loved one. If your aging parent has trouble keeping track of appointments, consider hiring a trusted caregiver like Visiting Angels who can assist with reminders and transportation to doctor’s appointments. Our caring team will work with you and your loved one to make sure they’re getting the foot care they need to stay active.

Footwear

Footwear refers to any garment worn on the feet that provides protection against adversities of the environment, ease locomotion and prevent injuries. Shoes and similar garments protect the feet from abrasions, friction and extreme temperatures. They also add comfort and style, while allowing the wearer to complete daily activities.

As people age, the body experiences natural changes in bone structure, muscle and ligament flexibility and circulation. These changes impact foot health and can lead to conditions like bunions, hammer toes, flat feet, arthritis and swollen feet (edema). Podiatrists assess foot problems and provide corrective care to reduce their severity.

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For example, a podiatrist might recommend special foam shoe inserts for seniors to cushion their feet and change the way the feet are positioned in the shoe. The inserts can relieve pain from ill-fitting shoes, which may rub or slide on the heels, leading to corns and calluses.

Other issues a podiatrist can address include dry skin, brittle nails and thickened toenails, which can all be difficult for seniors to trim safely. The podiatrist can help teach proper nail-trimming techniques, reducing the risk of ingrown toenails and infections. They can also educate seniors on proper footwear to help avoid complications like blisters and abrasions. They can recommend shoes with good arch support and plenty of room in the toe box, as well as shower sandals for use in public showers or poolside.