Tips for Avoiding Common Foot Problems in the Elderly

As we get older, many people begin to think more about their overall health, but often forget about their feet. But the truth is that if your feet aren’t healthy, you can find yourself housebound, immobile or even worse. Today Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is explaining why foot care for the elderly should be a priority.

Common Foot Problems Experienced by Seniors

Conditions that range from bunions to hammertoes and even problems due to diabetes can become more common as we age.

Some of the most common issues include:

 

These conditions can affect mobility, and when combined with other agility issues, they can render you immobile for extended periods. You may even find yourself in a wheelchair or on a scooter.

Foot Care for Seniors

Foot problems in seniors can occur in any part of the foot. As a person ages, it can become more challenging for them to maintain their foot health, and as their caregiver, you may need to step in and help.

If you notice yellowing, or they complain about a burning sensation in their feet, you should make an appointment with your podiatrist to make sure these are not complications from diabetes or other serious conditions.

After you’ve determined there are no serious issues, use this checklist to avoid elderly foot problems:

  • Elevate their feet while seated using a footstool;
  • Always dry feet thoroughly;
  • Wear properly-fitting shoes and socks;
  • Keep toenails trimmed;
  • Regularly apply lotion to the feet.

Toenails that are not trimmed properly for seniors is also important because it can result in an ingrown toenail or an infection. And when trimming the toenails, do it in a well-lit area after your loved one has taken a shower or bath making it easier to cut their nails.

Lastly, disregarding foot pain in the elderly can be an indication of a more serious condition. If your loved one is suffering from foot pain, take them to their podiatrist as soon as possible.

Having healthy feet is a crucial component to enjoying a good quality of life as one ages. Keeping your feet – or those of your loved ones – isn’t difficult. It just takes a little planning and maintenance.

For more tips on how to care for elderly feet, call Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation.  To schedule your appointment online, click here.

Can Custom Orthotics Ease Your Foot Pain?

If your feet are constantly aching, you may be wondering if store-bought nonprescription inserts can help. In some cases, it might, but depending on your particular problem, you might need orthotics instead. Today, our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing what you need to know to make a decision.

The inserts purchased in stores without a prescription can offer some support. They are typically constructed of materials such as plastic, foam or gel and are designed to fit inside shoes, but they are not custom-made. In addition, while inserts might make your shoes feel more comfortable, they are not intended to correct foot problems.

How Are Orthotics Different?

Custom orthotics are prescription devices that are worn inside shoes to correct foot problems. They can also ease foot pain caused by medical issues such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bursitis, and diabetes and flat feet.

During an appointment, your podiatrist will take 3-dimensional pictures of each foot and conduct a comprehensive exam. If you do need orthotics, your podiatrist will capture the structure of your feet using plaster casts to achieve a perfect fit. When ready, they turn into rigid or soft orthotics.

Types of Orthotics

Rigid orthotics are constructed from materials like carbon fiber or plastic and are best for dress shoes that have a closed toe and low heel or walking shoes. They are specifically designed to relieve aching feet and soreness in the legs, thighs, and lower back.

Soft orthotics are made from soft compression materials and provides support to take pressure off painful spots from conditions such as plantar fasciitis or diabetic-related foot problems. There are also special orthotics specifically designed for sporting equipment such as ice skates and ski boots.

While orthotics cost more than inserts, keep in mind that you’re also getting a medical assessment of any foot problems, a customized fit, and high-quality materials that will last for several years (with proper care). In addition, since orthotics are prescription medical devices, your insurance company might help cover the cost.

Not every patient will need custom orthotics – in some cases; a proper, supportive shoe may be all that is required to relieve or prevent pain.  Based on your diagnosis by Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists, a custom orthotic may be an excellent treatment for what is ailing your feet.  Call our office today at

(425) 455-0936 or schedule an appointment online.