Proper foot care is crucial for senior adults because it helps prevent falls, injuries, and complications from diseases like diabetes. Today, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing his top 10 tips regarding how to properly care for senior feet so they can continue taking you wherever you want to go.
Tips to Properly Care for Senior Feet
- Show your soles some love. As you get older, the muscle tissue in your feet can thin out, which can lead to loss of feeling in your feet. Use a mirror with a long handle to view what you may not be able to feel. Inspect the soles of your feet and in between your toes each day to look for blisters, sores, or cuts. This is particularly important if you have diabetes.
- Sport the right footwear. Wearing proper footwear can help seniors maintain their balance, avoid falling and lessen the risk of blisters and other injuries. Be sure not to choose shoes that slide around or rub on your heel when you walk, as this is a common way to develop blisters. If you have neuropathy or diabetes, talk with your podiatrist about custom orthotics.
- Get a proper fit by following these recommendations:
- Shop for shoes in the afternoon when your feet are inflamed;
- Have your feet measured, as foot size can change;
- It’s common for one foot to be larger than the other, so choose the size that fits the larger one;
- Always try on shoes before you buy them to make sure they fit properly.
- Don’t go barefoot. When outdoors, always wear shoes to prevent scrapes, cuts, and falls. Also wear shoes as much as possible when indoors to protect your feet.
- Trim your toenails. Trimming toenails straight across and keeping them no shorter than the tip of your toe is key for averting ingrown toenails. If you can’t comfortably reach your feet, see a podiatrist for regular medical pedicures and trimming.
- Keep the blood flowing. As you get older, your blood circulation to your feet can be diminished. To encourage proper circulation:
- When sitting, prop your feet up;
- When sitting for long periods of time, wiggle your toes occasionally;
- Do daily stretching;
- Massage your feet regularly.
- Keep your feet dry as a bone. Make sure your feet aren’t moist before you put your shoes on and change your socks on a regular basis.
- Moisturizing is key. Seniors need to keep their feet moisturized to avoid itching, cracking, and calluses. Always use gentle soap and put on lotion after your bath or shower.
- Combat fungal infections. Seniors can avoid getting athlete’s foot by changing their socks or stockings daily, wearing shoes that fit properly and using foot powder each day.
- Get regular foot checkups from your podiatrist. Your podiatrist can identify problems like hammertoe, bunions, neuromas, ingrown toenails, warts, or wounds before they turn into more serious problems.
If you’re a senior and it’s time for a foot checkup or you’re experiencing any foot-related issues – don’t hesitate – call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 or schedule your appointment online.