Geriatric Foot Care
As a senior, you already have about 100,000 kilometres on your feet. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late for comfort. In fact, there are lots of things you can do to keep your feet in good condition.
Try some of the following practices:
- Wear good quality running shoes or shoes designed specifically for walking.
- Have corns or callouses treated by a podiatrist.
- Perform gentle exercises such as moving your feet in circles or up and down to help improve mobility, flexibility and circulation.
- Do calf-stretching exercises to reduce tightness in the back of the lower leg muscles. Lean against the wall and place one foot forward and one foot back; bend the forward knee and you will feel the calf muscle of the opposite leg stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Change the position of your legs and repeat the exercise.
- Use insoles to add cushioning to the soles of your shoes. As you get older, the fat pad under the bones at the ball of the foot tends to get displaced forward and reduces the cushioning at the ball of the foot. An insole will provide some extra cushioning.
- Have your foot mechanics evaluated by a podiatrist. Structural imbalances that can lead to bunions and callouses can be corrected.
- Treat any ingrown toenails. A podiatrist can painlessly clip away a segment of the nail to provide immediate relief or permanently remove the offending nail border.
- If you have varicose veins, elevate your feet when you can and walk as often as you can. Compression stockings may be beneficial too.
- Get involved in a walking program. Check with your general practitioner and then start a gradual walking program. Be sure to wear appropriate and comfortable fitting shoes.