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Proper Footcare for Seniors: A Guide to Healthy Aging

As we age, our feet undergo various changes that can affect our overall health and mobility. Proper footcare is crucial for seniors to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle. Neglecting foot health can lead to serious issues such as infections, balance problems, and decreased mobility. Here are some essential tips for seniors to ensure their feet remain in good condition.

Regular Inspections

Seniors should inspect their feet daily for any signs of problems. Look for cuts, bruises, blisters, swelling, or any changes in color or temperature. Use a mirror or ask a family member for help if bending over is difficult. Early detection of issues can prevent more serious complications.

Proper Footwear

Wearing appropriate shoes is vital for foot health. Seniors should choose shoes that provide adequate support, cushioning, and room for the toes. Avoid high heels, narrow shoes, or shoes with slippery soles. Shoes with Velcro straps or elastic laces are often easier to manage than traditional laces. It’s also important to wear socks made of breathable materials and to change them daily.

Hygiene

Maintaining good foot hygiene is essential. Seniors should wash their feet daily with warm water and mild soap, making sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes. Moisturize the feet regularly to prevent dryness and cracking but avoid applying lotion between the toes to reduce the risk of fungal infections.

Nail Care

Proper nail care is important to avoid problems like ingrown toenails or fungal infections. Seniors should trim their toenails straight across and file the edges to prevent them from becoming too sharp. If it’s difficult to reach the toes, a podiatrist can help with regular nail trimming.

Exercise

Regular exercise helps maintain foot strength, flexibility, and circulation. Simple activities like walking, stretching, and foot exercises can improve overall foot health and prevent problems like stiffness and poor circulation. Seniors should consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new exercise regimen.

Manage Medical Conditions

Chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and poor circulation can significantly impact foot health. Seniors with these conditions should have regular check-ups with their healthcare providers and follow recommended foot care routines. Diabetics, in particular, need to pay special attention to their feet, as they are at higher risk for foot ulcers and infections.

Professional Care

Regular visits to a podiatrist are beneficial for seniors. A podiatrist can provide professional care, address specific foot problems, and offer advice tailored to individual needs. They can also recommend orthotic devices if necessary to improve foot function and alleviate pain.

On our website can find footcare clinics that Carefor operates in Pembroke and out of our seniors’ support centres in Eastern Counties. Unfortunately, as of September 2, Carefor will no longer be operating footcare clinics in Ottawa. There are, however, numerous footcare clinics and resources in your community that are listed on the Champlain website.

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