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Aging In Place

Foot Problems- Common Issue Among the Elderly

Written by: Deah      Resource:

Most of us are born with healthy feet, but that can change as we get older. Our feet are a complex mechanical structure containing 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When you think about the complexity of the foot and the enormous impact our feet take with each step, every day, all day, we begin to see why taking care of our feet is important at any age, but especially for the elderly – who are at higher risk for foot issues. Mobility is important to seniors who want to maintain an independent lifestyle and mobility for most of us involves the feet. For older adults, the most common complaints encountered are:

  • Bunions
  • Calluses and corns
  • Hammertoes
  • Toenail problems
  • Foot problems related to diseases- such as Diabetes, Arthritis, Peripheral Vascular Disease (reduced circulation and swelling), and Gout
  • Heel pain – heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, etc.
  • Neuropathy (Circulation problems): damage to the nervous system
  • Metatarsalgia- the loss of the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of your feet.

Healthy Feet Will Contribute to Better Health and Safety Some basic foot care techniques are: Check your feet every day – look for swelling, redness, bruises, and ingrown or infected toenails. These early warning signs will help guard against health concerns such as diabetes, arthritis, poor blood circulation, and nerve damage. Elderly people should have their feet examined by a professional twice a year Wear comfortable shoes and socks – shoes should fit properly and offer support while socks should not be too tight around the leg calves – and changed every day Keep feet clean and soft – wash feet everyday and use unscented cream on the top and bottom of the foot Trim toenails regularly – keep nails cut straight across and file sharp edges Maintain overall general good health – by not smoking, eating healthy and daily exercise Practicing good foot health is no different than maintaining good health for every other part of the human body; but, in the case of the feet, you will jeopardize your overall healthy lifestyle if your feet are too sore to walk or get around. One out of every three people over the age of 65 will experience foot pain, stiffness, or aching feet and that can result in decreased physical activity or other medical problems. Do not take good healthy habits lightly when it comes to your feet.

“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.” ~Leonardo da Vinci –

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