27 Mar Looking After Ageing Feet
As we grow older, age starts to take its toll on various parts of our body all the way down to our feet. Signs of ageing feet include aches and pains, developing bunions, signs of clawing of the toes and general circulatory problems. While some of us may lose the cushioning in the pads of our feet, others may find their toenails becoming thick, brittle and hard to trim.
Regular check-ups with your podiatrist are recommended, especially if you cannot look after your feet yourself and you have no one to help you. Left untreated, common elderly foot symptoms can worsen and lead to more dangerous issues like falls and infections. Our podiatrists Russel Rubin and Trevor Proskewitz have listed these easy-to-follow instructions so that you can look after your feet as the years roll on.
Yes, it is but natural to slow down as we move into our 60s, but it is very important not to fall into the trap of being too sedentary. It’s true what they say, ‘A healthy mind in a health body’. Try to keep busy with your daily tasks – grocery shopping, meeting up with mates, household chores. Regular exercise (be it a brisk walk, a swim, a tai chi session or a yoga class) tones up muscles, helps strengthen the arches in your feet and stimulates blood circulation.
Take Care of Your Toes
Trim your toenails regularly. If they grow too long, they will press against the toebox of your shoes, leading to soreness, infection and ulceration. Make sure your toenails are cut straight across since nails that have been poorly can result in ingrown toenails.
Protect Your Feet
Check your feet regularly, daily in the case of people with diabetes, and moisturise them (but not between the toes) after a shower. As we age, our feet start to lose their natural oils which makes our skin dry and our nails brittle. In winter, keep your feet warm with comfy socks. Bed socks are also a good idea.
Wear the Right Footwear
As you grow older, it is so important to wear shoes that are comfortable, fit well and give your feet adequate support. Invest in a good pair of running shoes as these provide shock absorption, stability and arch support. Avoid shoes made from plastic and artificial materials that don’t allow the foot to breath. Many older people choose to wear – but keep in mind that, although comfy, slippers encourage you to shuffle rather than walk properly. Don’t wear shoes that are too tight – they will restrict your blood circulation and cramp your toes. Make sure you can put on your shoes and take them off easily. Shoes with straps, Velcro and laces hold your feet firmly in place.