Foot Care for the Elderly

By Waitakere Foot / 24 August 2020 / General Podiatry

Foot problems become progressively common as we age, but our feet are easily forgotten as they are not only on the other end of us but often covered by shoes and socks.

active elderly couple out for a jogInjuries and discomfort in the feet can adversely affect elderlies’ balance, mobility, and independence. Waitakere Foot Podiatrist & Aged Care Specialist Jiansi (Amy) Wu has complied a few simple tips to give our seniors’ feet some tender loving care.

  1. Check, clean & moisturise

Good hygiene is important to keep our feet healthy and to prevent infections. Some of our seniors might not be having shower/baths daily but a good wipe down with a warm towel could do the trick, making sure to clean and dry between the toes. Spend a few moments to check feet thoroughly while cleaning for any damage or change.

Ageing makes our skin thinner and more fragile. Moisturising our legs/feet could help to prevent cracks and breaks in the skin, stopping potential infections. Avoid moisturising in between toes as this causes debris build up and attract germs.

  1. Footwear & Socks

Over years of use, our feet become bigger and flatter, the shape of our feet change from injuries and pressure, also the fat pads naturally wears away.

Having properly fitted footwear prevents blisters, sores, corns and ingrown nails. Only wear shoes which are long, wide and deep enough to accommodate your feet in all dimensions and avoid tight socks which cause indents in the skin.

Choose breathable materials and check the inseams for any sharp edges which could cause irritation or rubbing.

  1. Promote Circulation

Circulation brings nutrients and oxygen around the feet to ensure normal cell renewal takes place. Spend some time elevating your feet at regular intervals, walking, massaging, and warm soaks are all helpful in promoting circulation. Put on warm layers of clothing, keep cover with dry shoes and socks.

Use waterproof footwear when gardening and change shoes and sock promptly if wet or soiled. Be careful to stay at least 1.5m from heaters and fire. Do not use hot water bottles directly on skin and do not leave them in bed with you overnight.

    1. Keep nails trimmed

Long nails could cause discomfort and affect walking balance, if left too long. Pressure on nails could cause permanent nail deformities and attract fungal growth. Cut straight across and file sharp edges. Do not attempt to cut into corners or scrap cuticles to avoid infection and ingrown nails.

  1. Seek help promptly

When there is lingering pain and other problems such as callous, corns, blisters, or nail problems, seek help promptly. Although our physical clinics are closed at during Level 3 & 4, we are only a phone call away, give us a call on 0800 333 233 and our friendly team will be able to help with any enquiries.