Shelley Scott, executive director, Flamborough Information and Community Services
For a senior citizen, foot care might be the last point of health that comes to mind, but the importance of maintaining health in your lower legs can result in much better mobility and ease of motion.
The longer your feet are capable of keeping you upright, the longer you can maintain a healthy and active lifestyle.
There are several tips that can help to extend the longevity and durability of your soles, arches, and toes, beginning with proper cleaning. It may seem odd, but the less dirt and sweat residue there is between your toes, the lower the risk of infection and nasty fungal growths.
Remember to clean your feet daily with soap. Wash in between each toe and under toenails so that no part becomes mucked up with filth. Ensure that you dry your feet thoroughly after you wash them, so that no residual moisture accumulates and threatens to create a fungal growth like athlete’s foot.
If you’ve got a problem, see a podiatrist. These medical professionals are capable of understanding what bones are under the most stress and what parts of the skin are most likely to break under contact. Even a small cut left untreated can turn into an ulcer, which may easily become infected.
Don’t forget about footwear. While a senior citizen is not likely to go out on the town wearing four-inch stilettoes, many shoes are not only uncomfortable but damaging to the skeletal structure of the feet.
Shoes should be spacious enough so that your toes are not cramped and do not sweat from overheating. Avoid wearing thick socks, unless cold weather necessitates them, as they can also reduce circulation and cause excess sweating.
If you wear specific shoes for exercise, keep them in good condition and replace them at the first sign of wear and tear.
Healthy toenails are also an essential part of the health of your feet. Regularly trim your toenails to avoid the possibility of ingrown toenails and infections. Cut the nails straight across so that the corners do not grow into soft patches of skin. Consult a doctor if you suffer from ingrown nails or your toenail is dark in colour and thick.
Submitted by Shelley Scott at Flamborough Information and Community Services 905-689- 7880. Article from Retire at Home Services. For more info check out the Flamborough Seniors web site: www.flamboroughseniors.ca.