Specialties / Services
Our Aging Feet
Aging Feet and Your Health
Healthcare has progressed so rapidly since 1900, that life expectancy of the average person has increased by approximately 27 years. Mature individuals have become an increasingly significant proportion of our total population and their numbers are growing rapidly. The number of seniors with aging feet has more than doubled in Canada in the past 25 years. In 1996, seniors accounted for more than 12% of the population.
If mature people are to live productive, satisfying lives, they must be able to move about. Mobility is a vital in maintaining the independence that older people cherish and foot ailments can make it difficult, or impossible for them to engage in physical activities.
There are more than 300 different ailments that are associated with the feet. Some can be traced to heredity, but for seniors, most of them stem from the cumulative impact of years of neglect or abuse. However, even among people in their retirement years, many foot problems can be treated successfully, and the pain of foot ailments relieved.
While mild foot problems can cause discomfort, if left untreated, they can lead to chronic and/or debilitating conditions.
Mirror of Health
The human foot has been called the mirror of health. Chiropodists are often the first specialists to see signs of such systemic conditions as diabetes, arthritis and circulatory disease in the Feet. Among these signs are: dry skin, brittle nails, burning / tingling sensations, cold feet, numbness, and discolouration. It is important to seek professional care if and when these signs appear.
Changes of the Foot
Improper Foot care and normal wear and tear can cause significant changes in feet. As we age, our feet tend to spread and lose the fatty pads that cushion the bottom of our feet. Weight gain can also affect the bone and ligament structure. Mature people consequently should have their feet measured for shoe sizes more frequently, rather than presuming that their shoe sizes remain constant.
Aging of our bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons can cause fallen arches, and contribute to sore feet. An increase in corns & calluses, as well as plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, can occur.
Bunions and hammer toes may also be present which can prove to be most painful.
Dry skin and brittle nails are other conditions older people commonly face. For reasons that are difficult to fathom, many people, including a lot of older people, believe that it is normal for the feet to hurt, and simply resign themselves to enduring foot problems which could be treated with routine care.
Observing preventative foot health care has many benefits. Chief among them is that it can increase comfort, limit the possibility of additional medical problems, reduce the chances of hospitalization due to infection, and lessen the requirements for other institutional care.
Keep them Walking
Studies show that care for a bedridden patient costs much more than care for an ambulatory patient. In their private practices and in foot clinics, chiropodists are providing services designed to keep older people active and on their feet.
Records indicate that amputations and other forms of surgery due to infections of the feet, have been significantly reduced in recent years, thanks to early diagnosis and treatment.
Foot Health Tips
- Properly fitted shoes are an essential component in foot health; an astonishing number of people wear shoes that don't fit well, which can contribute to serious foot problems
- A shoe with a firm sole and soft upper is best for daily activities
- Walking is the best form of exercise for your feet
- Pantyhose or stockings should be of the correct size and preferably free of seams
- Where possible, avoid going barefoot, even in your home
- Do not wear constricting garters or tie your stockings in knots
- Never cut corns and calluses with a razor pocket knife or other such instruments; use over-the-counter foot products should only be considered upon the advice of a chiropodist
- Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water, using a mild soap, preferably one containing moisturizers, or use a moisturizer separately
- Trim or file your toenails straight across to reduce the risk of ingrown toe nails
- Inspect your feet daily, or have someone do this for you. If you notice any redness, swelling, cracks in the skin, or sores, consult your chiropodist immediately
- Make it a priority to have your feet examined by a chiropodist at least twice a year
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