Senior Foot Care
It can’t be avoided: without regular maintenance, even the best-designed machines and tools will start to wear down in time.
Consider your vehicle. By the time a car reaches the 100,000-mile mark, chances are good that, at the very least, it has needed some regular maintenance to stay in drivable condition. Flushed fluids. New drive belt. New spark plug. Third set of brake pads. Fourth set of tires.
Well, consider this: by age 80, the average human will have walked over 100,000 miles in their lifetime—probably more like 115,000. (That’s enough to walk the entire perimeter of Colorado about 90 times, or get you halfway to the moon.) If you’ve enjoyed active hobbies or occupations during that time, your mileage might be even higher.
Thus, it should be unsurprising that, as you age, your feet need a little extra TLC to keep you upright and active. Frankly, it’s amazing they even work at all.
But here’s the good news: helping seniors stay active and pain-free well into their later decades is some of the most rewarding work we do here at Cheyenne Foot and Ankle, and a very high priority for our practice.
Senior Foot Care Services
The most important thing you should understand as an older adult is that, regardless of your age, foot and ankle pain is not the normal state of affairs! Don’t think that this is something that you must deal with as you age—it just isn’t true.
Sure, everybody slows down. Muscle mass declines, tendons get less flexible, even the natural padding under your heels gets thinner. But with regular care, there’s no reason your feet can’t stay sturdy enough to keep you active well into your 80s and beyond.
Some of the services we provide to our older patients include:
- Senior foot health screenings. Comprehensive foot checkups are recommended on an annual basis, especially if you have a history of foot problems. As you get older, the likelihood of developing conditions like diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, or peripheral vascular problems increases. Likewise, good foot health just gets harder to maintain. Regular checkups allow us to identify and correct problems early, so they don’t get worse and slow you down.
- Skin and nail care. As we age, toenails get thicker and more difficult to trim safely. Skin dries out and can start to crack and split more easily. And immune systems weaken, increasing the risk of viral and fungal infections like warts or fungal toenails. We are happy to cut your nails, soothe your skin, remove your warts, and just help your skin and toenails look and feel their best.
- Eliminating foot pain. Of course, fixing foot pain is our primary responsibility regardless of patient age. Heel pain, bunions, and the like should always be treated, whether you’re 15, 50, or 80+. That said, the way we approach any given problem will depend on the needs and lifestyle goals of the patient. Our senior patients can expect that we’ll treat their problem with the utmost care and concern, and recommend treatment protocols that make sense for them at any stage of life.
- Fall risk management. Falls are by far the most common and expensive cause of accidental injury, hospitalization, and death among American seniors. There are many reasons for this—and foot and ankle problems are among them. If you’re feeling unsteady—or maybe you’ve already fallen—come see us. Addressing a current foot problem or wearing a custom orthotic or brace may help you significantly reduce your fall risk.
- Wound care. Whether due to diabetes, age, or other factors, cuts and scrapes on your feet may take longer to heal and become more likely to get infected than in your younger days. We provide excellent wound care services to help seniors protect their feet and recover as quickly as possible.
These are just a few examples of some of the main services we provide that our senior patients tend to find especially valuable. But everyone is different!
Once again, the main thing to keep in mind is that, if you feel your feet and ankles aren’t healthy enough to give you the lifestyle you want, you should always seek help from a podiatrist.
Foot Health Tips for Senior Patients
Maintaining healthy feet for the long haul is all about the habits you develop at home. If you want those feet to keep serving you well:
- Examine your feet carefully every day. Note any changes, injuries, or problem spots. Give us a call if they are bothering you, or they are not getting better after several days.
- Wash your feet every day. Keep them clean, dry, and moisturized.
- Eat a healthy diet. Just like the rest of your body, feet need good nutrition to stay in top shape!
- Exercise regularly. No, you do not have to run any ultramarathons. Even walking for 30 minutes several times per week can work wonders for both your foot health and overall health.
- Practice your balance every day. Like any other skill, it’s use it or lose it!
- Always wear comfortable, supportive shoes with good arch support and skid-resistant soles.
- Address any foot pain or problems promptly. The longer you wait, the worse your problem will likely get. The worse it gets, the more you’ll slow down. And the more you slow down, the harder it will be to get up to speed again.
Keeping our seniors mobile, active, and independent is truly one of our highest callings. If you are experiencing any foot problems, or it’s been over a year since your last comprehensive checkup, please call the team at Cheyenne Foot & Ankle in Colorado Springs today at (719) 576-2080.