Advanced age can make proper foot care challenging; hence, the need for appropriate Geriatric Foot Care is imperative in preserving and extending optimal foot health. The elderly have a difficult time reaching down to their feet to inspect them for signs of infection. Common geriatric foot conditions include diabetic foot ulcers, ingrown/fungal nails, arthritic pain and corns/calluses. Part of appropriate care involves having another individual check the feet of an elderly person if they cannot do so themselves. Moreover, since circulation will become less efficient with age, an elderly person may not be able to feel developing complications. Correct geriatric foot care starts with noticing infections of the skin or toenails, signs of blisters or open wounds.
Proper care includes:
· Bathing their feet in warm water to increase circulation and to alleviate discomfort. When washing with soap, it’s best to use a type that does not dry out the skin too quickly so that it does not crack and lead to wounds.
· Having their feet looked at frequently for abnormalities to ensure early treatment and prevention of lingering infections.
· Keeping feet dry to reduce the chances of acquiring a fungal infection. This includes the areas in between the toes since moisture tends to build up in those areas.
· Wearing appropriate socks that wick moisture away so that the feet do not remain damp.
· Cutting toenails in a straight direction, making sure not to cut edges in a curved shape since this can lead to ingrown toenails.
· Using correctly fitting shoes to reduce unnecessary amounts of pressure on the feet.
Seniors who take care of their feet can prevent the onset of pain and complications which can benefit their lives immensely. Please contact us at Palm Beach Orthopaedic Institute, located in West Palm Beach, Jupiter, Wellington and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to start on the road to optimal geriatric foot care. Our podiatrist, John Schilero, DPM, will assist with providing the very best geriatric foot care available! Make an appointment by calling our office at 561-694-7776 EXT. 41 and stop by our Patient Education section for further information.