Putting Your Best Foot Forward: Why Daily Foot Care is Important
Foot care is important for all ages but it is especially vital for the elderly. According to The American Podiatric Medical Association, by the time an American reaches 50 years old, they will have walked 75,000 miles! That’s a lot of pressure on the feet – literally – and that wear and tear from high mileage only increases with age. According to HealthDay.com, foot problems are also common in older people because feet lose cushioning as they age and the skin and nails can become dry and brittle. Many seniors have poor circulation and this can make foot sores slow to heal. Other common foot problems in older people include: Athlete’s foot, dry skin, corns and calluses, heel spurs, and ingrown toenails. The MontereyHerald.com says that foot disorders in the elderly often lead to pain, disability, and
loss of mobility and independence. Seniors also have mobility issues preventing them from reaching or bending to clean their feet.
So what’s the solution? Well, first, it’s clear that seniors must take care of their feet to avoid these common foot issues. Cleaning one’s feet daily is the best way to help prevent infections and other foot problems. But a daily foot cleaning is not always easy for seniors – bending, hunching and stooping is often painful on their joints, muscles and back. Also, many seniors live alone and can’t rely on a caregiver or family member to assist them in a daily foot washing routine.
As mentioned previously, foot issues in the elderly don’t just cause pain and discomfort but they can also lead to a loss of mobility. This loss of mobility can then lead to a loss of independence which can increase loneliness and depression. Therefore, when it comes to seniors, foot problems aren’t isolated to just the foot, but rather can affect a person’s entire sense of physical, social, and psychological well-being. By keeping feet clean, soothed and massaged, seniors can protect their feet against common foot problems. One option is to use a foot cleaning system like The FootMate System. This system is a brush and specifically formulated gel that goes in the bath or shower to clean and massage feet daily without any bending. By keeping feet clean, an aging person can prevent foot problems before they occur. Seniors can continue being mobile, independent, and pain free by simply cleaning and soothing their feet every day while they bathe or shower.
Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..