Today’s gorgeous weather made us reminiscent for summer – of donning flip-flops and heading to the beach. But it also reminded us of what we can only describe as the summer’s ‘freaky foot season’. Several of our friends seemed to have issues with their feet including a severe cut, lost toenails, a fungal infection and pedicure gone wrong. We’re happy to say everyone has fully recovered but it made us think about how important the feet are – particularly for the elderly.
Healthy feet allow a person to stay active and keep their balance. Unhealthy feet can lead to an increased risk of falls and can even provide an early warning signal for health concerns such as diabetes, arthritis, poor blood circulation or nerve damage.
Caring for ageing parents lists several tips for keeping feet fighting fit including the following:
- Check feet daily. Take a few minutes every day to look for swelling, redness, sores, cuts, blisters, bruises, ingrown or infected toenails. If bending is difficult, try using a mirror or asking for help.
- Wash feet daily. Don’t soak your feet for longer than 10 minutes, or your skin will get dry and crack. Pat dry instead of rubbing and dry well between and under your toes.
- Care for calluses and trim toenails regularly. Cut nails straight across and never shorter than the end of your toe. Use a nail file for sharp edges. Use the pumice stone for calluses when feet are still wet.
- Keep feet soft and smooth. Use unscented cream on the top and bottom of your feet if the skin is cracked or dry, but wipe off any excess and do not apply between toes. Use talcum powder if feet are sweaty.
- Wear comfortable shoes and socks. Foot problems can be caused or worsened by shoes that don’t fit properly, don’t give enough support or don’t have enough grip on the ground.
- Wear clean socks everyday. They help keep feet dry.
- Avoid socks with ridges or elastic at the top. These can irritate or restrict circulation. Wear white socks when possible. If there is drainage from a cut or sore, it will be easier to see.
Of course for good foot health, it’s also important to try and maintain good general health with daily exercise and healthy eating.
Wishing everyone happy feet!