AGEING FEET

Ageing feet

As our feet grow older they naturally develop more problems, but painful and uncomfortable feet are not a natural part of growing old or something you need to put up with. If you are concerned about your feet, or have any foot problems, visit Absolute Health. Your chiropodist can provide soft insoles that will fit easily into your shoes and toe protectors for painful / deformed toes or bunions.

Looking after your feet

It's never too late to start caring for your feet:

Nail care

Keeping toenails cut and under control will help keep you mobile but for many elderly people cutting toenails can be a problem perhaps because of poor eyesight or trouble bending down.

You could ask a friend to cut your toenails for you, but it is advisable to consult a state registered chiropodist, who will be able to cut even heavily overgrown toenails painlessly and keep them under control for you. At Absolute Health clinic we offer a toenail cut service at half the price of standard chiropody treatment.

Keeping warm

Try to keep your feet as warm as possible, but don't cook them in front of the fire. Exercise is the best way, so move around as much as you can. Warm stockings or socks can help but avoid anything too tight which can restrict your circulation or cramp your toes.

Wearing fleece lined boots or shoes or even an extra pair of socks will also keep you warm but do make sure your shoes aren't tight as a result. Bed socks are a good idea.

Correct footwear

The older you get, the more you need a shoe which holds your foot firmly in place and gives adequate support. Beware of sloppy old favourites which, although comfortable, may have worn soles and heels making you unstable when you walk. Have them repaired or throw them out.

Look for shoes with uppers made of soft leather or a stretchy man-made fabric which is also breathable. Avoid plastic 'easy clean' uppers which don't allow the foot to breathe and won't stretch to accommodate your own foot shape. Many shoes have underfoot cushioning or shock absorbing soles and these will give you extra comfort when walking. Your chiropodist at Absolute Health can recommend specialist shoe shops.

When you buy shoes do make certain that you can put them on and take them off easily. Check that the heel is held firmly in place - you'll find that a lace up or Velcro fastening shoe will give more support and comfort than a slip-on.

Don't squeeze your feet into inappropriate footwear. Buy shoes that are wide and roomy enough for you - particularly if you will be wearing them every day. If you suffer with swollen feet it's a good idea to put your shoes on as soon as you wake up, before your feet have had the chance to swell. This way the shoe will seem to fit better, and your foot is less likely to slip up and down at the heel.

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