Geriatric foot care is a vital part of medical care as people age. There is a good chance that you have already suffered foot pain yourself. This issue is entirely natural since wear and tear on the feet is a regular part of the aging process. Still, how well feet are taken care of will directly reflect the severity of long-term foot problems. If you have any of the signs of aging feet such as bunions, claw toes, achy feet, swelling, fallen arches, fungus, cracking and bleeding skin or circulatory problems, you should seek out foot care right away.
According to the National Council on Aging, 85 percent of patients 65 and older have at least one chronic medical condition and over one-fourth of those adults have diabetes, a significant contributor to foot and lower extremity issues (https://www.ncoa.org/blog/10-common-chronic-diseases-prevention-tips/). Diabetes in the elderly can cause many foot complications, such as nerve damage. This can result in the inability to feel a possibly detrimental foot injury. Reduced blood flow, changes in the shape of the foot that causes pain, ulcers that can become infected and even possible amputation are additional conditions caused by diabetes.
Even geriatric patients without diabetes see some of these conditions due to thinning skin, dry skin, peripheral artery disease, weak bones, and arthritis. These severe foot issues are possible on top of the typical signs of unhealthy feet like blisters, flat feet, bunions, plantar warts, plantar fasciitis, athlete’s foot and toe fungus. As a general population, geriatric patients have compromised immune systems which often means the smallest foot impairment can lead to irreversible malignant ends.
Poor health of the lower extremities also leads to sedentary lifestyles which can dramatically affect the health of geriatric patients, increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke— all of which are life-threatening medical conditions.
To avoid chronic foot conditions and poor overall health, and to combat less severe current foot issues like general pain, fungus, corns, callouses and warts, geriatric patients should receive regular geriatric foot care. It is recommended that geriatric patients schedule annual appointments or visit a podiatrist at the first sign of discomfort or concern, and that diabetic patients make it a point to have bi-annual appointments at least. For those with the tendency to develop fungus or ingrown toenails, visiting every three months or so for a quick foot check and treatment is also a good idea.
Aging impairs flexibility and makes even the most minuscule foot care routine a chore. It is easy to miss potentially dangerous skin conditions, and it can be hard to notice injuries if nerve damage is present. Scheduling an appointment for foot care today will keep your feet in the best shape possible, keep you as active as possible and could even potentially add years to your life.
We are always ready to help guide you in making the best decisions for your geriatric foot care needs. Contact our office today and let us help ease your worries and improve the foot issues you may be experiencing.
Request an appointment in our San Jose office here: https://footdoctorinsanjose.com.