Giant marble foot - senior foot care

Best foot forward: why senior feet health helps preserve independence

As we age, we all need to take care of our feet! Good foot health is particularly important to maintaining mobility, and feeling comfortable and confident in our footwear.

Wet winter feet

During the winter, our feet experience a wide range of temperatures and conditions during each day, from snow boots to slippers. The important part of winter foot care for all of us is to keep our feet dry. Wet feet, socks or footwear due to leaking boots are one issue. Hot sweaty feet are another, as both lead to the ideal conditions for conditions such as athlete’s foot.

Athlete’s foot is a skin condition caused by a fungal infection. The fungus grows best in dark, moist, warm places – such as in between your toes in your warm winter boots! The best way to avoid the infection is to keep your feet clean, your socks clean, and your shoes dry and well-ventilated in between use. If you have naturally sweaty feet, a dusting of talcum powder will help absorb moisture. At the end of the winter, you might like to have your shoes disinfected by a podiatrist or foot care expert, so that they are fresh and clean to store away.

Why you need to moisturise your feet

It may seem contradictory, but winter conditions can also dry out the skin on your feet too. When you come in from the cold, you’ll probably take off your boots and perhaps pop your feet next to the fire to warm them up. The dry air in our homes can cause the skin on your feet, and particularly your heels, to crack, making your feet more prone to infection. A good quality foot moisturiser applied to clean, dry skin will help keep the skin on your feet supple and smooth.

Favourite footwear and orthotics

Once our feet stop growing in our teen years or just after, it’s tempting to think our shoe size and fitting won’t change much. So we might simply wear the kind of shoe and size of shoe we’ve worn for years. What we often forget is that the way we walk (our gait) changes during our lifetime. So the shoe we have worn in the past may be unsuitable or simply the wrong fit, and actually contribute to issues with walking.

Orthotics are insoles that slip into normal shoes and gently adjust your foot position to improve your gait. Our foot care team here at The Manor Village includes professional orthotic specialists, who can assess your gait and make custom orthotics if required.

Bunions, corns and fungal toenails

Feet in ill-fitting shoes are also prone to conditions caused by rubbing and pressure, such as bunions, corns, calluses and toenail issues.

  • Bunions are caused by your big toe is out of position, which causes the join at the base of the toe extends from the side of your foot. A small sac of fluid forms at the base of your toe which swells causing pain. Custom orthotics can realign your toe and relieve the pain.
  • Corns and calluses are caused when your foot rubs against your footwear, or when standing on a hard surface for long periods of time. A layer of thick and dead skin forms, which can cause pain when walking. A podiatrist or foot care specialist will know the best way to treat your corns and calluses, and remove them without causing infection.
  • Fungal nail infections may cause your nail to discolour, thicken and split. Up to 20% of Canadians suffer from some form of fungal nail infection. Again, these should be treated by a professional podiatrist or foot health specialist to restore your natural, healthy nails.

Professional foot care at The Manor Village

At The Manor Village Life Centers, we know that senior foot problems can put both health and independence at risk. That’s why our Health and Wellness team works hard to keep our residents’ feet healthy, so our seniors can stay mobile for longer.

Our Residents don’t have to travel to a foot clinic, as our podiatrist and orthotics specialist comes to them. We have a dedicated treatment room at all our Manor Village senior living communities, where our podiatrist helps Residents with:

  • basic foot care
  • bunions and corns
  • nail and skin care

They also offer screenings and assessments to detect and treat foot problems such as plantar fasciitis (heel pain, caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia tendon).

Foot care and diabetes

If you have diabetes, you need to take extra care of your feet. Foot problems are quite common for people with diabetes, due to nerve damage and poor circulation caused by the condition. So, you might not notice minot foot injuries such as a cut or a blister. If these minor wounds are not noticed and treated. they can get infected,

A daily foot care routine will help you or your senior relatives take care of their feet. A daily wash in warm (not hot water), a thorough dry and a visual inspection will ensure any minor cuts don’t become a major issue. If you can’t see the bottom of your feet easily, use a hand mirror or even a small mirror on an extending selfie stick!

Always wear a clean pair of socks each day. Diabetes Canada suggest wearing white socks, so if you do have a cut or an abrasion, the discharge will be easier to spot.

Want to step out around our senior living communities?

You’re always welcome. Simply call or book your personalised visit online, and see for yourself how every Manor Village is a home from home, with that extra level of care you or your loved one requires.