Footcare Helps Keep Elderly Mobile



(NewsUSA) – Many people assume that it is a normal part of the aging process, but no one should resign themselves to foot pain. According to the The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), some foot problems are hereditary, but many others result from cumulative neglect and abuse. Gaining weight can affect bone and ligament structure. In fact, women suffer four times more foot problems than men, and a lifetime of wearing high heels can leave a painful legacy.

Normal wear and tear alters foot structure. With age and use, feet spread and lose cushioning. According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics, one-sixth of nursing home patients need assistance to walk, while another one-fourth cannot walk. Seeking professional treatment for foot pain can help senior citizens enjoy a higher quality of life, not to mention increased mobility and independence.

"Foot pain can limit a senior citizen's ability to participate in social activities or work," said Dr. Ross Taubman, president of the APMA. "Even worse, foot problems can lead to debilitating knee, hip and lower back pain."

Podiatric physicians serve in foot clinics, nursing homes and hospitals across the country, where they help keep older patients on their feet. The APMA offers these tips to older Americans hoping to walk pain-free:

  • Remeasure your feet every time you buy new shoes. Feet expand with age, so you can't assume that your shoe size will remain constant. Shop for shoes in the afternoon -; feet swell through the day.
  • Keep walking. Feet strengthen with exercise, and walking is the best exercise for your feet.
  •  Choose your legwear carefully. Don't wear stockings with seams. Never wear constricting garters or tie your stockings in knots.
  • Bathe your feet daily in lukewarm water. Use a mild soap that contains moisturizers. After washing your feet, pat them dry and massage them with lotion. Inspect your feet for redness, swelling and cracks or sores, which require a doctor's attention. Do not cut off corns, and only trim nails straight across.
  • See a podiatrist at least once a year. For more information, visit APMA's Web site

I’m Liz Craven, and I live in Lakeland, FL with my husband Wes and our menagerie of pets (our kids are grown up now and killing the whole adulting thing). We own a local publishing company, Pro-Ad Media, and for the last 25 years have been providing digest sized publications featuring various aspects of Polk County life. Having lived here for most of my adult life, I have a pretty good handle on what makes a community special. I serve on multiple boards, and I love connecting people to each other and to local organizations that can enrich their lives.

The inspiration for the first printed ElderCare Guide came from my own experience learning to navigate the senior care world for family and wishing I had a handy resource. With our website, we can now provide tools and assistance to family members wherever they are.

Though I’m new to the blogging scene, anyone who knows me knows I almost always have something to say. Originally, I thought this was going to be my blog about all things seniors, a vehicle to share what I know about seniors that might be of interest and helpful to others. Then I realized this should be a bigger conversation, one that we need to have as a community. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of meeting engaged and passionate people who have dedicated themselves to making Polk County a great place to live for people of all ages. This conversation should include them, and it should include you. So, while you will hear from me personally on a regular basis, you will also hear from local leaders and professionals who will shed light on different topics related to senior adults. As a local conversation, those who share here are accessible to you in case you have more questions about their topics (see, there is that connecting people thing again. So much fun!).

I hope you will join me in this weekly conversation. Moreover, I hope you will invite others to join the conversation as well. If you have particular topics of interest you’d like to hear more about, let me know and I’ll do my best to address them. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more great information.

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