Senior Foot Care
Your feet were designed to last you a lifetime. However, as the years and decades roll by, you may find that they don’t always respond quite the way they used to.
Age affects us all, and feet are no exception. Muscles and bones lose mass and strength. Skin dries out. A lifetime of wear and tear can stretch ligaments and tendons and erode joints. Balance can be affected, too, and progressive conditions like bunions and hammertoes may finally show themselves. Furthermore, rates of systemic health conditions that affect the feet, such as diabetes or poor circulation, increase with age.
It’s true you can’t halt the effects of time. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t continue to retain healthy feet, mobility, and independence long into your golden years. Effective senior foot care is critical if you want to keep a busy lifestyle long into your retirement.
Daily Preventative Care for Seniors and Their Caregivers
The best way to keep feet in good shape for the long run is to make home care a part of your routine. That way, you stay healthier and detect problems faster, allowing us to provide appropriate care promptly for any issues that arise.
- Inspect your feet daily for signs of damage. Irregularities such as cuts, swelling, and sores should be addressed promptly, especially if they aren’t healing or are getting worse.
- Practice good hygiene, keeping feet clean, dry, and moisturized.
- Trim toenails regularly. Go straight across, rather than at an angle or along a curve.
- Get plenty of exercise. Fitness and balance are “use it or lose it” skills, so making sure you get up, walk around, do some stretching, and stay mobile goes a long way.
- Make sure your shoes fit and are still supporting you well. Feet tend to widen and flatten with age, so you may find you need a bigger shoe size than when you were younger. Feet also swell throughout the day, so try to shop for shoes later in the evening to ensure they’ll be big enough.
- Schedule a comprehensive senior foot care checkup with Brook Valley Podiatry at least once per year, or more if you have a history of foot trouble. These additional screenings help catch and treat problems you might not have detected on your own before they become serious.
Foot Care Services for Senior Patients
Dr. Stuart Birnbaum provides compassionate foot care for seniors in his Spring Valley, NY and Midwood, Brooklyn offices. Our guiding principle is to treat patients the way we would want to be treated, with honesty and warmth, and our goal is to help keep you active and pain free for as long as possible. Some of the services we provide frequently for our senior patients include:
- Addressing ongoing skin and nail care needs, such as cutting nails, trimming corns and calluses, soothing cracked heels, medical and aesthetic treatments for fungal toenails (KeryFlex), and more.
- Addressing sources of foot pain through care options such as physical therapy, footwear modifications, custom orthotics, or even advanced laser therapy.
- Vascular and nerve testing to detect early warning signs of slow blood flow or damaged nerves and treat them before they have a chance to cause complications.
- Advanced neuropathy treatments, such as Neurogenx, to relieve nerve pain and encourage cellular repair.
- Advanced wound care with a focus on healing open sores and ulcers quickly, preventing infection and amputation, and restoring full function.
- Surgical repair of foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes, or flat feet, using minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.
- Fall risk assessments and strategies to help improve balance and stability.
We understand how important it is that each person who walks through our door is treated with kindness and dignity, and is fully educated about their condition and treatment options. We’ll always take time to ensure you leave with full knowledge and confidence.
We also know the importance of partnering with family members and other caregivers who may be helping with an older, loved one’s foot care. For those who care for an elderly relative, our guide on foot health advice for caregivers is an essential resource that we make freely available for download.
To schedule an appointment at Brook Valley Podiatry, please call (718) 434-0600 for our Midwood, Brooklyn office, or (845) 352-7507 for Spring Valley, NY.