As an older person, it is important that you pay special attention to your feet with regard to foot hygiene, the cutting of nails, the type of sock and stockings/hosiery worn, type of shoe and other matters concerning the feet.
Your nails should be attended to on a regular basis. The nails are usually quite thick in many cases and therefore it would be best to do nail cutting after bath time, as the nail would be much easier to cut. Nails should be cut making sure that you follow the length and shape of the toe so as to minimize damage to the nail during the regrowth stage. NEVER probe the nail groove or any part of the nail. Should you be experiencing any difficulty with your nails or should you suffer or any pain or discomfort, consult your Foot Health Practitioner for help and advice.
CORNS AND CALLOUSES
It is important for the elderly patient to know that any corn or callous should be treated by a qualified Practitioner and that removal of these disorders should not be attempted by the patient. Equally NEVER use any corn cures as the medication in the preparations could have a serious effect on you.
If you have sweaty feet normally, then clean the feet, dry them and apply talcum powder. If you suffer from dry feet, then use of a cream will help to maintain the feet. It is important that you change to a clean pair of socks/stockings every day.
HEAT AND COLD
Due to age many cases have problems with circulation and because of this you should avoid very hot baths, electric blankets should be turned off at bedtime and you should not sit too close to fireplaces or heaters.
Shoes must be chosen carefully. It is best to have lace-up and soft upper shoes so that your feet will be held firmly during walking. To be sure that the shoes are suited for your feet, test walk on a solid area of the store NOT ON THE CARPETED FLOOR.
It is best to have you feet measured when buying shoes. Feet must be measured when standing, as this is when the true size is known.
It is important that you wear socks/stockings that will not restrict the movement of the foot. Avoid going barefoot.
If any minor injury should happen to you (e.g. cuts, bruises) clean the area and apply a mild antiseptic cream (e.g. Savlon). DO NOT apply adhesive strapping directly to the area or wrap the strapping around toes, as this will restrict circulation.
Blisters on the feet should be left alone and should not be punctured (pricked) to release the fluid, but should be left to dry up on their own. Should they open of their own accord and discharge their contents, dress with an antiseptic dressing.
It will be necessary to visit your Practitioner or G.P. if the injury is not responding to the treatment.
If you notice any discharge coming from a break in the skin, from a nail or corn, it is important that you contact your Practitioner.
If there is pain, itching, swelling or colour changes in the feet or leg, contact your Practitioner.