Everybody is born with one pair of feet, and these feet have to see them through until the end of their lives, which is why foot care should not be an afterthought but something integral to daily life. As the body ages, general wear and tear ensue, and this is as true of the feet as any other part of the body - and this is why elderly people need to pay careful attention to their feet.
So, as an elderly person, what are some foot care issues that you should be knowledgeable about or practice in your daily healthcare routine?
Ensure toenails are regularly cut. This might seem like an obvious thing, but ignoring this can lead to problems such as infection and lack of mobility. Bacteria and fungus like to hang out in the space under long nails where it is warm and cosy for them to multiply, but if you keep your nails neatly trimmed, you won't give bacteria and fungus the chance to take root. Long nails can also dig into shoes, confining the space your foot has within a shoe, thus limiting your mobility. Some elderly people may lack the flexibility to cut their own toenails, and if this is the case, should request the assistance of somebody to help them with this.
Keep your feet warm. The elderly can experience issues with circulation, and as the feet are right at the bottom of the body, they are often affected. The feet actually play an important role in controlling the body's temperature in general, so the warmth of your feet is not be ignored. When you are sitting at home, ensure that you have a footstool to elevate your feet, as this promotes better circulation. Warm woollen socks and thermal stockings can be a good idea; just make sure that you don't wear anything too restrictive that will limit the blood flow. Bed socks can help prevent your feet from becoming cold at night, and could even improve your sleep.
Pay attention to your footwear. As you age, every part of your body is more delicate, and you might have strain in your joints and muscles. For this reason, a very supportive shoe is absolutely imperative in order to support your frame adequately. It's a good idea to visit a podiatrist so that you can have a professional shoe fitting, and so that you can have shoes recommend to you. A running shoe, which typically has a lot of support in the heel, can be a good idea. A podiatrist will also be able to supply extras such as insoles to make sure that your feet are as supported as possible.
With this information, you should have healthy, functional feet for your whole life.