The protective fat pads along the soles of the feet degenerate with age, which can lead to foot problems for senior women. Most people in general experience some sort of foot problem with age; however, it is important to know that foot problems can be a symptom of several serious health issues, such as diabetes, poor circulation, nerve problems, and arthritis. At the first sign of a foot problem, women over age 65 should contact a health care provider such as a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Changes in the foot’s appearance, as well as sudden and chronic pain, should never be ignored.
To keep the feet healthy, women over 65 should follow the following foot care suggestions:
- Check your feet and toenails daily, or have someone else check them for changes. See a podiatrist if you notice something looks different or unusual.
- Maintain good circulation to the lower extremities: walk frequently, avoid sitting for long periods with crossed legs and without rising to stretch and move, raise the feet when sitting or reclining, have the feet massaged regularly, keep the feet warm, and do not smoke.
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Wear properly-fitting, supportive, shock-absorbing shoes with a soft upper that will conform to the foot’s shape. The sole of the shoe should be flexible and have good traction to avoid slips and falls. A shoe that causes pressure or friction or lacks cushion and support can generate foot and toe problems.
- Tears or cuts in the skin of the foot can also lead to infection.