Retirement can be hard on the feet
(NC) Retirees travel, chase grandchildren and often stand for hours at volunteer events. If this sounds like you, is some of your enjoyment of these long-awaited pleasures diminished because of an age-related foot problem?
“As people grow older their feet can change in shape and size. The fat pads on their heels and the balls of their feet may decrease and they may develop poor circulation in their lower limbs,” says Alison Smith, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist and president of the Pedorthic Association of Canada. “Even though these changes are a normal part of aging, if seniors don't pay extra attention to their feet they may develop serious pain and mobility issues, which will prevent them from doing the things they love.”
Foot experts say one of the most frequent causes of foot pain and injuries in older adults are poor fitting shoes. A career spent in high heels or in fashionable yet ill-fitting shoes often leads to bunions, corns, and hammertoes later in life, says Smith, so securely-fitting, stable shoes with wide toe boxes and adjustable closures are the best choice for everyday wear during retirement. Even if you have worn the same shoe size for your entire adult life, it is recommended you have your feet measured and your shoes fitted by a professional as changes in foot size and shape are common.
Age increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and diabetes can cause reduced circulation and loss of feeling in the lower limbs and feet. As a result, foot injuries may develop and can go unnoticed due to poor sensation in the feet. An untreated foot wound can be very serious, in some cases even leading to amputation, so daily foot checks for blisters, irritations and other wounds are essential for all older adults living with diabetes.
Canadian Certified Pedorthists are foot orthotic and footwear experts who are specially trained in preventing and treating age-related foot conditions to keep patients mobile and pain free. They measure, fit and advise patients about the appropriate footwear for their feet and lifestyle needs. They can also assess for, design, manufacture and dispense custom foot orthotics if required. More information on pedorthists can be found at www.pedorthic.ca.
Footcare Advice For Retirees
Canadian Certified Pedorthists recommend the following foot care tips for seniors:
• Always purchase comfortable, professionally fitted, supportive shoes.
• Wear socks and shoes at all times – both indoors and out.
• If you are living with diabetes, wash and dry your feet daily and check them for wounds or other injuries.
• If you are experiencing foot or lower limb pain, book an appointment with a pedorthist and see if a foot orthotic will help.
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