Focus on Seniors: Take care of feet, especially as you age | The Podiatrist and yourfeetnz


Senior foot care is a specialty that has been a part of podiatry since its beginnings. This is because senior adults have the same foot problems as youth, but with a greater sense of urgency and frequency. For example, plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the ligament on the bottom of the foot and arch and attaching to the heel bone, can affect anyone at any age. But, because seniors tend to be less flexible and subject to considerable change in weight and activity level, they are very vulnerable to this condition. And, because they may have other medical conditions and taking medications, treatment becomes more challenging.

Diabetes is a major factor in foot care. Maturity onset diabetes is all too common, requiring special attention to co-existing foot conditions such as neuropathy (decreased sensitivity), circulatory compromise and ulcerations. Other conditions include brittle, fungal or ingrown nails and dry, cracking and peeling feet.

We know that bunions and hammer toe are associated with foot types present at birth but most manifest later in life as the tendon and ligaments become less giving and more rigid. If we consider that feet are the foundation of our bodies, gravity and longevity take their toll on the foot and lower leg. That is why we are more susceptible to fibromas of the arch ligament, neuromas, ganglion cysts of the tendons and joints and, of course, arthritis of the 31 joints and 28 bones of the foot, including the two sesamoid joints under the big toe joint.

So, what to do? First, practice good foot hygiene. Bathe, soak, dry and powder your feet daily. Wear the best shoes you can afford and make sure they fit well. Wear clean, soft socks, preferably those which have moisture wicking materials in them.

Next, see The Podiatrist yearly or more frequently if you are diabetic (every three months is recommended). Try to walk every day to the best of your ability, however, when resting, elevate your feet to reduce swelling.
Keep your nails trimmed but not too short. This may be difficult with aging, so find a family member who can do this for you or see The Podiatrist.


About Your feet and podiatry with Caron Orelowitz | Registered Podiatrist - Auckland

Caron Orelowitz was born in Johannesburg and emigrated to New Zealand in 1997. She studied Podiatry at The Witwatersrand Technikon and was in private practice in South Africa for a few years, before setting off to ‘the other side of the world’. Auckland Podiatry. Since 1998 she has been helping people of all ages who have problems with their feet, from the elderly, to sports people, and those who just want some TLC for the feet. At present she has 5 practices (with a satellite Diabetes Practice out West Auckland), owns a children’s shoe shop (Scooters in Remuera), and tries to fit in some exercise when time permits. Caron is an active member of Podiatry New Zealand (NZ), and holds the position of Treasurer for the Auckland Branch, as well as representing the Northern Region on the Executive Council. She is registered under HPCAA (Health Practitioner Competency Assurance Act), and is often seen attending (and organizing) Seminars and workshops. Caron has a special interest in Paediatrics and can often be seen on the floor showing children some exercises. ACC registered Discounts for Super Gold Card Holders, members of Grey Power and Green Prescription participants.

Posted on April 21, 2014, in Contact a Podiatrist, What is a Podiatrist, Your feet and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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