Perth podiatrist for the elderly
Senior’s foot health
Foot pain is often more prevalent with advancing age, affecting at least one in four older people. The condition of our feet also provides early indications of conditions like diabetes, arthritis, or circulatory disease. For this reason, the human foot is sometimes called the ‘mirror of health’.
What happens to our feet as they age?
- Listen to your feet. Don’t put off seeking an evaluation of any symptoms as they can worsen and often disrupt your quality of life
- Choose your shoes wisely. Our footwear is one of the biggest predictors of podiatric health. Ask your podiatrist about features to look out for in suitable footwear especially if you have any deformity such as hammertoe or bunion.
- Maintain good circulation. One way to do this is to try to maintain a consistent physical regime like walking. Also, try to avoid sitting for extended periods with crossed legs. If you do, make sure you rise to stretch and move.
- Never treat calluses or corns by yourself. Never perform “bathroom surgery” – visit your podiatrist for proper treatment.
- Be aware of fall risk. Falls are one of the major causes of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in seniors. Safeguard your home by installing additional stair rails and lighting. Remove throw rugs, plant stands, electrical cords that are across walking areas, and other clutter to lower your chances of falling.
What can we do?
Biomechanical assessment for older people
Poor mobility and strength because of aging can increase the risk of falls. Falls in older people are a major public health issue and there is an increase in fall risk in those who are aged over 65. Essentially, podiatry care can reduce the risk of falls when the use of foot orthoses, suitable footwear, exercise, and education in routine are all integrated together
Proprioception and its importance for the elderly.
Proprioception was first defined by Sherrington in 1906 as ‘the perception of joint and body movement as well as the position of the body, or body segments, in space.’ Poor proprioception is commonly associated with aging nerves and mechanoreceptors which will result in poor vision. It was also established that poor proprioception in the elderly was a huge risk factor for falls. Our podiatrists can examine this by performing a neurovascular assessment to ensure the blood flow and nerves are working properly.
Weakness in bone strength due to age, medication, and even dietary factors can cause instability in the foot during gait. Ankle fractures are also more common in people with osteoporosis.
DVA arrangement for a podiatrist
If you are a holder of the veteran gold or white card, you might be able to access podiatry treatment that is clinically necessary for any foot-related condition. This will be Bulk-Billed at our clinic. You will have to go to your GP to get a valid referral. For more details, please click the DVA website.