5 Foot Care Tips Every Retiree Needs to Know
Once we retire, we dream of spending days chasing after the grandkids and walking along beaches. In order to fulfill these dreams, you have to take care of your feet first. As we age, our feet begin to show and feel the signs of daily life. Taking a few moments every day to care for your feet can ensure you feel ready to handle whatever life throws your way - whether it’s a walk to the park or a round of golf.
Understand Your Risks
As we age, the risk of developing serious problems in our feet rises. Understanding what raises your risks of foot issues can help you take steps to lower your risks. Many serious foot issues can lead to a lower quality of life, so doing what you can to mitigate your risks before you encounter any problems is recommended.
Those who live with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are at an especially high risk of developing serious foot problems. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to damage to your nerves called diabetic neuropathy. Beyond the serious complications of diabetes, the disease can also lead to a loss of feeling in your feet that make daily inspections of your feet necessary.
Check Your Feet Daily
The best way to take care of your feet is to check them daily. Even if you have perfect feeling in all of your toes and area of the foot, checking your feet allows you to see trouble coming before it gets out of hand. Either every morning or every night, take a few minutes to look over your feet. Be sure to note if you find any of the following issues, which may be symptoms of more serious issues:
- Blisters or bunions
- Ingrown toenails
- Discoloration of the toenails
- Unusual bruises
- Cuts, scrapes, or other injuries
- Sensitivity to touch
Be sure to talk to your doctor if you discover any unusual symptoms or feel unusual pain in your feet. Staying vigilant about checking your feet can help you and your doctor take care of minor issues before they become major problems.
Looking for extra guidance on how to check your feet? Read our Diabetic Foot Care Checklist for more information on how to properly check and care for your feet.
Protect Your Feet
Keeping your feet protected with sturdy socks and shoes is one of the best preventative measures you can take in your foot care routine. Even in a perfectly clean environment, there are still dangers to be had walking around barefoot, like sharp corners or rough edges.
To best protect your feet, you should always wear socks, especially if you’re diabetic. Even if you aren’t diabetic, consider investing in a pair of diabetic socks. These socks are designed to help support, protect, and provide soft comfort for ailing diabetic feet. These design features are useful to everyone - not just diabetics - when it comes to keeping your feet healthy and happy.
Keep Yourself Active
Staying active is essential as we age. Not only will light exercise help improve your overall health, but it will also immensely help the health of your feet. When you exercise at a reasonable pace wearing well-fitted shoes, you can strengthen the muscles in your feet.
Not a fan of running on the treadmill or counting squats and push-ups? Consider getting moving with any one of these hobbies:
- Walks (nature walks, dog walks, walks with friends)
- Disc Golf
- Dance (solo or in a class)
Want more guidance? Read our guide on Exercise and Guidelines for Managing Diabetes!
Don’t Forget To Kick Back
Don’t forget, you’re in retirement! It’s time to kick back and live the good life. That includes taking plenty of time off your feet relaxing. Whether you recline and take a nap or kick your feet up before the big football game, don’t forget your positioning when you relax!
Whenever possible, elevate your feet and avoid crossing your legs or sitting on your feet. This helps promote proper blood circulation to your feet; this is essential if you’re trying to manage diabetic neuropathy or any other sort of serious foot complication.