It’s estimated that a person walks an average of 115,000 miles during their lifetime. As you age, years of constant pressure can damage these components. Your dad could be among the 75% of people dealing with issues with their foot health.
Your dad’s feet have 39 muscles, 52 bones, 66 joints, 214 ligaments, and numerous tendons. Several situations can lead to foot ailments. If he takes care of them, he can avoid many of the common issues.
What Can Happen With Improper Foot Care?
One of the most common signs of problems are blisters, corns, and calluses. Podiatrists report about 80% of their patients come to them for that reason. When shoes repeatedly rub on the feet, these three ailments form to protect the foot from additional damage. Your dad needs to shop for shoes that fit correctly.
Ingrown nails are painful and can lead to infections. Cutting the toenails regularly and making sure you cut straight across is key to preventing them. Around 65% of podiatrist visits are related to toenail problems.
Bunions are another common problem and account for 63% of yearly visits to a foot doctor. A bunion occurs when pressure on the joint of the big toe causes inflammation between the phalanx and metatarsal bones. This inflammation forms a painful bump or callus that juts out and makes it hard to wear shoes.
Protect Your Dad’s Feet
What can you do to protect your dad’s feet? Take him to an expert in shoes and have him properly sized. If his shoes rub and cause foot pain, he may not be wearing the right size or width.
Talk to his doctor about his health. Diabetes is one chronic health condition that increases the risk for infections. If he has diabetic neuropathy, the disease may damage his nerves. He may not feel pain or notice he has cuts or sores that are not healing correctly.
After a shower, your dad should fully dry his feet and apply a foot cream. Instead of walking around barefoot, he should put on socks. Walking around barefoot, especially outside, can increase his risk of plantar warts.
Schedule an appointment with a podiatrist to have your dad’s foot health assessed. If there are ailments, the earlier he catches them, the easier it is to take care of the problem. If he waits, it could affect his mobility.
Does your dad need help taking care of his feet? If he’s unable to bend over to trim his toenails, hire companion care at home aides to help him with personal care and grooming. Talk to an expert in companion care at home to make arrangements.