Two reasons why elderly people should see a podiatrist regularly

There are many reasons why elderly people should visit a podiatrist on a regular basis. Here are two of these reasons.

Their failing eyesight may make it harder for them to spot foot problems

Most people become long-sighted after they reach middle age; this can make it difficult to see clearly when they look at an object up close. Then, as they reach their sixties and seventies, a lot of people also develop cataracts and other age-related sight issues, such as macular degeneration. The vision problems that are associated with these conditions can cause a whole host of issues. They can, for example, make it much more difficult for an elderly person to spot problems with their feet at an early stage.

For example, if an elderly person has experienced some vision loss as a result of getting cataracts, they may not see the first symptoms of a fungal infection developing on one of their toes (such as the yellowing of the nail bed or the sudden crumbling of the tip of the toenail).

If this person does not see their podiatrist regularly, this fungal infection may go untreated for many months. This could result in it spreading to the other nails on their feet and eventually causing some of the infected toenails to fall off. Conversely, if this individual were to periodically visit a podiatrist, this professional could diagnose and then treat the infection before it spread or caused permanent damage to their patient's toenails.

They may develop age-related conditions that affect their ability to perform foot care

As a person ages, they become increasingly susceptible to various types of conditions, some of which may affect their ability to perform basic foot care on their feet.

For example, if an elderly person has early-stage dementia, they may struggle to remember how to perform specific foot care tasks correctly or may perform them very infrequently, due to their forgetfulness. They may, for instance, forget to cut their toenails in a straight line; this could lead to them developing very painful ingrown toenails. Similarly, if their dementia results in them not drying their feet properly after washing them, they may develop athlete's foot (as this fungus will grow in moist conditions).

However, if an elderly person goes for check-ups at their local podiatry clinic on a regular basis, their podiatrist can perform preventative care on their feet and treat the early symptoms of any conditions that developed since their last appointment.