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Dr. Brandon Macy
Podiatrist - Clark, NJ
1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

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Posts for category: Senior Health Issues

By Clark Podiatry Center
December 05, 2018
Tags: diabetes   arthritis   gout   ulcer   supportive shoes  

If you have recently begun to live with older loved ones or if they plan to move in with you soon, there are a few things to consider for their foot care. Seniors need a little bit more care because of the many problems they can experience in their feet. From arthritis and gout to osteoporosis and hip problems, the risk of injury or pain is higher.

Here are some ways you can make their feet (and their overall person) more comfortable as they live with you:

Around the Home

  • Mats: Anywhere your older loved one might spend time standing for a while, you should install some standing mats. It will reduce the impact on their feet and bones as they walk and stand. Think about locations such as in front of sinks!
  • Rugs/Carpeting: If your older loved one needs cushioning due to bone or joint issues, consider installing carpet in areas they will spend time (i.e., their bedroom). You may want some plush carpeting for the living room if they spend time with you there.
  • Safety bars: If they need some help using the bathroom, you may want to install safety bars along the wall near the toilet, as well as for getting in and out of the shower. They will help reduce the risk of falls that could be potentially life-threatening!
  • Grippy material on stairs: Do your older loved ones have to use the stairs? Reduce the risk of slipping and falling on hardwood stairs by adding grip tape to each step.
  • Trip hazards: Always keep trip hazards out of the way. Seniors using walkers or canes will need a clear path to the rooms they walk in and out of the most.

On their feet

  • Supportive shoes – Make sure when they are wearing shoes, the feet are well supported.  Cushioning, arch support, and heel cups will help them keep their feet stable and healthy.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Shoes/Slippers – Depending on the floors you have in the house, you might want to alter their footwear indoors. If you have hardwood floors, and your loved one is diabetic, you may want to make sure that they wear protective shoes with grippy rubber soles while indoors. However, if you have carpet, the grippy shoes would not work because they can trip on the piles. The same goes for the types of soles on any slippers they might wear indoors.

Daily foot care

  • Wash and inspect the feet every day. It is especially crucial for those who have neuropathy, such as diabetes. Because wounds can go unnoticed when they have loss of sensation, there is a chance that it can become an ulcer.

These tips can help your older loved one be more comfortable as they stay with you. If you have a concern about their foot health, come to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon Macy. He can assess your feet, and find a solution to treat your pain. Come to see him at Clark Podiatry Center. Make an appointment at our Clark, NJ office so we can keep you and your family walking

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
January 19, 2014
Tags: foot pain   Falls   Fall prevention  

Seniors can Reduce Risk of Falling by Fixing Painful Feet

 

 

It’s just not true that foot pain is a normal consequence of growing older. In addition to healthy feet and ankles contributing to a full and active lifestyle, they can also reduce a senior’s risk for dangerous and deadly falls.

seniors2Falls have become the leading cause of injury deaths among Americans age 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Painful foot conditions such as osteoarthritis, corns, bunions, hammertoes, and diabetic complications can make it difficult for seniors to maintain balance and coordination when walking or standing.

Lower body weakness and gait and balance problems are frequently-cited risk factors for falls among seniors. Exercises to enhance lower body strength can reduce this risk. But for seniors with painful foot and ankle conditions, exercise can be difficult.

Just one fall can permanently rob a senior of their independence and dramatically reduce their quality of life. Minimizing or eliminating foot pain in seniors improves their balance, coordination and stability when walking or standing.

A foot and ankle surgeon can recommend simple, effective pain-relief measures such as stretching exercises or padding for painful corns and hammertoes. But when surgery is the most appropriate treatment for a senior’s painful feet, simple surgical techniques often allow treatment to be performed on an outpatient basis.

 

Reprinted from Foot Health Facts, a publication of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons

By Brandon Macy, D.P.M.
December 17, 2013

Sitting Is the New Smoking II –Keeping Seniors Walking

[This is the second in a series, the first dealt with childhood obesity]

How would you like to save money on your heating bills this winter?  It’s NOT an advertisement to get a new furnace or switch utility suppliers. Details below.

Everyone knows --or should know that smoking is not good for you. It affects your lungs, your cardiovascular health, your circulation, your skin, your weight, lowers your resistance to disease, it even affects your attitude. What you need to understand is that sitting has precisely the same effect.  A recent article in Parade Magazine cited a study where it was demonstrated that the life span of sedentary people is significantly shorter—no surprise there—but that even overweight people who are active fare much better than slender people who are not active.

Older people with arthritis, poor circulation or balance problems are often afraid of falling or intimidated by their pain. But the pain of arthritis can be eased by keeping active. There's an old axiom "use it or lose it".  The more you do, the more you can do, the less you do, the less you can do.  In either direction it's a spiral. The spiral can work for you or against you--it's a choice to be made each and every day. 

A recent issue of the Journal of the American Podiatric Medical Association was devoted in its entirety to fall prevention in older people.  Several challenges were addressed, along with recommendations such as proper shoegear, non-skid socks, and dealing appropriately with painful foot problems. 

Very often it is a matter of confidence that keeps seniors from walking more.  Aside from arthritis in the feet, knees, hips and back, weakness in the large muscles in the thighs and core abdominal muscles adds to the difficulty and frustration. Exercise programs at senior centers, health clubs, even those simple things which can be done at home all help.  The key lies in making exercise a habit.  Start small, and with a doctor’s advice.  But you have to take that first step, even if you need to use a cane or a walker. 

If your feet hurt for any reason, that certainly puts a damper on your enthusiasm and ability to get moving.  Do you have heel pain? ingrown nails? painful bunions, hammertoes? painful calluses? We can help--quickly and easily.  Are your shoes causing you pain? Are they the wrong size because your feet and ankles swell later in the day, so you buy shoes that are too large? We can advise you about what to look for. 

Our office has a Fall Prevention Program to keep seniors on their feet and moving.  From bracing to shoe modifications to recommendations for treating painful foot conditions, our goal is to get you moving and KEEP you moving.

Your body is a walking machine that may not have been built properly by your parents.  Imbalances in the structure can be the underlying cause of so very many deformities and pain in the feet, ankles, knees, hips and back.  Lightweight, custom orthotics often make a major difference in being able to perform your daily activities and exercise in comfort.

Our motto at Clark Podiatry Center is “We Keep You Walking”.  It’s about looking, feeling and being healthier.  It’s about walking the walk instead of talking the talk about how you know you should exercise and want to, but [fill in the excuse].  While you may need a walker for assistance, you don't have to go to the extent of the man pictured who created an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) walker!

    4 wheel drive ATV-walker!

Look around our website for information regarding any specific problems you may have.  If you can’t find something that sounds familiar, use the Contact Us link to ask a question.  Or call 732-382-3470 for an appointment.  We’ll fit you into the schedule as soon as possible and then we’ll work together to do what it takes to keep you walking.

Oh, and how can you save on your heating bills this winter?  Get up and move.  When you sit around, watching TV or other sedentary activities, you feel colder.  Whether you’re puttering around the house, or take a few minutes at a time to walk around or otherwise engage in light exercise, you’ll generate your own body heat and feel much warmer.  You’ll be able to turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees and save! You’ll feel a lot better, too.



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1114 Raritan Road
Clark, NJ 07066

Podiatrist - Clark, Dr. Brandon Macy, 1114 Raritan Road, Clark NJ, 07066 732-382-3470