May is Older Americans Month; a time for stopping to think about everything older people have done for our country. Although we should thank them whenever we have the chance, make a conscious effort to do so this month.

As we age, our bodies experience aches and pains that weren’t there before. The toll this takes, especially with regards to your feet, can be substantial. Basic daily foot care now will keep them in top shape years down the line!

The older you become, the more changes you experience in your body. Your feet begin to show signs of wear and tear, too. They may change size, or even shape, as your arches start to collapse a bit. This might result in longer feet, so be sure to get sized properly when you buy new shoes. The amount of fatty cushioning in your feet will also begin diminishing. This leaves you susceptible to injury, so wear protective coverings on your feet—and this goes double if you have diabetes!

Your skin becomes thinner as you age. It may also become drier, which means you are at a higher risk of having fissures and cracks in your feet and heels. If you have arthritis, peripheral artery disease, or diabetes you have more to worry about, as well.

Taking care of your feet as you age will keep you healthy in the long run. Daily foot care goes a long way with this. Simply taking time to wash your feet, and then inspect them for any changes that may have occurred, is a smart idea. You can also use this opportunity to moisturize your feet to prevent cracks. When you are sitting still make sure to elevate your lower legs, which will improve your circulation. If you have arthritis, PAD, or diabetes, make sure you are taking your medications and managing your disease.

For guidance on handling your aging feet, call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel today at (978) 794-8406 and schedule an appointment at our offices in Haverhill, Lowell, or North Andover.