Footcare for the elderly

As an elderly patient, it is important that you pay special attention to your feet with regard to foot hygiene, the cutting of nails, the type of socks/hosiery worn and the type of shoe. Older feet naturally can develop more problems because the skin tends to thin and lose its elasticity. Healing can take longer and wear and tear will take its toll on the joints over the years and may cause swelling or some degree of arthritis. Uncomfortable and painful feet are not necessarily a natural progression of ageing. Following basic guidelines may improve comfort, relieve pain and maintain mobility.

Keeping Warm

Try to keep your feet as warm as possible. Exercise is the best way and warm hosiery or socks can help. Wearing an extra pair of socks in cold weather can help, but care must be taken that when worn with shoes, the feet are not tight in the shoes. Avoid anything too tight which may restrict circulation or squeeze your toes.
Follow the guidelines set out in the General Foot Care page.


As we get holder, it becomes more important to wear a shoe that holds the foot in place and gives adequate support.

  • Buy shoes that fit you in the shop. Do not expect tight shoes to stretch.
  • The upper part of the shoe should be soft and flexible, and the lining should be smooth and where possible free of ridges.
  • The toe box should allow all the toes to wiggle freely without rubbing against the front or the top of the shoe.
  • The instep should cushion the arch comfortably without causing irritation.
  • The heel should fit snugly without slipping, pressure or pinching.
  • The sole should flex easily at the ball of the foot.