How often does your dad see a foot doctor? Has he ever? Many older adults never see a podiatrist, but they should. Appointments with the foot doctor alert people to problems that may impact mobility.
A podiatrist is a professional term for a foot doctor. They help with conditions affecting the feet like sprains, bunions, and ingrown toenails. Arthritis, bone spurs, flat feet, and hammertoe are other conditions they’ll help treat. They can also check the feet if your dad has diabetes. If your dad’s shoes aren’t fitting correctly, a foot doctor can tell you.
When Should He See a Foot Doctor?
If your dad has foot pain, he needs to see a foot doctor. Growths like warts should be checked by the doctor. If his toenails are thick or discolored, make an appointment. Fungal infections are easily treated. Dry, cracked heels, scaly skin, and open sores also need to be addressed.
The doctor will determine what’s causing the issue and how best to treat it. Dry, cracked heels may need to be buffed down and kept moisturized. Ingrown toenails need to be removed. Diabetic nerve pain will need to be diagnosed and then addressed by a doctor that helps him learn how to manage his diabetes.
What Happens During an Appointment?
During the appointment, your dad will be asked to walk around. The doctor wants to see how he walks. Shoes and socks come off so that the doctor can examine his feet. If he has plantar warts, liquid nitrogen is often used to remove them.
Toenails will be trimmed. If there are ingrown toenails, tools are used to remove them. Corns and calluses will be cut out using a surgical scalpel. If shoes are a problem, padded inserts may be recommended. Better fitting shoes may also be suggested. The doctor can help you pinpoint if shoes are too loose or fit too tightly.
After the appointment, the doctor may recommend follow-up visits. Your dad may be referred to his doctor to discuss diabetes care. The foot doctor will teach him what he should be doing at home when it comes to trimming his nails and moisturizing.
Other Ways to Help Your Dad Stay Mobile
A foot doctor is the first appointment he needs to make if his mobility is impacted by foot pain. You should also arrange to have caregivers help him with tasks like moisturizing his feet after a shower. Caregivers can walk with him when it’s time to exercise. They can schedule appointments with his podiatrist. They can drive him, too. Call a home care agency to arrange caregiver services.