Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: On your feet

By the time the average person reaches 65 he or she has walked some 46 thousand miles just going about daily activities. 

That’s based on 2 miles per day. But to be extra healthy, some experts say that 5 miles per day should be the goal. That’s why many people have their step monitors to keep track of the distances they are walking. They are literally keeping on their toes to stay fit and trim. The 5-mile-a-day crowd will cover almost 115 thousand miles by age 65.

I gathered this information from various websites after Senior Center director Laurie Fanelli told me that she is working on getting a podiatrist to come to the Island on a regular basis. And when you consider the work that our feet have done during our lives, it makes sense to give them some attention.

This is probably more necessary for men who do not pay as much attention to their feet as women do. Nail salons are everywhere but rarely do men frequent them.

But with so many miles on them, all senior feet need attention.

Laurie’s idea is to have a Southampton podiatrist have regular office hours at the Senior Center. The doctor would also make home visits to those who cannot travel.

I understand that the center will be conducting a needs assessment. If you are a senior who would be interested in establishing a regular podiatrist visit schedule, let Laurie know. The home visits will be reserved for the housebound. The doctor will accept the Medicare-approved amount for the services. Please call the Senior Center at 631-749-1059 if you want to be seen by a doctor here on the Island.

Statistics show that three out of four seniors develop foot problems as they age. And foot problems can prevent us from enjoying walking and maintaining good balance. So take care of those feet.

Look at them every day in the shower or tub. Just because they’re so far away from your eyes does not mean that they’re not important. Make sure they get washed and take time to notice any changes like blisters, swelling, redness or sores. These could signal other health issues.

Experts agree that nails should never get long and should always be cut straight across. And always wear comfortable shoes and socks. Put on fresh clean socks daily. Nothing is worse for feet than dirty and damp socks. 

We should also take care of our feet in the cold weather by wearing warm socks and good quality cold weather shoes or boots. Frostbite is very real and can occur quickly outside. So be prepared with the correct protection. Nothing makes outdoor activities in cold weather more unpleasant than cold feet. And also keep those hands warm.