Orthotics for Seniors – the First Step for Senior Feet
Orthotics for seniors can mean the difference between walking with stability or having poor balance and falling.
What do diabetes, poor circulation and arthritis have in common?
These three issues can be contributing factors in loss of feeling in the feet and/or deformities in the shape of the feet.
These issues can be helped or remedied by:
- Getting good quality footwear – Read about choosing good shoes
- Footwear that fits well – Read about how to fit shoes properly
- Models that can take orthotic insoles – Read about which shoes are good for orthotics
Giving the feet the right support can mean all the difference. It could help your feet become pain-free and have better circulation.
Different Types of Orthotics
A doctor of podiatric medicine, James P. Ioli, categorizes orthotics into three groups, increasing in price and quality:
- Over-the-counter standard inserts for shoes. You can buy these in any good pharmacy.
- What he calls “kiosk-generated” inserts. These are produced after doing a foot scan.
- Professional custom-made orthotics. These are custom-made after examining your health history and specialized needs.
Dr. Ioli recommends that people can first try the cheaper orthotics inserts, if they do not have a specific problem. If the problem is not solved, or is very severe, then a person should see a professional healthcare provider.
Who might need Orthotic Inserts?
There may be many reasons for a senior person to get orthotics. These are a few ideas of issues that may require a person to get orthotics. If you think you need these special footwear inserts, speak to your doctor or book an appointment to a podiatrist.
- The delicate parts of the foot and the leg are not functioning properly, there is pain, tiredness and discomfort.
- The foot arch is too high or too low and the shoe does not provide adequate support, so there is pain.
- The size of the shoe is wrong, so the shoe cannot hold the foot correctly. A person’s foot slips in the shoe, or is cramped, or other foot issues develop.
- Balance and posture begin at the feet. Problems in the feet can lead to heel pain, knee pain, or back pain.
- Specific illness-related foot problems found with people who have diabetes.
- People who have poor circulation.
- Orthotics can possibly reduce the pain of arthritis or prevent it from becoming worse.
The Good News – About the Bottom Line
The facts are that a person with nerve and sensory issues in their feet, could injure themselves or have diabetic-related sores. Medicare therefore covers the cost of up to 80% of certain orthotics expenses for eligible people. Medigap provides the information that Medicare will cover the cost of one pair of custom-made shoes and inserts per calendar year, as well as other benefits.
Some insurance plans include coverage for orthotics.
Why have your feet professionally measured when buying shoes?
While we are on the topic of footwear, you might ask:
Why should I measure my feet when buying shoes? I know that I am a size 6.
Here are some reasons.
- The shape and form of your foot changes with age.
- Illness or medical conditions change our footwear needs.
- Your activity level becomes different so you need different shoe types.
- Shoe sizes across brands are not always the same, but you always need well-fitted shoes.
- Foot shape and size can be affected by the weather, health issues, dietary changes and other things.
Orthotics for seniors can help a person maintain or improve their mobility, due to better balance. It can help a senior maintain their independence all round since the improved circulation could cause a general improvement in all bodily functions. Being pain-free is a reason that all seniors would run to get orthotics for seniors. However, since this could be expensive, it is wise to check what the insurance covers first.
When looking into getting orthotics for seniors, make sure to find the best podiatrist you can who will provide your needs in the most professional manner.
Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash