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It begins at the Feet

It begins at the Feet

If you Google pedicures for older adults a few intriguing things pop up.


- Tips on cleaning big toe build up which has been viewed over 2 million times.  And then this question - "Does Medicare pay for a pedicure?" The answer is no. 

The longer answer from; "Medicare covers limited podiatry. Medicare may cover nail fungus treatment if it’s determined to be medically necessary foot care. According to the Mayo Clinic, nail fungus may lead to a serious infection that spreads beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system. People with diabetes are particularly at risk for complications from nail fungus. In other people, nail fungus could be a mild condition causing no problem beyond the cosmetic.

Medicare does not generally cover routine foot care, including removal of corns and calluses or trimming of toenails. If treatment of your nail fungus is considered cosmetic or routine, Medicare usually will not cover it. "

Here is the flaw in that thinking, loads of problems begin with the feet. If seemingly cosmetic problems like corns, calluses, bunions, and overgrown toenails effect one's ability to walk that is a major health concern. We are warned over and over about the dangers of falling as we age. If one's balance is thrown off by foot problems then a fall can easily follow. 

My 90-year-old Dad and I now have a wonderful ritual of getting pedicures side- by -side. As you can imagine up until very recently Dad would never have imagined having a pedicure. It is hard for him to reach his feet and would be nearly impossible for him to properly care for his skin, nails, and cuticles. We are fortunate, to live in a city where there are many nail salons with skilled technicians who work in high-quality hygienic spas.  And we are doubly fortunate because this is a routine we can afford. 

Knowing the importance of a good foot care  habit here are a few tips.

Writing for AARP Kathryn Streeter shares:

 Ways to practice kindness on your feet this winter 

  1. Pedicures. Keep them coming through the winter. Give your feet the professional attention they deserve.
  2. Epsom salts bath soaks. They benefit the whole body, feet included. Add several drops of your favorite essential oil to boost your soak, and relish the “work” of taking care of your feet. Or, try the Epsom Salt Tea-Tree Oil Foot Soak, mixed with your needy feet in mind.
  3. Pumice stone. It’s the humble go-to: affordable and easy to find. The varieties are endless, from the natural lava-infused to the general two-sided variety you can find at the grocery store. Give your stone a warm soak before setting about the grim business, because dry stones are a big no-no.
  4. Toenails. Buffing your toenails — like you would fingernails — helps keep the surface smooth and increase circulation. Toenails knock up against the tops of your shoes all winter and will benefit from a light sanding. Gently push back cuticles. If cuticles are overly dry during winter, try a dab of olive oil or vitamin E oil.
  5. Socks. You read labels all the time, why stop when you’re selecting what to clothe your feet in all winter long? The cardinal rule: Avoid cotton socks. They. Don’t. Breathe. They create the perfect sweaty environment for fungus to grow (yuck), adding to your misery. Instead, try winter socks made with merino wool, which provides wicking action and warmth.
  6. Moisturizing. Keep feet silky and healthy by faithfully moisturizing through the winter. Shake up your routine by adding coconut oil to your assembly of options. Consider moisturizing before bed and throwing on some therapeutic aloe socks to lock in moisture overnight.

 Whatever you can do for your feet remember they are your foundation and a strong body is built from the ground up!

Here are some additional tips from








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