HEALTH & WELL-BEING - BLOGS 2
- FOOT CARE -
Your feet take the weight of your whole body, so foot problems can quickly lead to discomfort and affect the way you walk. This can in turn cause knee, hip and back pain. The good news is that looking after your feet can prevent most of these problems. Investing a bit of time and thought into caring for your feet now can prevent them causing you pain later.
Each foot contains 26 bones and more than 100 ligaments
Your feet contain more than a quarter of all bones in your body
The skin on your feet has more than 7,000 nerve endings
There are more than 125,000 sweat glands on each foot, more than anywhere else in the body
- Your feet produce an eggcup's worth of sweat each day
Wash your feet often
Dry your feet well
Remove hard skin
Cut toenails carefully
Shoe shop in the afternoon
Limit time wearing high heels
Change socks often to avoid foot odour
Foot pain advice for over 60s becomes even more important. Age takes its toll: your skin thins, your joints begin to stiffen and your feet become more vulnerable to the cold. Physically, it gets more difficult to get to your feet and failing eyesight doesn't help.
It is recommended that you should see a professional for a foot MOT every 6 months and never put up with foot pain as if it is normal. Your feet shouldn't hurt!
For some PRACTICAL AIDS for your feet or if you are looking for a foot care professional you can contact us via our website, we will be more than happy to help.
For more details on foot care, the following link may be of help to you. Don't forget to enter healthyfeet into their search box.
- ANXIETY -
Anxiety is a normal, if unpleasant, part of life and it can affect us all in different ways and at different times. Whereas stress is something that will come and go as the external factors causing it comes and goes, anxiety is something that can persist whether or not the cause is clear to the sufferer.
Anxiety can make a person imagine that things in their life are worse than they really are and prevent them from confronting their fears. What is important is the recognition that anxiety is normal and exists due to to a set of bodily functions that have existed in us from our cave-man days.
Some people have a very identifiable cause for their anxiety; a traumatic incident, lots of stressors or have undergone a significant life event (moving house, getting divorced, having surgery). However, some people don't have an identifiable cause for their anxiety and it causes them some distress.
Some of the most common physical symptoms of anxiety are:
- Increased heart rate
- Increased muscle tension
- 'Jelly Legs'
- Tingling in the hands and feet
- Hyperventilation (over breathing)
- Difficulty in breathing
- Wanting to use the toilet more often
- Feeling sick
- Tight band across the chest area
- Tension headaches
- Hot flushes
- Increased perspiration
- Dry mouth
- Choking sensations
Some of the psychological symptoms (the thoughts or altered perceptions we have) of anxiety are:
- Thinking that you may lose control and/or go 'mad'
- Thinking that you might die
- Thinking that you may have a heart attack/be sick/faint
- Feeling that people are looking at you and observing your anxiety
- Feelings as though things are speeding up/slowing down
- Feeling detached from your environment and the people in it
- Feeling like wanting to run away/escape from the situation
- Feeling on edge and alert to everything around you
The most common behavioural symptom (the things we do when we are anxious) is avoidance. Although avoiding an anxiety provoking situation produces immediate relief from the anxiety, it is only a short term solution. This means that whilst it may seem like avoiding is the best thing to do at the time, the anxiety often returns the next time that you face the situation and avoiding it will only psychologically reinforce the message that there is danger. The problem with avoidence is that you never get to find out whether your fear about the situation and what would happen is actually true.
For help and advice with stress and anxiety the following link may be of help to you:
- SPRAINS & STRAINS -
Sprains and Strains are very common injuries that affect muscles and ligaments. They can occur if you change your speed suddenly, fall and land awkwardly or collide with an object or person, such as when playing sports.
A sprain occurs when one or more of your ligaments have been stretched, twisted or torn, usually as a result of excessive force being applied to a joint. Common places for sprains include: knees, ankles, wrists and thumbs. Symptoms of a sprain can include: pain, swelling, bruising and tenderness. The swelling from a sprain will often occur soon after the injury but the bruising may not show until later or it may not show at all. Bruising can sometimes occur some distance from the affected joint, as blood from the damaged tissue seeps along the muscles and around the joint before coming close to the skin.
A strain occurs when muscle fibres stretch or tear. They usually occur when the muscle has been stretched beyond its limits or it has been forced to contract (shorten) too quickly. Muscle strains are particularly common in the legs and back, such as ham strains and lumber (lower back) strains. Symptoms of muscle strain can include: pain in affected muscle, swelling, bruising, muscle spasms, loss of some or all of the function of the affected muscle and blood collecting under the skin at the sight of the strain - this is known as a haematoma.
Most sprains and strains can be cared for at home. However, you should seek medical advice if you are suffering:
- Severe pain
- Unble to move the injured joint or muscle
- Unable to put weight on the injured area
- Numbness, discolouration or coldness in any part of the injured area.
Sprains and strains are usually treated with self-care techniques such as PRICE therapy, (Protection - Rest - Ice - Compression - Elevation)
Generally, you should try to start moving a SPRAINED joint as soon as it is not too painful to do so, whereas, a STRAINED muscle should normally be immobilised for at least a few days.
Ordinary painkillers can be helpful, although stronger medication can be prescribed if the pain is more severe.
There are several practical aids which may help with sprains and strains, for example, SUPPORT BRACES which you will find on our website.
Most people will regain full use of the affected area within 6 - 8 weeks, although severe injuries may take longer to heal and some people may experience persistant problems lasting several months or longer.
For more help and advice just click on the following link:
- and enter sprains and strains in the search box.
- VISUAL IMPAIRMENT -
It is estimated that as many as 2 million people in the UK maybe living with a sight problem. Of these, around 365,000 are registered as blind or partially sighted. It is important to visit an optician at least every 2 years so they can check for signs of vision loss. An optometrist can monitor any changes in the eyes and advise on making best use of your vision.
Visual impairment is usually classified as either 'sight impaired' or 'severely sight impaired'.
Sight impairment, previously called 'partial sight' is usually defined as:
- Having poor visual acuity (3/60 to 6/60) but having a full field of vision
- Having a combination of slightly reduced visual acuity (up to 6/24) and a reduced field of vision or having blurriness in your central vision
- Having relatively good visual acuity (up to 6/18) but a significantly reduced field of vision.
Severly Sight Impaired
The legal definition of severe sight impairment is when a person is so blind that they cannot do any work for which eyesight is essential.
This usually falls into one of three categories:
- Having very poor visual acuity (less than 3/60), but having a full field of vision
- Having poor visual acuity (between 3/60 and 6/60) and a severe reduction in your field of vision
- Having slightly reduced visual acuity (6/60 or better) and a significantly reduced field of vision.
Some of the most common causes of visual impairment include:
- Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) - Where the central part of the back of the eye stops working properly
- Cataracts - Where cloudy patches can form within the lenses of the eyes
- Glaucoma - Where fluid builds up inside the eye, damaging the optic nerve (which relays information from the eye to the brain)
- Diabetic Retinopathy - Where blood vessels that supply the eye become damaged from a build-up of glucose.
You can find some practical VISUAL AIDS here on our website and there are support services available, simply click on the following link for more help and advice:
- WRAPPING UP WINTER -
Cold weather can be a worry for those of us in later life. As we get older, our bodies respond differently and this can leave us more vulnerable in the winter months.
With a little preparation and by following some simple suggestions, we can help ourselves to stay healthy, safe and comfortable as possible in winter.
Keeping warm both inside and outside your home can help reduce the risk of serious health problems that are more common in the colder months, such as chest infections, heart attacks and strokes. Preparing for winter means that you are more likely to keep warm and well.
- Have your heating serviced and chimney swept
- Have your boiler serviced every 12 months by a qualified gas engineer
- If water pipes freeze they can burst, so make sure you know where the stopcock is so you can turn off the water
- Have your electric blanket serviced every 3 years
- Make sure your smoke alarm is working. You can ask your local fire service to check your home for fire safety - It is a free service and you may be eligible to get free smoke alarms fitted
- Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in each room that has a gas appliance
- Make sure you claim all the financial support you can to help with heating bills
- Dress in plenty of layers and make sure you have warm shoes or boots with non-slip soles
- Keep a mixture of salt and sand handy to put on steps and paths in icy weather
- Consider fitting GRAB RAILS if you have steps at your front or back door
- Keep simple cold, flu and sore throat remedies in the house
- Follow up your GP's invitation to have a Flu jabs and/or Shingles jabs.
- Order repeat prescriptions in plenty of time, especially if bad weather is forecast
- Ask your local pharmacy if they offer a free prescription pick-up and delivery service
- Keep basic food items in the cupboard or freezer in case it is too cold to go shopping - You can also do your shopping online and have it delivered to your door
- Eat healthy and keep as active as possible
- Ask your family, friends and neighbours if they could call or visit you more often
- Keep a battery operated radio, torch and spare batteries handy in case there is a power cut
- Keep your mobile phone, laptop or tablet fully charged so you can use the battery power if there is no electricity
- Keep a list of emergency numbers, such as utility companies by your phone
- Remember, stay warm and safe this winter -
For more help and advice click on the following link:
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