132 Growing Older
her leg up
as she sews.
Swollen veins in the legs (varicose veins)
Varicose veins are veins that are swollen and often painful.
Older women who have had many children are most likely to
suffer from this problem.
There is no medicine for varicose veins, but the following
• Try to walk or move your legs at least
20 minutes every day.
• Try not to spend much time standing
or sitting with your feet down, or with
your legs crossed.
• If you have to sit or stand for a long
time, try to take breaks to lie down
with your feet above the level of your
heart. Do this as often as possible
during the day.
• When you have to stand for a long
time, try to walk in place.
• Sleep with your feet up on pillows or on a bundle of cloth.
• To help hold in the veins, use elastic stockings, elastic
bandages, or cloth that is not wrapped too tightly. But be
sure to take them off at night.
Back pain in older women
is often caused by a lifetime of
heavy lifting and carrying.
It can often be helped by:
• Exercising every day to
strengthen and stretch the
muscles in the back. You
might enjoy organizing
a group of women to
• Asking younger members
of your family to help you,
if you must continue to do
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012