Apr. 22 - Peninsula Home Care Stays One Step Ahead To Promote Fo - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Apr. 22 - Peninsula Home Care Stays One Step Ahead To Promote Footcare For Diabetics

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GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - Two-hundred thirty five - That is the number of amputations performed daily on patients with diabetes in the United States.  It all begins with a foot ulcer - that results in a non-healing wound and leads to amputation.  During National Foot Health Awareness Month in April, Peninsula Home Care is paying close attention to prevention and treatment of foot related health problems. 

"Most people with diabetes know the importance of checking blood sugar levels, while the importance of daily foot exams is underemphasized," said Nancy Bagwell, Peninsula Home Care branch director.  "We know that comprehensive foot care programs can reduce diabetes-related amputations and help people live healthier and more independent lives.  That is why our nurses are required to educate patients on proper foot care and regularly check the feet of patients who are pre-diabetic and those diagnosed with diabetes."

Foot problems most often happen when there is nerve damage which results in loss of feeling in your feet. Poor blood flow or changes in the shape of your feet or toes may also cause problems.  Being aware of different foot related conditions will keep you one step ahead in preventing more serious complications.

 

Condition

Foot Problem

Solution

Neuropathy

Nerve damage, lessens your ability to feel pain, heat and cold and can also lead to changes in the shape of your feet and toes.

Ask your health care provider about special therapeutic shoes.

 

Skin Changes

Feet may become very dry and the skin may peel and crack. The problem is that the nerves that control the oil and moisture in your foot no longer work.

 

After bathing, dry your feet and seal in the remaining moisture with a thin coat of plain petroleum jelly, an unscented hand cream, or other such products.

 

Foot Ulcers

Ulcers occur most often on the ball of the foot or on the bottom of the big toe. Ulcers on the sides of the foot are usually due to poorly fitting shoes.

Staying off your feet is very important.  Your health care provider may put a special shoe, brace, or cast on your foot to protect it.

 

Poor Circulation

Poor circulation (blood flow) can make your foot less able to fight infection and to heal.

 

Exercise is good for poor circulation. It stimulates blood flow in the legs and feet. Walk in sturdy, good-fitting, comfortable shoes, but don't walk when you have open sores.

 

Amputation

Many people with diabetes have artery disease, which reduces blood flow to the feet. Also, many people with diabetes have nerve disease, which reduces sensation. Together, these problems make it easy to get ulcers and infections that may lead to amputation.

Most amputations are preventable with regular care and proper footwear.

One of the biggest threats to your feet is smoking because  it can cause decreased blood flow to the feet and make wounds heal slowly. A lot of people with diabetes who need amputations are smokers.

 

 

 

 

 

Medicare may cover the costs of preventative extra depth footwear if you are diabetic and have one or more of the following conditions:

Poor Circulation

Foot Deformity

Previous amputation of the foot or part of the foot

History of foot ulceration

Peripheral neuropathy with a history of callus formation

 

Peninsula Home Care recommends these foot care tips to keep your feet happy and healthy:

Inspect your feet daily (if a patient can't reach their feet they can hold them over a mirror on the floor)

Moisturize your feet (avoid lotion in between the toes)

Cut nails carefully and always straight across

Avoid loose fitting or too tight socks

Keep feet warm and dry

Never walk barefoot

Take care of your diabetes

 

For more information about Peninsula Home Care, please visit www.peninsulahomecare.com

 

About Peninsula Home Care

Peninsula Home Care provides health care services, resources and "real world" therapy in the home.  The home health staff provides and coordinates a plan of care and/or therapy that a patient's doctor orders to help maintain the patient's physical, mental and social well-being.  Services include nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and access to medical social workers and home health aides. 

Peninsula Home Care ensures that all patients are involved in their plan of care and strives to give them every opportunity to maintain their independence in the home.  The agency has recently surpassed serving 30,000 patients and has been named to the "Home Health Care Elite" for the third time in four years. The Home Health Care Elite, awarded by OCS Home Care, recognizes the top 25-percent of home health agencies based on performance measures in quality outcomes, quality improvement and financial performance.

For more information visit - www.peninsulahomecare.com

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