Why not a pedicure?
A pedicure is a beauty product that often feels good. If you are in good health that is one thing, but calluses, corns, thick nails, peeling skin and pain in feet are actually not normal and may be indicative of other problems. A pedicure will gloss over these issues. A session with us will also leave your feet feeling great and looking good, but you will walk out of a session having received person centered care and with a lot more knowledge about how to prevent problems and pain from happening.
How does FootCare by Nurses compare to Podiatry?
Podiatrists are medical doctors whose responsibility is to diagnose and fix problems. They recommend treatments and do procedures. We are Registered Nurses (RNs) board certified in foot care and our responsibility is to prevent problems from happening. There is some overlap. We use practice standards and evidence garnered from a multitude of disciplines to guide our practice. We do a complete lower limb assessment, assess shoes and socks and gait, trim toenails, reduce toenail thickness, reduce calluses, remove corns, address fungal toenails and skin issues, help with edema control, perform a circulation-enhancing massage, reset balance and fit some shoes for diabetics and hard to fit feet. We also provide a lot of education. We are after all in the prevention business. We do not diagnose, do surgery, or prescribe. We do work closely with MDs, DPMS, Physical therapists and pedorthists in the area and we are not afraid to pick up the phone and advocate for the needs of our patients.
Do you take insurance?
While our service is considered to be a medical service (because what we do is skilled nursing care) we do not bill insurance directly. Unless you are a diabetic, routine foot care is rarely covered by insurance anyway. We accept cash, check and charge and will invoice rep payees. . We do provide a medical treatment receipt that you can submit for reimbursement. Some insurance companies do recognize foot care as a health care need and will reimburse you. A lot depends on your particular insurance company. We are also able to accept FSA/ HSA payments. We also contract in to provide services with several area ASAPS like Life path, West Mass Eldercare, ESBC, Montachusetts Home Care and others.
What happens in a foot care visit?
The initial visit typically takes 40 minutes to 1 hour. It includes an intake, which involves gathering a health history and the medications you are taking. We follow best practices as recommended by the AAFCN, the CAFCN and the world of wound care prevention. That’s why we never soak feet. We also don’t apply polish. We don’t just clip nails. We do a through assessment of your shoes, socks, balance, skin and pulses to put together a picture of your foot health. We then work with you to create a plan that works for you. Nails are then trimmed, any corns and calluses are reduced. If you have cracked heels, we remove the dead dry skin so that healing can occur. Our tools are chemically sterilized between each use. We use burrs and other tools to minimize discomfort and risk of injury. Once your nails and skin are back into a healthier state we then use olive oil with a hint of liniment (hypoallergenic) to provide you with a reflexology based tension releasing soft tissue manipulation that is tailored to dramatically improve range of motion and reduce pain. In a nut shell we make legs function much better. As we do our work, we share with you or nursing knowledge, observations and concerns and provide you with education about your foot health. We also work with you to come up with a plan that will enhance your foot health without breaking your budget. Our overall approach is very person-centered and holistic and we are good at helping you have happy healthy feet. A follow-up session is then typically 1/2 hour. At those sessions, we assess progress and continue to provide education and care to the feet. At every session (unless counter-indicated) our patients receive our special leg lightening touch.
How much does an appointment cost?
It depends where we see you. While we have an office in Greenfield, we see most patients in their home. Initial intake visits always take longer. We schedule them for an hour. Follow up visits are scheduled for a half hour. An initial visit fee at our office is $90, which includes the treatment. Follow up visits are $45.
An initial visit fee at your home is $125, which includes the treatment. Follow up visits are $80.
We staff into many Council on Aging/ Senior centers where the fee is less (see below) We cover from Leominster throughout the Pioneer Valley, into the Berkshires. We believe all feet deserve great care, but we also have to pay for gas.
We deliberately keep our Council on Aging/ Senior Center pricing as low as possible. We are able to do this when COA’s/ senior centers help us with the overhead. At some senior centers, there are grants and donations that help offset the price. Please call your local center for details. Initial sessions at COA take longer than the 30 mins typically allocated. At some senior centers, there are certain “new patient” slots and additional new patient fees. Please call your local senior center for details.
We work with Area Service Access Points (ASAPS) like Life Path, Highland Valley, Montachusetts, WMEC and Elder Services of Berkshire County, so if you are receiving assistance from them please ask your case worker if you are eligible for foot care services.
Whose feet do you take care of?
Our youngest patient is 8. Her mother wanted her to learn how to balance on her feet. Our oldest patient is 107 and still walks around town. We care for active people who are walkers, runners, health care workers, food service providers, factory workers and even cyclists. In a nutshell, we work with people who don’t want their feet or knees to hurt. We also take care of people who can not move their limbs, and people who are bed bound or confined to wheel chairs or even on vents. Feet are often undervalued and not recognized for their important contribution to our health. Anyone who values their health and needs is a potential client of ours.
Our nurses are also great with taking care of feet belonging to people with dementia/ Alzheimer’s. If you are a diabetic, have neuropathy, or are unable to reach your feet due to surgery, or other obstacles or health issues, we are happy to be your foot angels. Our mission is prevention and our passion is caring and our role in health care is to keep all feet happy and healthy.