A foot without pain is a happy foot. Happy feet are important to feeling good and staying active. Foot pain can keep a person from doing things they enjoy. It can also be a sign of injury or illness. Do not ignore foot pain. It is not normal. Learn what to do to prevent foot pain and how to best help people to have healthy, happy feet. This training packet will focus on the 5 everyday steps to keep feet healthy.
At the end of this class, participants should be able to:
- Understand the importance of healthy feet
Describe the 5 everyday steps to keep feet healthy.
Keep feet clean.
Gently dry – don’t rub – feet.
Keep the skin on feet soft to prevent calluses and cracks.
Change socks every day.
Identify common foot problems that require a doctor’s appointment.
Depending on the method of presentation you select, you will need:
- Chart or poster paper
- Equipment to show materials on TV or monitor
Tools for Individuals:
Review all SafetyNet materials listed above. In addition, managers, trainers, and administrators should review the Healthy, Happy Feet Leadership Strategies. Depending on the method or presentation you choose:
- Set-up equipment for presentation
- Print out/photocopy Supporter and Individual materials
- Print out/photocopy Knowledge Check
There are many ways to present this material, including:
- Print the Supporter and Individual materials and go through them as a group with discussion. End the session with the Knowledge Check and a discussion of the answers.
- Use a computer and a projector, TV monitor, or monitor with an internet connection to show Supporter and Individual materials (either downloaded onto your computer or directly on the website). End the session with the Knowledge Check and a discussion of the answers.
- Print the Supporter and Individual materials as handouts for self-study. Each participant then completes the Knowledge Check and discusses answers with other staff as a group.
Suggested Activities for Sessions on Foot Care:
Ask staff to read the newsletter article before you meet to talk about foot care. Discuss the general topics in the newsletter by topic heading (e.g., Recognize and treat Common Foot Problems). List the major points of discussion on flip chart.
Review the 5 steps in Everyday Foot Care.
Discuss the foot care needs of the individuals you support and list them on chart paper. Discuss the list and reflect on whether additional support is needed, including a referral to a podiatrist.
Ask if there are unmet food care needs (e.g., bunions, calluses) with individuals. List for later reference.
Ask if staff have training needs about foot care management and treatment.
Consider a demonstration of washing, drying, moisturizing feet using an individual you support or a staff member volunteer.
1) Demonstrate how to soak feet in warm water for at least 5 minutes, then wash with soap. Why? Soaking will soften the toenails and make them easier to trim.
2) Demonstrate how to gently push nail cuticle back (from toes) with cuticle or orange stick to prevent hangnails. Note: A clean washcloth can be used for this step. DSP can demonstrate these steps on his or her own finger or toe nails.
3) Demonstrate how to clean under the toe nails with orange stick or tool on nail clipper for this purpose.
4) Demonstrate how to change the water and wash, rinse, and dry feet. Note: Do not rinse in soapy water. Why? Soapy water has many germs from the nails. This will prevent skin on the hands and feet from chapping.
5) Demonstrate how to use nail clippers or nail scissors to trim toenails straight across. Fingernails can be trimmed with a slight curve. Use an emery board or nail file to shape and smooth the nails. Note: Individuals with diabetes need professional assistance for nail care.
6) Collect and distribute foot care information from local podiatrist, Kaiser or other health care system in your area.
Hand out the Knowledge Check at the end of your session on Foot Care. Ask participants to complete, but mention it will not be scored. Once completed, discuss the answers as a group. Review materials as needed.