Guidelines for podiatric services in long-term care facilities

AE Helfand Department of Community Health and Aging, Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine, Philadelphia.

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The inclusion of appropriate podiatric services in long-term care programs often will produce dramatic effects. Immobility can be replaced by activity. Quality of care translates into quality of life. Support and encouragement can be directed to independence and a strong sense of personal identity and worth. Isolation can be replaced by interaction. When the quality of life decreases as a result of disease, disability, or age, those precious aspects of dignity must be restored to a maximum level by caring staff and people. Because walking is a catalyst for life, podiatric care can help restore some of the lost dignity by keeping patients walking and moving about, so that they can accept and participate in the social activities provided by the facility.