I don’t know, call me skeptical. I highly respect those in our field who have gone the extra mile in getting educated on how to care for the feet of the geriatric diabetic client.
However, I’m not sure anymore, if this is an actual niche or not.
Yes, diabetes is on the rise. Yet….is it on the rise the way you think it is?
2020 statistics from the National Diabetes association states;
- 34.2 million Americans (1 in 10) have diabetes
- 88 million American adults (1 in 3) have “prediabetes”
- New diabetes cases were higher among non-Hispanic blacks and people of Hispanic origin
- In adults, new cases significantly decreased from 2008 through 2018
- New diagnosed cases of type 1 and 2 diabetes have significantly increased among US youths
If we pay attention to these stats, shouldn’t we be also paying attention to our diabetic youth?
After all, prevention is the best medicine.
I’ve taken all the courses imaginable on how to care for the diabetic client. All of these courses however, target the “geriatric client” as our diabetic client.
I’ve learned a lot.
- Don’t soak the feet of the diabetic client
- Don’t cut the skin of the diabetic client
- Don’t use products which suffocate the skin
- Don’t don’t don’t…..are there ever any do’s?
After all, don’t you think your diabetic client needs to be pampered and glamorized as your everyday client? And, don’t you think not “all” diabetic clients are created equal?
Of course their not and that’s my problem. When we learn about the diabetic client, it is always generalized.
Before I can get to my point…..let’s look at the facts!
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic or long lasting health condition which affects how our bodies turn food into energy.
There are 3 types of diabetes!
- Type 1 – is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction that stops our body from making insulin. At this time, there is no known cure to prevent type 1 diabetes. type 1 is an every day maintenance concern.
- Type 2 – Our body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. A healthy life style can prevent type 2 diabetes and regular checks of your blood sugar can help you catch it early.
- Gestational – Pregnant women who have never had diabetes.
- Prediabetes – In the United States, 1 in 3—have prediabetes. What’s more, more than 84% of them don’t know they have it. With prediabetes, blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
With any of the above, shouldn’t we be focusing on more than just the geriatric client and what we learn in regard to diabetes with that age group?
Shouldn’t we know;
- How to manage the up and coming younger generation with a higher risk for diabetes….already higher than the geriatric client.
- How to make our recommendations for at home care, what to do and NOT?
- How to perform the perfect consultation, making sure you ask the right questions and mark your charts like a Dr. would?
- There is so much more!
We also have to remember…just because we became certified in “master pedicuring” and we had 1-4 hr class on Diabetes. It doesn’t make you the expert. It barely touches the surface.
Flaunt your credentials. Absolutely. You should be proud. You took a great class, had to cancel your clients, take days off of work, probably travel…not to mention the $$$$..You should be proud.
Just don’t be fooled. You may think 1, maybe 5, or even 10 classes makes you the expert. It doesn’t. Education is a lifelong commitment.
Think about it and think about how you have shut off a whole market of diabetics.
Yet, think of how you can recover, make the changes and expand into the new abyss.
Do you still want to pursue the geriatric client? No biggie. Stay mainly focused on that market, or attack them all. Whichever you feel most comfortable.
So when it comes to Pedicuring the Diabetic Client…..
- PERFORM THE CORRECT AND THOUROUGH CONSULTATION. VERBAL AND VISUAL
Also, don’t forget all those soon to be Moms…..Gestational Diabetes is real!
The sad part about focusing on only 1 age generation is the missed opportunity you have to change someones life.
With your education, you can help a young person begin proper care for his or her health to prevent diabetes from getting worse. You can share your knowledge, make your recommendations for at home care and end up with a client for a very long life.
How can diabetes affect our feet?
- Nerve damage can lower your ability to feel pain, heat, or cold.
- If you don’t feel pain in your feet, you may not notice a cut, blister, or sore, or that water is too hot. Small problems can become serious if they aren’t treated early.
- Poor circulation (another diabetes complication) along with nerve damage puts you at risk for developing a foot ulcer (a sore or wound) that could get infected and not heal well.
- If an infection doesn’t get better with treatment, your toe, foot, or part of your leg may need to be amputated (removed by surgery) to prevent the infection from spreading.
What do you need to know?
- Check feet every day for cuts, redness, swelling, sores, corns, calluses, or blisters.
- Wash feet in warm—not hot—water, and dry them well.
- Trim toenails straight across and file the edges.
- Wear shoes that fit well. Break in new shoes slowly by wearing them 1 to 2 hours each day until they’re comfortable.
- Never go barefoot. Always wear shoes or slippers, even inside, to protect your feet.
- Put your feet up when you’re sitting and wiggle your toes for a few minutes.
- Get your feet checked at every health care visit, and see your foot doctor every year (more often if you have nerve damage).