The McPherson County Community Foundation recently announced a $10,000 matching grant to enable the McPherson County Council on Aging to provide foot care to seniors — a reduction of $5,800 from last year's grant amount.
"We've been getting the grant since 2015," said Terry Bolte, director of the McPherson County Council on Aging. "For the last four years, it's been helping us provide foot care to the seniors in the county."
In order to receive the whole grant, which was made possible by the Wedel Health Fund, the matching $5,800 will have to be raised, which could mean charging seniors for the foot services they currently receive for free.
"There's a lot of older people who can't afford it," said Pat Stucky, Moundridge Senior Center director. "...We've been able to provide free foot service for anybody who can't bend over anymore, can't see and can't take care of their toenails."
Prior to receiving a grant from the McPherson County Community Foundation, senior centers had to charge for foot services — which resulted in people not making appointments, Stucky said.
"They've had foot care in the county for years, but in the last few years with the grant we're serving a lot more people," Bolte said.
The grant is especially aimed at providing foot services for seniors who can't afford them.
"If you go get a pedicure done somewhere, it's going to cost you at least $30. If you go to a podiatrist, it's going to cost you even more than that," Bolte said.
The McPherson County Council on Aging provides approximately 1,100 foot care services each year at the senior centers in Canton, Inman, Lindsborg, Marquette, McPherson and Moundridge.
"All but one of our foot care providers are trained medical professionals," Bolte said. "...They're already providing us with a benefit because they're doing this at a discount."
Foot care clients are treated for cracked heels, corns, bunions and callouses.
"It's basically like getting a pedicure without the polish," Bolte said. "...They get their toenails trimmed, their feel soaked and their callouses buffed."
The services includes a calf and foot massage.
"Your feet feel really good afterwards," Bolte said.
Skin lesions and fungal infections can be treated before they become a major problem and the oot care services can also aid in identifying health issues like diabetes and heart problems early on.
"They will say you need to go see your physician or foot doctor for major issues," Stucky said.
Most foot care clients take advantage of foot care once every two months. Appointments for foot care can be made by calling your local senior center.
For more information about services provided by the McPherson County Council on Aging, call 620-241-4383.
Contact Patricia Middleton by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her stories on Twitter at @MiddleSentinel.