Helping our clients stay active and independent is one of our top priorities at Goodwin. We met up with Laura Khuu, who has recently joined our Monash Health and Wellness Centre as a podiatrist, to understand more about her role, and the difference she makes in the lives of her clients.
Tell us about yourself and your role at Goodwin.
I was born and raised in Melbourne, where I did my Masters in Podiatric Practice. I recently moved to Canberra a month ago after joining Goodwin as an in-house podiatrist at the Monash Health and Wellness Centre. This is my first job within aged care and I’m really enjoying it. I work with our seniors to ensure they have good feet to help them stay active and independent. My clients are like walking history books, never shy to share their inspiring stories. It’s a great opportunity to connect with them, learn from them and work with them to stay independent.
Why was there a need for in-house podiatric services and how will they benefit our clients?
With an in-house podiatry team at the Monash Health and Wellness Centre, clients now have easier access to podiatric services within their own community. It allows them ongoing monitoring and treatment with a podiatrist they are familiar with. We provide them one-stop foot and nail care, to ensure good hygiene for prevention and treatment of basic foot health issues, such as in-grown nails, corns, and calluses. We diagnose foot and ankle conditions by looking at the way they walk, and investigating outlying causes (such as diabetes or arthritis) that could potentially affect their foot health. We also work closely with our nurses to provide wound care and management, if needed.
How important is it to have regular check-ups with a podiatrist?
Regular podiatric check-ups are crucial, especially for seniors, to monitor any changes to feet that could potentially exacerbate into serious injuries, or even disability. Most of the time, it’s simple things, such as untrimmed toe nails (because the client couldn’t reach his feet, or due to impaired vision) worsening into in-grown nails, causing skin tears and possible infections. Regular check-ups with a podiatrist can help prevent that.
Can you share some tips with our seniors for healthy feet?
I would suggest, start with good hygiene. It’s a quick fix to most foot and ankle problems. Footwear selection is also crucial. Not wearing the right shoes puts unnecessary pressure on feet, and affects balance. It is also useful to regularly check inside shoes to ensure there are no foreign objects, such as pebbles or nails, that could potentially cause skin tears and infections.
Laura’s 3 magic home remedies:
1. When showering, make sure to wash and dry thoroughly between the toes. It reduces maceration, which is skin breakdown because of excess moisture.
2. Use compression stockings. You might not like them initially, but they’re really useful in helping improve blood circulation, which leads to faster healing.
3. Use the RICE method if you’re experiencing discomfort or swelling: R for Rest, I for Ice, C for Compression and E for Elevation of the legs.