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Palliative Care includes the care of your feet

The week of May 21 to 28 2017 is National Palliative Care Week. The message is “You matter, your care matters. Palliative care can make a difference.”


What is palliative care you may want to know?


From the Palliative Care Australia website


“Palliative care is care that helps people live their life as fully and as comfortably as possible when living with a life-limiting or terminal illness. …. Palliative care identifies and treats symptoms which may be physical, emotional, spiritual or social. ……. Palliative care is a family-centered model of care, meaning that family and carers can receive practical and emotional support. ….. Palliative care is for people of any age who have been told that they have a serious illness that cannot be cured. Palliative care assists people with illnesses such as cancer, motor neuron disease and end-stage kidney or lung disease to manage symptoms and improve quality of life.”


What does palliative care have to do with the feet and the shoes?


At Happy Feet Pedorthics people who are living come to us for shoes. Initially we may not necessarily have any understanding of their fuller life situation. That the person is living with a condition such as cancer, motor neuron disease, kidney or lung disease, muscular dystrophy, or a rare disease with no known cure and life threatening.


People who are living may be walking, some with a frame, some with a stick. Some people may mostly or permanently use a wheel chair. Some may stand to transfer only. Some may spend a lot of time in bed.



So there are people under palliative care with footwear needs who we can assist at Happy Feet Pedorthics. Our clients who live with palliative care talk about their need for shoes:


  • with room for cushioning and support with a very soft accommodative orthotic
  • which are very light and flexible
  • where one foot is a lot bigger than the other
  • which will not rub on the foot anywhere from straps or seams
  • with a lot of air holes for their burning feet
  • which provide a lot of stability with the possibility of modifications such as flares, wedges, or a buttress
  • which will not contribute to breakdown of ulcers
  • which have velcro straps or can be converted to velcro straps
  • with a rocker sole
  • which can accommodate an ankle foot orthoses – AFO

People who are carers as part of the palliative care team also come to Happy Feet Pedorthics for footwear. Carers talk about being time poor, on their feet for much of the day, feeling in good need of care themselves, when it comes to their footwear.


So what is it that we can do at Happy Feet Pedorthics? We listen to the person, their story, their needs for their health and their footwear. There may be some gutsy laughter and or some reflective quite moments. For us at Happy Feet Pedorthics – the bottom line is – life is for living!


Clare Nelson CP CM AU

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