IAN Hill suffers from diabetes and is grateful for his regular visit to see a podiatrist.
It seemed like a simple problem, but three years ago, due to his chronic condition, Mr Hill, 83, found he could no long bend down far enough to cut his own toenails – and that’s when Centacare stepped in to offer podiatry as one of its therapeutic services.
Now Mr Hill books in once every six weeks to get his toenails clipped and for a general podiatry check-up at Centacare Amelia House, Coorparoo.
“If I don’t get them done I suffer from ingrown toenails, and my toenails get so long they catch on my socks,” he said.
“It helps me tremendously because the pain I get goes to my feet as well.”
Mr Hill migrated from Stirling, in Scotland, in 1963 and worked in a variety of jobs including working as head orderly at Brisbane’s Wesley Hospital until his retirement.
Still living at home by himself, he retains a thick Scottish burr and a keen sense of humour.
“I find these podiatry sessions very relaxing,” he said.
“I know I can come in here and get my nails done properly.
“And it helps that I don’t have ticklish feet.”
Consultant podiatrist Lynn Cheah enjoys her regular encounters with clients like Mr Hill.
“It seems like something small and simple but, to my clients like Ian, it makes a big difference,” she said.
“It’s touching and it’s humbling, just to know I can make that much of a difference just by something seemingly simple.”
Ms Cheah completed a four-year Bachelor of Podiatry course and now delivers her services at several Centacare branches across Brisbane.
“We study pretty much everything about the feet,” she said.
“We don’t just cut toenails; we can do a lot more as well.
“As podiatrists we take care of general foot care so we cut toenails, remove hard skin, ingrown toenails, warts, but we also attend to muscular and skeletal problems and sports injuries.
“Even knee pain, hip pain and back pain if it is related to the feet.”