Silver Angels: Nurses open new foot care clinic at Silverton Senior Center

April 2019 Posted in Community, Your Health

Silver Angels Foot Care’s Jackie Niemeyer, Angela Smith and Leana Smith. SUBMITTED PHOTO

By Melissa Wagoner

When Angela Smith found out the foot clinic offered by Legacy Silverton Medical Center for the past 28 years was being discontinued she knew she had to do something. So she took a leap of faith and decided to open her own.

“I just think it’s so important and these patients were in a panic,” she said.

The nurse-run clinic, which Angela is calling Silver Angels Foot Care, will continue offering the same basic services – toenail trimming, filing of calluses and screening for circulation and skin issues – that the estimated 275 patients have come to expect.

One of those patients, 89 year-old Herb Spady, has been coming to the foot clinic for several years and recently convinced his wife, 82 year-old Edie, to join him.

“I was surprised when I couldn’t reach my toes,” Edie said, shaking her head. “It’s kind of weird when you’re in perfect health and you can’t get near your toenails.”

Edie’s plight is not an unusual one, according to Leanna Smith, a nurse who worked at the original footcare clinic for 22 years.

“I consider it preventative care,” she said. “As we get older mobility gets limited and also strength in the hands. Vision usually becomes an issue and then we get thick, fungus toenails and they can’t be trimmed with regular clippers.”

Although important for everyone, foot care is especially vital for those who suffer from diabetes – a disease which plagues the majority of Silver Angels’ patients.

“Twenty-five percent of diabetics have hospitalization for foot issues,” Angela said. “One in five amputations are related to their feet. But with regular foot care, that number goes way down.”

While foot care is the primary focus of Silver Angels, it’s not the only reason patients enjoy coming to the clinic.

“They’re all such sweeties,” Edie said of the staff. “And it feels luxurious.”

Held at the Silverton Senior Center each Tuesday and Wednesday, Silver Angels serves up refreshments in a room full of cozy chairs. And while patients sip coffee and soak their feet they are able to catch up with old friends.

“For some of the patients who don’t get out a lot this is a social outing for them,” Angela said. “We make it lighthearted and fun.”

The staff – which includes four registered nurses and two volunteer receptionists – also enjoys their time at the clinic and are excited for the next phase.

“You really do end up in a relationship with them,” Jackie Niemeyer, who has worked in foot care for over 21 years, explained. “It’s really rewarding.”

Silver Angels Foot Care

Silverton Senior Center 115 Westfield St.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays By appointment only: 503-201-6461
$40, cash or check (gift certificates available)

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