Monday, March 2, 2015

Medicare Toe Nail Clippings for the Elderly - WHO KNEW???

Did you?

The last time I saw my mom, she made some comment about her feet. Okay, so they weren't so beautiful.. But who does have beautiful feet? Looking at my mother's feet is not one of my favorite activities, and so the conversation about her feet ended almost as quickly as it had begun.

Then, last week, she went to a physical therapist who suggested that she go to the in-house podiatrist for a toe nail clipping.

Although toenail clippers are a regularly used tool in our bathroom, I never thought about this for my elderly mother. Just another one of those things you don't associate with your parents, or their needs, I guess. But to go to a podiatrist for a toe nail clipping?

Not only that, but apparently Medicaid covers toenail clippings every nine weeks, my aunt told me.

I absolutely hate that expression who knew? but I can honestly say, with regard to Medicaid, WHO KNEW that Medicaid covers toe nail clippings every nine weeks? And if we had known, would we have even cared?
  Now... my mom has been at various physical therapists in a private PT place numerous times in the last few years for her back and knees and nobody but nobody mentioned this need, or this Medicaid service. Her walking has been increasingly problematic. Shoes are a also a big thing with the elderly: The proper size, the proper fit, the proper elevation and cushioning, etc. Come to think of it, toenails that are too long certainly do not help.

I can hardly imagine a physical therapist who does not work with seniors and I can even less imagine working with a senior and not working on their legs, their feet, their walking, their gait, their balance... so it's hard to understand NOW that they wouldn't have known.... So let's' not go there... I think you see where I'm going with this.

I never gave her toenails a second thought. And the professionals were not letting out this secret.

"Couldn't she just clip them by herself?" my husband asked, when I told him about this.

"No!" I retorted, gloating in my being right. "The nails are brittle and can easily crack." Not to mention that given their lack of flexibility, the elderly may have difficulty just plain doing the task. Cuts may cause other problems, such as infection. And so on.

It's something that has to be done by a physician, as the nails become more and more brittle.

My mom is now scheduled for a toe nail clipping with the podiatrist, as she will be every nine weeks.

I have a thought: Wouldn't it be something if our moms and dads had the same type of care from Medicaid as our cars do? Some like the little stickers that are placed on our car dashboards reminding us:

  •  every 30,000 miles your car needs a new air filter...
  •  every 60,000 miles flush the power steering fluid . ..

I would like to see that magnet to place on the refrigerator: 

Have You Had Your 9-week Toe Nail Clipping? 
This magnet was brought to you by Medicare.

Now I know!

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