The average Briton takes around three thousand steps every day, travelling one and a half miles on foot. Overall, research suggests that throughout our lifetime, our feet will have taken us around the circumference of the earth five times! Despite this, the importance of our feet is often overlooked and taken for granted within modern society, but their maintenance is paramount for balance and pain-free mobility for life.
To help address this here at Harbour Housing, we are lucky enough to be visited monthly by two fantastic podiatrists who tend to the needs of our residents with the utmost care and attention. With well over thirty years’ experience in the field of podiatry between them, Sarah Wyld and Julie Moutinho’s joint holistic approach to treatment means that care extends to the personal well-being, education and mental health of residents, as well as plenty of friendly chat that everyone looks forward to! Previously they have held ‘Foot and Food’ parties, where residents can come in for a social event and be greeted by snacks, alongside seeking treatment.
A plethora of health problems first present warning signs through the changing state of our feet, and this is something that Julie and Sarah are always on the lookout for. Circulatory problems, gait issues, arthritis and organ failure are just some of the conditions that can be revealed through a simple foot examination, which is why the work that they meticulously carry out is so important as a preventative and restorative measure for residents.
People who experience homelessness and sleep rough are more likely to have foot problems than their housed counterparts, meaning that many require the services Julie and Sarah provide at Cosgarne. Upon arrival, some suffer with foot conditions that have not been seen since the First World War due to the environments in which they are forced to live. Ill-fitting shoes, a lack of access to sanitation and the sheer amount of time spent walking as a primary mode of transport are often leading factors in this crisis.
Alongside providing outstanding treatment, Sarah delivers regular donations from her podiatry firm Perran Pod, where her own clients have kindly donated brand-new socks and shoes to residents, meaning that their foot care and maintenance can continue long after their sessions end.
Podiatry is such an important healthcare service, and we are grateful to be able to provide it at Cosgarne. Our residents are extremely fond of Julie and Sarah, and the warm and trusting environment that they have created ensures that foot care and education is now top of the agenda for all who need them.