Foot clinic a beneficial program for community members

Charlie Denison

Jerry Carpenter, far left, and Darlene Miner, front left, work on the feet of Robert Snitily and Margaret Benes, respectively, during last Thursday’s Foot Clinic at the Fergus County Council on Aging. Carpenter and Miner have offered their services at COA for several years.
Photo by Charlie Denison


For years, Jerry Carpenter and Darlene Miner have provided a foot clinic at the Fergus County Council on Aging, helping those in need of some care, be it clipping nails, working on calluses or checking out circulation issues.

Whatever the reason, Carpenter or Miner can help and – if it’s beyond their expertise – they can refer the patient to a doctor.

Both graduates of St. Joseph School of practical nursing, both retired nurses; Carpenter and Miner now work together the first and second Thursdays of every month at the COA, focusing solely on feet.

Fannie Parker, who worked with Carpenter and Miner at St. Joseph’s, assists them with soaking the feet of the patients, testing the water temperature and sterilizing tools.

“Fannie keeps us in line and organized,” Carpenter said.

Together, the three have fun, welcoming both regulars and first-timers, happy to help with any foot-related needs.

“We are happy to provide this service,” Carpenter said. “I used to go all over town providing these services, but then the COA and CMMC put this program together. Then, when I retired, the COA hired me to continue this service. It’s been great.”

Carpenter has been caring for feet ever since she was four, when she’d clip her grandmother’s toenails.

She liked it then and she likes it now.

“It’s a need people have,” Carpenter said, “and I’ve devoted a lot of time to it. Back when I was at CMMC, I’d spend all day caring for feet, and then when I’d get off the clock I’d go help others with their feet, too.”

Stationed at COA, the word is out, and people are coming in.

“We average close to 40 people per Thursday or 80 a month,” Carpenter said, “and there is always a waiting list.”

Of the 80, many are regulars, such as Margaret Benes.

“I’ve been coming once a month for 10 years,” Benes said. “I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’ve benefited from doing this. The girls do a great job, and I always feel a lot better after I leave.”

The Foot Clinic is not just for seniors, as Robert Snitily, a recently retired regular, said he comes every two months and the clinic does wonders.

“I have MS and can’t take care of my feet myself anymore,” he said. “A friend told me about this program and it’s been extremely beneficial. The fact these ladies take the time to do this is pretty amazing…plus you get your feet massaged.”

Foot Clinic coordinator Nancy Fry-Moline said she is also impressed with the time and effort Carpenter and Miner put into the clinic.

“[Carpenter] and [Miner] are very dedicated to helping folks,” Fry-Moline said. “She’s the driving force behind it.”

Fry-Moline added that the Foot Clinic is a prime example of how the Council on Aging helps people age in place.

“That’s what we do,” Fry-Moline said. “That’s a huge part of our mission statement.”

COA Executive Director Staci Auck agrees.

“I am amazed by the nurses that work at this clinic,” Auck said. “I believe that they do this more as a service to the clients than for anything else because the wages they receive from the COA is a fraction of a typical nurse wage The task of working with people's feet requires skill and expertise and we could not provide this service if it was not for them. Not only are they good at what they do, they are also very caring and truly concerned for helping our seniors. These two ladies are such an important part of our team and we are so fortunate to have them at the COA.”

For more information on the Foot Clinic, call 535-7486.





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