Small Biz Feature: Lauraine’s Specialty Foot Care

Krystine Therriault - Seaway News
Small Biz Feature: Lauraine’s Specialty Foot Care
Lauraine MacDonnell (Photo : Submitted photo)

Lauraine’s Specialty Footcare has been in operation for seven years. Owner, Lauraine MacDonell was a VON nurse in the early 80s. Over the years, she made it the focus of her nursing career to promote the importance of foot care for overall health and mobility.

“VON decided nationwide to do footcare for the elderly and seniors,” MacDonell explained, “All the nurses that were hired were trained in basic and intermediate footcare. We automatically assessed feet and performed footcare in the homes of the people that we were servicing.”

MacDonell said she’s always had an interest in feet. If you don’t have good feet, comfortable feet, the rest of the body shows the wear and tear through the ankles, knees, hips, and lower back.

When MacDonell switched to nursing in a complex continuing care unit, the nurses automatically looked at people’s feet. Many were ex-VON nurses.

“We did everything that we could to keep those people on their feet. That’s really important to me is to keep people healthy as possible, mobilizing, and being independent,” MacDonell told Seaway News.

When she decided to come out of mainstream nursing management, MacDonell went back to school to get her certification for advanced medical footcare nursing. After that, she slowly got the ball rolling, doing homecare visits in the Long Sault area for about six months.

She was blessed to meet up with Brian Healy at Pharmasave. When MacDonnell went in asking if she could display her business card, Healy asked where she was practicing. MacDonell explained that she was looking for a venue in Long Sault when Healy offered her an unused consultation room.

“The blessing part was that he’s a certified diabetes educator, I am a diabetes educated nurse. A lot of my clientele and his clientele are people with diabetes, circulatory problems. Between the two of us we’re great resources for each other. This was a light going off in my head saying, ‘I’m in the right place, I’m doing the right thing,'” MacDonell shared.

Six weeks later they opened the first foot care clinic in Long Sault. A year and a half later, Ingleside. The next step was opening up a storefront in Cornwall. Three years later, the Cornwall location continues to grow. Rose, a registered nurse MacDonell has known for over 30 years, now runs the clinics out of South Stormont. MacDonell keeps herself busy at 305 Baldwin Avenue in Cornwall, in a medical building that is handicap accessible. They still do home visits as needed.

“The Lion’s Club in Bonville has invited my company to start a footcare clinic out there,” said Lauraine, expressing her excitement at the new partnership that launched on March 31st, “There’s a lot of seniors out there that don’t want to come to Cornwall. They want to go short distances and they want to support their local Lion’s Club. Being able to supply this level of footcare to the people in this community is very meaningful to both of us because we both lived and grew up in this area.”

As part of Lauraine’s Specialty Footcare, MacDonell is certified in Onyfix, the nonsurgical treatment of ingrown toenails and nail reconstruction as well as TOEFX, a fungal infection process developed at McMaster University. MacDonell said her practice only includes treatments approved by Health Canada after rigorous clinical trials.

“It’s so satisfying for someone to come in with what they consider disastrous feet, horrible looking feet, horrible nails, and they leave an hour later with brand new feet. To them their brand-new feet, they’re happier feet, no pain… you’ve changed their world in an hour or less.”

Letting her clients determine the course of their treatment is important to the team at Lauraine’s Specialty Footcare, along with educating clients of all ages on how to take care of their feet. The priority at Lauraine’s Specialty Footcare is the best outcome for clients in a timely fashion, even if it means referring out to a specialist.

MacDonell says her youngest client is around 9. Her oldest client is over 100, living by themselves in their own home. She believes that no matter their age, everyone should know how to measure their foot for a shoe.

“I get them to stand on a plain piece of paper. Trace out their feet, cut it out, take it to the shoe store, put it in the shoe. If it’s folding up on the sides that’s not the shoe for you,” Lauraine explained, “You should never have to break in a shoe. Looking at the outside is not going to tell us what’s on the inside, and its what’s on the inside that counts – just like us.”



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