Commission works to maintain foot care
Roger A. Reich, Executive Director
Minot Commission on Aging
One of the services that Minot Commission on Aging (MCA) provides for seniors in Region II (seven counties surrounding Minot) is Health Maintenance or Foot Care. Health Maintenance is a Title III program provided under the Older Americans Act, which means it is a federal program. We contract with the State of North Dakota to provide this service in our region. As a federal Title III program, we are only allowed to ask for donations for these services just like our nutrition program; no one is denied services because of their inability or unwillingness to pay. Our contract with the state only pays for part of the program; we write grants and use the donations we do receive to keep the program going. With the additional cost of hiring nurses, travel time, expense of equipment, fuel and other miscellaneous expenses, the task at hand is at times difficult, but we feel it is necessary to maintain as many services in our rural communities as we can and we’ll continue to do the best we can.
Before the COVID-19 out-break; we sub-contracted this service in most of our region with First District Health Unit (FDHU). It was a perfect fit because most of the communities and counties we served had a FDHU county nurse in those communities. We did have some other contract nurses pick up the increase workload that FDHU was not able to handle. Then COVID hit and everything as we took for granted was gone. During the darkest times of the outbreak, we had to shut down clinics, food sites and only provide Home Delivered Meals (HDM) to many of our seniors because they were the most at risk group of people during COVID. Fast forward two years and, because of other commitments, FDHU has decided they can no longer contract with us to provide foot care to our rural communities.
MCA has been working to maintain services for seniors in the most rural areas of Region II. We have hired two nurses and have contracted with three others within the region. We continue to reach out to see if we can find other nurses to provide health maintenance services throughout Region II. Rebuilding our program takes time and we appreciate the patience of our Foot Care clients and rural partners.