While a salon-style pedicure may seem like a status symbol instead of a necessity, taking care of the toenails is an important part of healthy feet. In elderly people that depend on family caregivers and home care assistance, it can be very difficult for them to take care of their toenails. When seniors don’t take care of their feet, they can suffer complications like ingrown toenails, fungus, infection, and pain.
Elderly people often don’t have the physical capability to take care of their own toenails. They may be suffering from bad eyesight, arthritis, stiff joints and tremors. All these physical issues and more make it almost impossible for them to keep their own toenails trimmed and clean. It’s important that the family caregiver take over the task of toenail care for their elderly relative.
Family caregivers that haven’t had much experience in taking care of someone else’s toenails may feel a bit intimidated at the task ahead.
Here are some steps to help family caregivers take care of toenails the right way:
-Give the feet and toes a quick exam. Look for blisters, redness, swelling, sores, cuts and anything else out of the ordinary.
-Soak their feet in a foot bath for about ten minutes to soften up the thick toenails.
In seniors, toenails can become thicker with age and when they are saturated with water, they are easier to cut. Wash the feet with a mild soap, making sure to get in between the toes. Rinse thoroughly.
Pat their feet dry with a thick towel. Try not to scrub the skin dry with the towel as that can cause it to dry out. Use the edge of the towel to dry between the toes.
-Apply a quality moisturizing lotion to the tops and bottoms of the feet and at the toenail.
Do not put lotion between the toes as this area needs to stay dry to prevent bacteria and fungus growth.
Clip their toenails straight across using quality toenail clippers with long handles. These provide a better grip and are less likely to twist when used. Curved toenail edges are more likely to lead to ingrown toenails.
Feel for any rough edges and file them gently with an emery board.
Don’t file too hard—just enough to make the edges smooth. Caring for an elderly person’s toenails may not seem all that important, but it is vital so they can feel comfortable and avoid common foot pains. When toenails are allowed to grow without care, it can affect how people walk and how their shoes fit. Taking care of the feet can reduce the risk of more serious foot issues like infection, fungus and more.
If family caregivers have turned grooming and hygiene tasks over to a senior care assistant agency or aide, they need to make sure that toenail care is included in the weekly schedule.
If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring a caregiver in Hyde Park, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.