In our second blog in our series entitled “Always a Lady”, we covered caring for her Teeth. This time we will look at Caring for your elderly loved one’s hands and feet, starting with the care of their nails. Firstly their feet and toenails followed by their hands and fingernails.
Here, at Gold Age Australia, we know how important hand and foot care is for our elderly residents. Not only to keep them looking beautiful, which is important too. But also, to keep them healthy. We have some tips we hope will be helpful to assist you in this task.
Foot and toe nail care is important throughout our entire lives. However, that is especially true for our elderly loved ones. Not only because it becomes more difficult for them to do this themselves. But also because, unfortunately, health problems can become a concern. Therefore, the correct response to this is vigilance.
These are some of the most common foot disorders our elderly loved ones may suffer from. Ulcers caused by diabetes or overly dry skin. Ingrown toenails, corns and calluses, caused by incorrect footwear and nail fungi. These require the care of a professional podiatrist. Make sure you examine their feet and nails at least once a week. If you are tending to their pedicure yourself, a few simple tips will suffice.
Firstly, it’s a good idea to pay a visit to her podiatrist. Get all the information you can from them and you will be able to help her at home. Firstly, begin by soaking in warm soapy water. Follow this with gentle nail brushing with a soft nailbrush. Rinse and dry her feet thoroughly. Apply a cuticle softening cream and rub it in gently. Using a cuticle stick covered in cotton wool, gently push the cuticles back. Remove any dry skin but do not cut the cuticles. That is a job for the professionals, because injury can lead to infections.
Nails should be cut straight across with clippers. Followed by gentle filing and the application of moisturising cream. Remember to moisturise her legs as well to prevent ulcers. If you have the time, a foot and leg massage will greatly aid her circulation and provide muscle relief.
If your elderly loved one loves nail polish, that is fine. However a word of warning is necessary here. Remember that nail polish prevents the nails from breathing and can hide other problems such as fungi. It should not be worn incessantly.
Hand and nail care for the elderly is a simpler process. That is because our feet bear the weight of our bodies. So giving your elderly loved one a manicure should not be a difficult task. If she enjoys going to a beautician once a week for a manicure that is fine. However if you want to do this for her yourself at home the process is very simple. Assuming you have had professional manicures yourself, just imagine yourself in reverse. Begin with the basic tools you will need and set them on a table. If possible, have your loved one sit opposite you. Or on opposing corners of the dining room table for instance. Wherever you are both comfortable. You will need a bowl of warm, soapy water, a hand towel, nail clippers, a soft nailbrush and a cuticle stick with some cotton wool. You will also need cuticle cream, a nail file and moisturiser.
Begin by soaking her hands in the warm soapy water. After a few minutes, gently brush the tops and tips of her fingernails. Rinse and dry them thoroughly. After that, apply cuticle cream. Cover the tip of the cuticle stick with cotton wool. Push the cuticles back gently and remove any dead skin. However, do not cut them as this could cause infection. Dry her nails again and cut them with the clippers to the length and shape of her choice. After all, hands are on display and she should be happy with their appearance. Finally, gently file the rough edges.
Now comes the pampering. After applying moisturiser, give her a lovely, soothing massage all the way up to her elbows. This is especially helpful if she suffers from arthritis. Remember to always check for fungi or anything that requires medical attention. If your elderly loved one enjoys nail polish remember to check frequently for underlying problems.
As you can see from the above, manicures and pedicures for elderly ladies are not complicated. The important things to remember are maintaining regular care and vigilance. However there is no doubt that feet, hands and nails that look nice will make her happy. They will also ensure that she will be pain-free because her shoes won’t hurt her.
So, from our extended family here, at Gold Age Australia, we wish you and your family good health and happiness. Look out for our next blog, coming to you soon. Bye for now.
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