Is your elderly loved one no longer able to care for their hands and nails? When it’s up to you to take care of that for them, there are a few things you should know. For one, elderly men need just as much hand and nail care as elderly women do. Your father should be having his nails clipped, filed and his hands moisturized just as your mother needs it.
As people grow old, their nails experience the following significant changes:
All these changes are normal and your parent should not feel as if they are not accepted in society. Keep reading to find out how these problems can be addressed.
Giving Your Elderly Parent a Manicure
Due to decrease in the water content of the nails, they should be moisturized the same way one moisturizes dry skin. Elderly parents should be using a moisturizer specifically for aging hands. Long nails can easily be torn or scratch someone, so it’s important to also keep the nails trimmed. If you want to paint your senior mother’s nails, look for brands that are free from DBP, toluene and formaldehyde and use a nail polish remover without acetone, because it dries out the skin.
For hard and rigid nails, a warm soak is necessary especially when intending to cut the nails straight. A “straight-full jawed” nail clipper will probably do the best job. Make sure to be gentle enough to make her feel great and appreciated. Praise your senior parent and have a conversation while taking care of their nails. This lets them know that you are listening and keeps their mind sharp.
Caring for Senior Hands and Skin
Beyond keeping the nails in mind, the skin should also be taken care of. Elderly women with diabetes could have more tender skin and softer nails. So be very gentle when pushing back cuticles and clipping nails to avoid breaking their skin. It’s extra important to be careful not to catch their skin if your senior parent is on a blood thinner. You can even take your parent with you to the store and have fun picking out a hand cream or new fingernail clippers together.
Are you having more difficulty taking care of your elderly loved one? Caregiving can be a lot of work, and it’s normal to begin to feel stressed and burned out. If you’re having trouble doing everything for your mother or father, you should think about hiring a senior care service to help. A person trained in elder care will come to your parent’s house and do daily tasks with them such as personal hygiene and cooking.
For more information about how the caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare can help your aging parents remain living independently in their own homes, call 858-454-9339. We are an home care agency providing quality and affordable senior care in La Jolla CA, and the surrounding communities.