Nail Care For Seniors Or Elderly : The How-To Guide With Steps

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Nail Care For Seniors: Taking care of nails for seniors or elderly can be a bit tough, sometimes, especially when you have one or two seniors who constantly need elderly foot care.

Although they are lots of persons or establishment that offers elderly foot care services, adopting personal hygiene at home will go a long way to protects and also keep seniors nails healthy.

Read Also: What Is Nail Care And Its Importance

If you’ve ever lived with an older person, you’ll agree with me how difficult it is for them to bend over to care for their toenails.

If they’re able to bend, they might find it difficult to clip their nails as a result of shaking hands. (Check out this article for some of the best nail clippers for weak hands)

While this is common with the aged, they’re also some health challenges that might cause seniors hands to shake.

It is for this reason that adopting the services of a mobile pedicure for the elderly becomes necessary.

Read Also: How To Get Long Nails In One Week In 2020

Home foot care for seniors does not only involve cutting of toenail or buffering nails, but it also entails checking for ingrown nails, calluses, fungus or nail thickening.

What causes thick toenails in the elderly?

Nail thickening in seniors may occur as a result of a fungus infection. Other health conditions like diabetes might as well cause them to have thick nails.

There is a site based in Portland that offers elderly nail care services that promise to take care of the worst toenails ever.

Nail care for seniors, nail care for elderly, elderly nail care tips

So if you happen to live around Portland Oregon Metro Area and you’re probably looking for in-home nail care for seniors near you for as little as $20-$75 for your pedicure or manicure, then you can check them out today. [Senior Nail Services]

Read Also: Guide On How To Apply Cuticle Cream The Right Way On Your Nails In 2020

Here’s another fantastic site that does a pretty job as far as senior pedicure service is concerned. [Expo Signature Nail Service] you can also check them out to book an appointment with them.

With that being said, let’s now take a look at some of the reasons why it’s not advisable for elderly or seniors to keep extremely long nails.

Nail Care For Seniors Or Elderly: Reason Why Seniors Shouldn’t Keep Longer Nails

Have you ever for once thought about what will happen if seniors grow their nails way too long?

Well, in case you haven’t thought about it, let me tell you today.

Nails hurt when too long

Yeah, you heard me right. As much as we’ve always preached about getting long nails using essential oils, when it comes to the elderly, its a different sermon entirely. When seniors take to grooming long nails, they tend to get themselves injured at the slightest opportunity.  Below is a few reasons why it’s not advisable for seniors to keep their nails long.

Read Also: What Does Nail Biting Mean?

Reasons Why Seniors Shouldn’t Keep Long Nails

1. Long nails create room for ingrown nails

Multiple research has shown that keeping long nails is one of the primary causes of ingrown nails for seniors. As the nails push themselves out from the nail matrix and finally lay on the nail bed, they may decide to tuck themselves in around the corners. If the nails are left for some time, the nails may dig deep into the skin of seniors and cause severe pain to them.

Read Also: Top 5 Nail Clippers For Ingrown Toenails In 2020 (Reviews)

2. Long nails create rooms for injuries

Here is another valid reason why elderly citizens shouldn’t keep long digits. Seniors may injure themselves here and there while trying to scratch or rub their skin with their fingernails. More also, they may hit their toenails accidentally against a hard object, and this might cause a severe health challenge.

3. Long nails harbour disease

It is no longer news that when nails are too long, bacterial might hide underneath them. When these nails get into your senior’s mouth, they may lead to one of these hand-related diseases.

Having said that, lets quickly look at senior’s pedicures procedure.

Read Also: White Fingernail Beds, Causes And Symptoms

Nail Care For Seniors: Steps On How To Carryout Pedicures For Senior Citizens

Nail care for seniors, nail care for elderly, elderly nail care tips
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Truth be told, taking and caring for elderly nails isn’t an easy job as many see it and that’s because it does take a little bit of patience coupled with time, but if you are up to the task, then this step by step guide will help walk you through the entire processes. So are you ready? Let’s go.

Step 1

To carry out toenail cutting service for seniors, be sure your hands are washed and that all equipment to be used has been thoroughly sterilized. ( sterilization help destroys all living components from the implements. This can be achieved using various methods such as chemicals, heat, etc.)

Step 2

Soak his or her nails in warm soapy water for at least 10 minutes. ( Before proceeding to soak their nails, be sure that they are well seated just the below picture).

Nail care for seniors, nail care for elderly, elderly nail care tips
Photo Credits

Step 3

After which, you now towel dry to remove excess moisture and ready to move on to the next phase.

Step 4

Gently, walk your hand underneath their toes; while doing this, you can check for signs of dead skin or any damage, after which you can now clean the foot with a callous softener.

Step 5

Cut or trim nails using a nail clipper. Here’s a Pro tip on toenail trimming. Nails generally (whether that of the finger or toe) should be trimmed across,  running from one end to another. Don’t be in haste why at it and also, don’t cut too dip so that you don’t injure them in the process.

Read Also: Which Fingernail Grows The Fastest and why?

Step 6

If they’re hangnails, trim them off as well, and never you cut their cuticles. If you noticed it has overgrown, the best way is to push them back gently. Care must also be taken while pushing their cuticle backward (The best way to go about this is to apply oil on them before pushing).

Step 7

Apply a small quantity of any essential oil such as olive oil on their foot then massage the oil all over the feet. The purpose of this is to aid the circulation of blood.

Nail care for seniors, nail care for elderly, elderly nail care tips
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Step 8

After each successful nail care section for seniors, you could recommend for them daily household products to use or probably tell them why they always need to visit a podiatrist for a routine check.

Feet Problems In The Elderly

There are a thousand and one reasons why senior citizens might experience a slight modification or issues with their foot.

Few of the obvious reasons are; 

  1. Old age comes with poor circulation of blood
  2. Wearing footwear that is way too small or tight.
  3. Problem with their sight or inability to stabilize their hands while cutting their nails.

Tips On How To Maintain Healthy Nails In Seniors

Foot care for older adults isn’t a thing to joke about because if you do not care for their nails as required, you’re exposing them to a whole lot of health challenges.

To care for their nails, here is a quick tip that will guide you.

  1. Wash foot daily with mild soap:  Special attention should be given to washing in between toenails because that’s where germs are likely to hide.
  2. Keep foot trimmed, clean, and dry:  Keeping feet dry always is one way to promote healthy nails for seniors because a wet foot can often serve as an invitation ground for bacteria.
  3. Keep foot moisturize: Moisturizing their foot with quality moisturizers such as Coconut oil can do a lot of good for their nails.  Also, moisturizing help prevents peelings or crack on the skin.
  4. Massage foot always: It’s not enough to apply oil on their nails, but a little massage should accompany it. Massaging helps in the proper circulation of blood, not just to the nail region but to all parts of the body.
  5. Wear fitted shoes: No matter the circumstances, seniors should only wear fitting shoes that are not too tight. Tight shoes may cause injuries to their nails.
  6. Support them while sitting: Old age comes with a lot of difficulties, and that also applies to sit for elderly citizens. For these reasons, we advise that you should  Always support seniors foot with a footstool while sitting.

Read Also: How To Grow Nails Fast In 1 Hour In 2020

Nail Conditions In Seniors

No matter how hard you try to keep up with seniors’ nails, they are some conditions, especially that of the nails that are bound to surface.

These nail conditions in the elderly, as we’ve earlier stated, comes with age. You may begin to wonder why a nail that was once consistent, without ridges or strange colouration suddenly becomes a centre for disease. Below are just a few of the numerous nail conditions you’re likely to see in seniors.

Read Also: 35 Nail Care Materials Every Manicurist And Pedicurist Should Have

Nail Texture

As one aged, the texture or smoothness of the nails may be uttered, which is quite normal for most seniors. But when uneven lines are running across the nails, then it should give you every reason to worry.

Nail Thickness

The nail in seniors may thicken for so many reasons. It may become thick due to injury, putting on tight shoes, or fungal infection.

Growing thick nails is one common thing among older people. This thickness may begin to show over time in toenails and may make trimming and filing nails a bit more complicated.


A normal healthy nail is supposed to be straight and consistent. When they’re a  little bit of curve, they may likely cause ingrown nails. For example, a curvy toenail that looks like a spoon can signal iron deficiency.

Elderly Foot Care

Foot care for seniors is a basic necessity if they must maintain a healthy lifestyle.

nail care for seniors

A little touch of care will not only prevent injuries or bacterial, but it will also help keep their nails free from chronic diseases such as diabetes.

Read Also: 12 Natural Home Remedies For Nail Growth

Expert ways one can care for senior’s feet.

1. Buy the right footwears

Seniors should wear footwear that is not too slope or too tight. Tight footwears might cause them to have blisters on their foot and may create rooms for fungal infection. Wondering how to go about the footwear thingy?

Here is a quick tip on how to choose the right fit.

  • Since our foot is not the same in size, it is a rule of thumb always to use the foot that is a bit bigger to test the shoe you intend to buy. Naturally, the right foot is always bigger than the left, so use that to test the shoe before buying. If they fit comfortably on the right foot, it’s an indication that they are your proper fits. If it doesn’t, you need to do some more testing.
  • On the occasion that you are not on the ground or available to test those shoes if they’re going to fit, have someone to measure your feet. For example, If your feets measures 40 (size) go for shoes between the range of 41-42 in size.

Read Also: Nail Gang, Meaning And What It Takes To Join

2. Wear closed-toe shoe

Seniors shouldn’t go about wearing flip-flops all the time. They should wear shoes that rightly covers their entire legs to prevent falls, scrapes, or cuts.

3. Keep toenails short

Longer toenails create room for ingrown nails. Apart from that, when seniors toes are kept long, they might injure themselves when their toe come in contact with an object (accident)

So toenails should be trimmed regularly at least once a week. They should be cut straight across like we’ve right said somewhere in this article. Also, care should be taken when trimming their nails to avoid injuring the nail beds in the process.

4. Keep blood flowing

Since old age comes with reduced blood, flowing to some parts of the body, particularly that of the foot, an attempt should be made to keep them intact.

This can be achieved through regular foot massage for older adults, keeping a foot in footstool while sitting down, and proper toe stretching exercise.

5. Keep foot dry

 Avoid wearing your shoes while your foot is still wet or damp. This does not only keep your toe clean, but it also prevents bacteria buildup since they dwell in wet environments.

6. Go for the right equipment

You should consider taking seniors with circulation problems for a warm foot bath.

Read Also: Grow Healthy Natural Nails In 2020With This Actionable Tips

There are lots of best foot soak for the elderly you can easily buy if you prefer doing it at home. This does not only keep the foot healthy, but it also allows blood to flow smoothly.

7. Consult a podiatrist

No matter how much effort you put towards caring for seniors nails, it is always recommended to see a podiatrist regularly for foot checkups for your elderly or older citizens.

A regular visit may help the podiatrist ascertain problems like hammertoe or neuromas early and proffer a solution to them.

Foot Care For Diabetic Seniors

Do you know that there’s a staggering number of about 60 % of US citizens who have been diagnosed to have diabetes. ?

Well, no matter the circumstances, caring for the foot is still a necessity for such people. When carrying out nail care for diabetics seniors, care should be taken not to inflict injuries on them because wounds heal very slowly for seniors with diabetes.

It is for this reason that diabetic seniors are advised to adopt a foot care routine that won’t pose a threat to their overall health.

In addition to the aforementioned foot care for elderly above, elderly citizens with diabetes should ;

  1. Avoid smoking at once.
  2. Involve in activities that increase the flow of blood to foots such as foot stretching exercise.
  3. Check on their nails daily.
  4. Wear shoes that are not too tight and with more softer leather.
  5. Avoid walking barefoot.

Feet Problems In The Elderly

Swollen feet and ankles in seniors are common aged long issues associated with the elderly. As they age, seniors find it challenging to bend correctly, and the rate of blood circulation reduces.

When this happens, feet, ankles, or lower legs began to swell. Although they’re a lot that can cause a senior’s ankle or feet to swell, below are just a few of them.

  1. Reduced activities
  2. Blood circulation problem
  3. Heart disease etc.

If there are any swellings in one or two of your feet or ankles, then you need to see a doctor for a checkup.

Does A Podiatrist Do Pedicures?

No, the work of a podiatrist (foot doctor) is to ensure that nails are correctly cut or trimmed down to a safer length and that calluses (which is the hardened area of the skin especially on the foot)  are in their right shape. Every other work which involves painting your nails, foot massage or every other service are left for pedicurist to handle.

What Does A Podiatrist Do For Your Feet?

Podiatrist are trained professionals saddled with the responsibility of diagnosing and treating abnormal feet conditions/problems such as ingrown toenails, thickened toenails and fungal infection etc.

What Conditions Can Podiatrists Treat?

A podiatrist can treat anyone (irrespective of their age) with foot-related issues such as Bunions and hammertoes, arthritis, diabetes, fractures and can as well help heel pains.

Does A Podiatrist Remove Hard Skin?

Yes, a podiatrist can help remove hard skin caused as a result of pressure with the help of a scalpel. They can as well use a foot file or pumice stone to rub down thick skin.

What Is Considered Routine Foot Care?

Any activities which involve cutting, trimming and removal of corns and calluses or measures that help prevent foot disease by subjecting the foot to regular cleaning and soaking can be termed or considered routine foot care.

Final Note On Nail Care For The Elderly Or Seniors

Over the years, we’ve had a considerable amount of establishments or individuals who specialize in nail care for seniors.

Why are the numbers increasing?

Because older citizen needs more care and attention since they’re too old to do almost everything for themselves.

For example, seniors who are visually impaired might not be able to care for their nails properly.

What do they do then?

They rely on in-home foot care services from a podiatrist ( a podiatrist is a surgeon who specializes in the treatment of foot, ankle, or lower legs disorder ) to do all of their nail care for them.

More also, not all irregular shapes or colour in nails are signs of a fungal infection. If there are any abnormalities in the senior’s nail, it is recommended to visit a doctor.

For seniors with a diabetic condition, nails should be checked regularly if they’re cuts, scrapes on ingrown nails.

Also, they should abstain from wearing shoes that are too tight as this might cause blisters. (Severe case of a blister may lead to amputation )

If you have a senior who is suffering from severe nail abnormalities, you should see a doctor.

Do you have any contribution, or you’re not clear about something? Don’t hesitate to leave a comment behind. Also, please spread the word using the SHARE buttons below.

Disclaimer: This article might not be %100 correct since it’s based on my little knowledge and research.

6 Replies to “Nail Care For Seniors Or Elderly : The How-To Guide With Steps”

  1. Great post! 🙂 Your tips are very helpful. I can use your useful information in my daily life. Thanks for sharing!

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