As people age, taking care of their personal hygiene may become a difficult task. Weakened eyesight and limited mobility may prevent them from doing simple tasks such as Cutting Thick Toenails to Elderly. How to treat seniors thick toenails?
Cutting Thick Toenails to Elderly should be a required part of the healthcare needs of an elderly person. Elderly people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing infections with their feet. You should have the correct products or have your toenails cut on a regular basis.
Below we will look at the difficulties of cutting the elderly’s toenails, as well as products and solutions to those issues.
Toenail Care Issues for the Elderly
Due to weakened eyesight, aches, and pains, as well as losses in flexibility, cutting their own toenails may be difficult for the elderly population. If they also have other medical conditions, such as diabetes, toenail trimming must be done to ensure they do not cause any injury or infections which can aggravate their conditions.
Thickened toenails and arthritis can also make the task of trimming their own toenails an impossible task for the elderly.
Why Do Seniors Toenails Become Thick?
Thick toenails are common in older adults, but can also be caused by several other factors, including:
- Fungal Infections: Fungal infections can cause toenails to thicken, discolor, and become brittle.
- Trauma: Injuries to the toenails, such as from dropping something heavy on the foot, can cause the nails to thicken.
- Poor Circulation: Poor circulation can cause the toenails to become thick and discolored.
- Certain Medical Conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, psoriasis, or thyroid disease, can cause toenails to thicken.
Tips for Cutting Thick Toenails to Elderly
Cutting Thick Toenails to Elderly can be a challenge, but there are several things you can do to make the process easier and more comfortable:
- Soften the Toenails: Soaking the feet in warm water for 10-15 minutes can help to soften the toenails, making them easier to cut.
- Use the Right Tools: Use a pair of sharp, strong toenail clippers or scissors that are designed for thick nails. Avoid using regular scissors or clippers, as they may not be strong enough to cut through thick toenails.
- Cut Straight Across: To prevent ingrown toenails, it’s important to cut the toenails straight across. Avoid cutting them too short or rounding the corners, as this can increase the risk of ingrown nails.
- Take Breaks: If cutting thick toenails becomes too challenging or uncomfortable, take breaks as needed. It’s better to take your time and cut the nails over a few days rather than risking injury or discomfort.
How Often Should the Elderly Have Their Toenails Trimmed?
Toenails grow about 2 mm each month. They should be kept between 1 mm and 2 mm to ensure they do not dig into the shin and cause an ingrown nail. This growth rate will require the toenails of an elderly person to be trimmed about every six weeks. Any longer than that and the toenails may cause harm to the individual.
Treatment for Thick Toenails in Elderly
In addition to trimming thick toenails, there are several other treatments that can help to manage seniors thickened nails:
- Topical Antifungal Medications: If the thickened toenails are caused by a fungal infection, topical antifungal medications can help to treat the infection and prevent the nails from becoming thicker.
- Oral Antifungal Medications: For more severe fungal infections, oral antifungal medications may be necessary to treat the infection.
- Nail Removal: In severe cases, the toenail may need to be removed to treat the underlying condition and prevent further damage.
- Proper Foot Hygiene: Maintaining proper foot hygiene, such as keeping the feet clean and dry, can help to prevent infections and other foot problems that can cause toenails to become thick.
Foot Care for a Diabetic
People that have diabetes have a higher risk of developing an infection due to their higher blood sugar levels. They also may have a loss of feeling in their feet. It will be important to check the feet of an elderly person to ensure they do not have any cuts or ingrown nails. They may be unaware of any cuts or injuries which can lead to complications in the future.
Extra care must also be taken when trimming their nails to ensure that their skin is not cut which can lead to an infection. If they do develop a cut or other issues, ensure it is treated properly and seek medical attention if their condition worsens.
Softening The Toenails of Elderly
One of the main causes of thick toenails in elderly is ageing, they become thicker and hardened making them difficult to trim.
If an elderly person’s toenails have become thicker or hardened, they may require softening before you are able to trim them. Hardened toenails are difficult to cut straight and could lead to issues when they are being cut. If you do not soften them it could lead to ingrown toenails, injuries when cutting them, and sharp edges on the cut nails.
Soaking the toenails for at least 20 minutes in Epsom salt, or cutting their nails after a bath or shower will
help soften their toenails. Once the nails have softened up they should be much easier to cut.
Nail Clippers for Seniors
If you find that soaking their toenails isn’t enough, you may need to explore the best nail clippers that are aimed at the elderly, read our Swissklip 360 nail clipper reviews or this Germanikure Nail Clipper reviews. Nail clippers for seniors are designed to be easily operated and cut through thicker nails with ease. They can also be used by someone with limited strength or mobility and allow your elderly loved ones the opportunity to continue to cut their nails themselves.
Below we will look at some of the nail clippers available to seniors to help them trim their toenails.
Long Reach Nail Clipper
Long-reach nail clippers can be helpful when an elderly person is attempting to trim their own toenails, unlike the fingernail clippers. They resemble a shape closer to scissors with longer handles rather than a traditional nail clipper. They help someone with limited mobility or arthritis the ability to trim their toenails without needing a lot of strength.
Rotary Nail Clippers
Rotary nail clippers have a close resemblance to traditional nail clippers. They have an oversized handle that can be operated easily and have a traditional nail trimming cutting head. These are the best option for someone that would prefer a regular nail clipper over the other scissor-type designs.
Heavy-Duty Toenail Clippers
For thicker and harder nails, a heavy-duty nail clipper will be able to fit over and cut these types of nails. They do not feature oversized handles and could be used by someone with arthritis or some other mobility issue.
Mycotic Toenail Clippers
This may not be the best candidate for an elderly person to use, but it would be useful if you need to cut their nails for them. These well-made doctors-grade clippers are able to cut through thick and hard toenails with ease. They feature a double action and allow you to easily and quickly cut through almost any type of toenail quickly.
If your elderly loved ones can not cut their own toenails and you are concerned about doing a good job you can always seek out a professional to cut their nails. You may be able to find a salon that offers pedicures near you that will be able to handle the task.
You can also contact a podiatrist that will be able to trim your loved ones’ toenails and ensure there are no areas of concern with your loved one’s feet. This option will be especially helpful if your loved one has had any issues with their feet in the past such as diabetes or other injuries.
Trimming and caring for an elderly person’s toenails is a necessary task that should not be overlooked. If they have any health concerns, such as diabetes, ingrown toenails, or other issues while trimming their toenails can lead to bigger medical problems later.
When trimming the toenails of an elderly person, you may need to soak their nails first if they are thick or hardened. Nail cutters designed to cut elderly people’s toenails will also help to keep their toenails at the proper length without injury.