Routine nail trimmings for the elderly or immobile should be done at least every 1-2 weeks depending on how fast the nails grow. Keeping the fingernails trimmed will assist with eliminating the spread of infection and disease.
Finger nails can also be an indicator of what is happening internally in the body and if you are a senior care provider or health care worker, paying attention to the changes in your clients or loved ones fingernails can possibly help prevent any less than desirable conditions.
As a provider, there are some simple things that you can do to keep the fingernails clean.
1. Wash the hands with a warm towel saturated with soapy water.
2. Get a fingernail brush and gently brush underneath the nails to remove any hidden food or debris underneath the nail. Rinse the hands after cleaning with a warm wet towel.
3. Use a stainless steel fingernail clipper and clip the nail to a short sport length or length that's tolerable for the client or your loved one. For jagged, sharp edges on the fingernail, use a soft grit nail file and file the nails smooth. Make sure to never clip the nails to short where it almost touches the skin...you don't want to do that. Never cut the cuticles unless you are a trained Nail Tech or Podiatrist.
4. After you have clipped and cleansed the nails apply a cuticle oil or or moisturizing hand cream/lotion to keep the nails from becoming dehydrated which can lead to splitting and cracking.
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