There are many things you do as a family caregiver to protect your senior’s health and well-being. Preventative measures are some of the most important steps you can take to help your parent enjoy better health, and higher quality of life as they age in place. When thinking about all of the ways you can protect your parent’s health, one thing you may not immediately think about is their fingernails. While often considered a cosmetic issue, proper fingernail care can actually be a critical element of guarding your senior from potentially serious issues, such as infections and illness. Integrating some fun pampering into the care, such as hand massages and painting the nails, can further the benefits by giving your senior a mental and emotional boost.
Use these tips to include fingernail care as a part of protecting your senior’s health:
- Keep their nails short. Longer nails provide a place for dead skin, dirt, and other contaminants to gather, and bacteria to thrive. Avoid cutting them too short, however, as this can also lead to pain and infection. Keep them at or just above the fingertip.
- Keep them smooth. Elderly adult skin tends to be thin and fragile. Sharp edges on their nails can lead to them cutting, puncturing, or tearing their skin. This leaves it open and vulnerable to potential infections. Use a nail buffer to smooth out and round the edges of their nails to prevent such injuries.
- Keep them clean. Encourage your parent to make washing under their nails a part of washing their hands. Use a nail brush to scrub under their nails throughout the day to remove any debris or germs that might have accumulated. If your parent needs assistance bathing, consider having them scrape their nails across a bar of soap at the beginning of their bath. The soap will gradually rinse out during the bathing process, which can be gentler and less disruptive for those who are uncomfortable or fearful of bathing, such as those living with Alzheimer’s disease.
- Keep them healthy. Nail fungus is common, and it spreads quickly. If your aging parent has signs of fungus on their toenails, it can spread to their fingernails as well. Address any fungal infection quickly and effectively to prevent further issues.
Caring for your aging parent is not just about helping them deal with serious health issues, or managing daily needs they can’t handle on their own anymore, such as going to the grocery store. While these are important, there are many other things you can do if their family caregiver to help your parent maintain their highest quality of life as they age in place. Encouraging independence, empowering them to take care of themselves and handle their health in the ways that are right for them, and keeping them active are all important to protecting their well-being, and giving them the lifestyle they desire and deserve. Starting senior care for them can be a fantastic way to achieve this goal. A senior home care services provider can step in to fill care gaps, diversify their care, save your parents energy, and help them to be as independent as possible while also reducing your stress as a family caregiver.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Madison, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida