Thursday, April 2, 2015

Nail Care for Seniors

     Two-thirds of seniors need help with basic activities.  Nail care can become an urgent medical need rather than a luxury.  The needs, issues, & concerns of appropriate nail care are very different for seniors than for younger clients.

     Elderly clients often need their nails trimmed for them.  Elderly people usually can’t reach their feet and they need pedicures from safe, good quality foot care professionals.  Many podiatrists no offer full pedicures.  The elderly need treatment for nail fungus, ingrown toenails and calluses.  Overly vigorous pedicure services can cause serious problems.  The elderly should have gentle pedicure services that are unhurried.

     Foot problems are more common in the elderly than in the general population.  The feet and toenails of elderly clients should be examined frequently for signs of nail fungus, ingrown toenails, corns, calluses; swelling, or varicose veins.

     Elderly clients have to be very careful because of Neuropathy – decreased nerve feeling, and Peripheral Vascular Disease – decreased blood flow.  The body changes as it ages, and the skin and nails are not immune to the problems associated with age.  Poor circulation can be improved through the use of gentle exfoliation salt and sugar scrub products, and by the use of gentle, light touch foot massage.  Tea tree and eucalyptus oil are good pedicure products used to treat poor circulation and dry skin.

     Foot massage feels good on anyone, but with the added benefit of helping the body’s circulation, it is especially beneficial for older clients.  Foot massage improves local circulation and feels wonderful.  Nothing beats the power of touch.  The elderly need foot massage with a gentle touch and slow movements.

      Arthritis flare-ups can be very painful for older clients.  Salon services that utilize heat will help elderly clients that suffer from arthritis pain.  Clients’ hands and feet can be treated with moisturizing paraffin, and then wrapped in warm towels, mitts, or booties.  A warm paraffin treatment helps to moisturize dry skin, open the skin’s pores, detoxify the body, and ease arthritis pain.  The warm paraffin is gently removed with light massage.  Any swollen joints should be tenderly massaged.

       With consistent, professional toenail care, elderly feet can stay comfortable and pain free.  Toenails should be trimmed monthly to insure a safe foot comfort level.  Toenails become thicker with age, and the ridges in them become more pronounced.  Thickened toenails should be soaked in tepid, not hot, water that includes a moisturizing product to soften the nails and skin.  Toenails should be shortened, shaped, and gently filed to smooth them.

     Problems with the feet can be a sign of more serious medical conditions.  For serious problems, see a Podiatrist immediately.  Many times, regular, high quality, professional nail care can help to alleviate many of those conditions.

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