Nail care for the elderly

We always encourage our elderly service users to maintain their own personal hygiene and grooming as much as possible. One aspect of this is practising good nail care.

Nail care

As we age, our nails become more brittle and elderly individuals are more likely to experience cracking, breaking and chipping of their nails. We’ve put together some top tips for keeping your nails in top notch condition:

Stop biting!

The number one rule of nail care is not to bite your nails! It is extremely unhygienic and can actually be a sign of stress or anxiety.

It’s important to work out what is triggering your nail biting – do you do it when in a stressful situation, or when you’re worrying about an issue or upcoming date? You should try to find something to keep your hands occupied, this could be something like a stress ball or even a fidget spinner.

There are products available that can be painted on the nails that give off a nasty taste when bitten.

Practice good hygiene

Regular hand washing is key to good hygiene and good-looking nails. You can also squeeze a lemon into a bowl of water and soak your hands in it for a couple of minutes. This will help clean the nails of any stains and nail polish residue.

Keep hands and nails moisturised

Elderly people tend to have drier hands, so regularly using a good moisturiser or hand cream is a must.

Remember to work your everyday hand cream into your cuticles too. Rubbing coconut oil into your nails also gives them a helping hand, prompting growth and preventing ridges and flakiness.

Eat the right foods

Did you know your diet can have a huge effect on your nails too? Fragile nails can be caused by iron deficiencies, so it’s a great idea to incorporate some more iron into your diet. Foods including lentils, beans, asparagus, nuts, beetroot and egg yolks are fab foods for improving the health of your nails.