How to Clean Under the Fingernails in the Elderly

File the fingernails straight across to keep them from becoming ingrown.

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Caring for the elderly means everything from sponge baths to cleaning the dirt from underneath their fingernails. This can be a scary process, because you want to make sure the person your are caring for is comfortable at all times. Watch for signs of irritation and be especially careful when dealing with an elderly person with diabetes, as a small infection can easily turn into something dangerous.

Related Searches:Difficulty:EasyInstructions Things You'll NeedHand soapWaterSmall bowlFlat nail brush or soft bristled toothbrushCotton ballsOrange stickSuggest Edits1

Wash your hands and the elderly person's hands throughly with soap and water.


Soak the person's hands in a bowl of warm water for five minutes to soften the cuticles and loosen any dirt underneath the nails.


Scrub the tops and underneath of the nails with a flat nail brush or soft bristled toothbrush. This will remove dead skin and also loosen dirt from under the nails.


Pull apart a cotton ball and wrap the end of an orange stick in the cotton.


Push the orange stick underneath the nail and gently remove any dirt. Replace the cotton when necessary.; Nail Care: Caregiving for the Elderly; Maria M. Meyer and Paula DerrLinda Rose; The Perfect Woman's Manicure; Linda RosePhoto Credit ImagesRead Next:

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