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Sometimes the tips of elders fingers are numb. They use their nails to help them pick up things and so don't want them cut too short. Your elder may not want her nails cut because she's concerned you'll cut them too short. Reassure her. You might start with a soothing lotion massaged into her arms to help her relax.
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I bought a rechargeable-battery-operated device to do my grandmother's nails. It had interchangeable heads for filing, buffing, smoothing. I did her finger and toenails with it and it went relatively quickly. She was sensitive and would jump a little, so better to go quickly in her case. The device wasn't much, less than $20 if I recall, but it's still around and working, 4 years later.
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Does she fight you?
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