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Do I need to take her to a podiatrist or a nail salon and see if they can help?

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My mother had thick, Thick, THICK nails, four times the thickness of regular nails. No exaggeration. I didn’t cut her nails, I ground them down. There was no chance of over cutting the nails. The grinder I used is actually made for pet nails, but her nails were so thick that regular clippers wouldn’t do. I bought the grinder from Amazon. Here’s the link.

https://www.amazon.com/Bonve-Pet-Upgraded-Trimmers-Rechargeable/dp/B09KBQKQMQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_1_sspa?crid=1GUF0UJMTDF1X&keywords=pet+nail+grinder+for+dogs&qid=1669655931&sprefix=pet+nail%2Caps%2C279&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExM1dGUklUVVdOM0w0JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwODEzMDcyMUVDVTlYRURJWTVDVSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwNjMyMDI5MTVTTUw2WklPTkxFOSZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX3Bob25lX3NlYXJjaF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
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Reply to polarbear
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At her age only a podiatrist should be attending to her feet. Some podiatrists will do house calls. You don't want to be cutting her nails because many elderly do not heal from any kind of skin break, eg: accidentally nicking her skin. If she is diabetic it's even more important not to cut her nails; diabetics have special issues with circulation and healing. As a nurse we were taught to never, ever trim toe nails but to get a referral to the podiatrist. Don't use a nail salon either, too many chances of her getting a fungus or other infection, have her see a professional only.
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Reply to Breezy23
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Yes - get professional help from a podiatrist. Medicare will pay. I found a podiatrist that will make a house call for a $100.00 trip charge. As far as I’m concerned it is worth the money. Medicare still pays for the trim.
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Reply to jemfleming
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First visit for clean-up and check-up should be with a podiatrist. But then after that, if she doesn't have issues (like diabetes), and she can get up and into the salon chair then take her for pedicures. My 103-yr old Aunt looks forward to her appointments! We've been taking her for years.

If you're going to attempt to clip them yourself, make sure you soak her feet for a long time first. Ingrown nails in the elderly is a problem and very painful, so if you see this, maybe don't DIY.
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Reply to Geaton777
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If you are going to go at it yourself then the type of clippers Gladimhere linked are the way to go, they should be available at your local drug store. I wouldn't try to get it done all in one go, give the feet a good soak and exfoliate and tackle the nails gradually, a millimetre at a time.
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Reply to cwillie
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This is a very good toenail clipper! Used with mom*s husband.

https://www.amazon.com/Podiatrist-Clippers-Professional-Pedicure-Grooming/dp/B07V72Z77W?ref=silk_at_search

You need to be very careful with these, they are very sharp and easy to use and nip the person you are cutting. I did that once in four years. Is she on blood thinners? Cumadin? Nipping around The toenail area could bleed alot.


The safest route is the podiatrist.
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Reply to gladimhere
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Not against the idea of a podiatrist. But I need to get into a podiatrist for something completely different than nails, and the wait is 6 weeks. Yep, right here in the good ol USA.
All the warnings are good, hardm1970. That said, if mil needs her nails clipped sooner for some reason, it's not that big of a deal to do yourself.
A soak first does help, then use cuticle nippers, NOT nail clippers which will never work, and start cutting the side of the nail and nipping away at it so to speak. It'll come off. The thick stuff under the nail is dead so as long as you're not too close to the nail bed, she won't feel a thing, I promise. Ask her to say something immediately if she does though because that would indicate you're too close. If they're curvy though, then mil's toenails probably got a little too long, so in that case there's a lot you can get off before getting too close to the nail bed. Gloves are DEFINITELY mandatory I'd say. Maybe prepare a rag partially soaked in alcohol nearby to wipe the nippers off here and there.
When you do it with a cuticle nipper, nothing flies around like with nail clippers so you don't need the eye protection you'd need with clippers. A big file will be in order afterwards to even it up, and your mil will be so happy! :)
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Reply to Bandy7
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The one appointment my mom truly looks forward to is the podiatrist. I would try that first since Medicare covers it and they can inspect feet and pick up on any problems that should be further explored as well.
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Reply to Lymie61
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Podiatrist? Yes.

Did your MIL ask for your help with her feet? Or did you see she was in need & decided to offer?

Just wondering about the larger picture.. when some can't manage their own feet it can be due to so many reasons - mobility being #1.

I've been 'hinted at' to provide many services (for free) for a LO - mobility issues seem to mean they can't reach their wallet to pay 😜
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Reply to Beatty
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Bandy7 Nov 24, 2022
Lol Beatty. Maybe some p.t. is in order to increase reach to the wallet. :-)
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Podiatrist, no doubt. Those thick, gnarly nails require special clippers and foot soak prior to cutting. One also needs to mask and glove due to fungal contamination.

I do my mom's toenails at the MC unit only because she won't allow anyone else to do them and her bath is only once per week (yeah, for care costs just under 10k/month). As a retired RN, I know the limits, having done diabetic footcares over the decades. She has bad hammer toes on one foot that earlier surgery failed to correct and those nails, the ones that remain, are tough to cut and require some massage and gentle stretching of her toes to even get to them. Not a job for a layperson.

Your MIL would likely enjoy a mani-pedi more, but needs the specialized skills and tools of a Podiatrist. Just try to make the day special with a lunch or other special stop.
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Reply to Luta65
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Some pedicure people will come to the house. Ask around.
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Reply to Fawnby
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Midkid brought something to mind. I went to the Podiatrist with Mom. He soaked her feet before he cut her nails.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Midkid58 Nov 24, 2022
Absolutely soak first. The thicker nails will need to be softened--I mean, I get regular pedicures and they ALWAYS soak my feet first.

You can do a LOT of damage cutting those dry 'hooves'. And get new nail scissors frequently. I realized that most of our nail clippers are now 'ripping' the nail instead of cutting it sharp and clean.

Funny story--Dh is really obsessed with having short fingernails. I had a normal number of nail clippers around the house--maybe 10 pair? IDK. But he was just ranting one Saturday morning b/c he once again, couldn't find any nail clippers. The kids and I all got together and bought 100 pairs. Yup. 100. And 10 of those were 'gold' and easily seen. It was probably his favorite Christmas present ever.
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Podiatrist! Esp if she has any neuropathy in her feet. She can get cut and not even feel it.

My Dh was walking around with a carpet staple in his foot, bleeding fairly profusely and he didn't feel it. Only b/c it snagged on his sock did he notice it.

I wait until after he's had a long soak in the tub and I massage his feet and cut those nails. He can't see them well enough and often leaves a 'shard' and guess who has the scratched shins to prove it?
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Reply to Midkid58
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Luta65 Nov 23, 2022
Midkid,

Good to 'see' you on the forum and hope all is going well for you and yours.

Scratched shins, oh on! Can DH wear socks to bed or can you place a thin body pillow along the bed between you? Ouch.

Take care and *Hugs*
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Maybe consider a podiatrist. Sounds like you are dealing with the same thing as me. My clippers are no match for my mom's thick, curved, long toenails. I didn't want to risk a foot infection by trying to cut those things. Mom's under hospice care at my home and they sent a podiatrist to my house to trim her nails, using what looks like a dremel tool! They said they could come out every ten weeks paid for by medicare. I hope you find something that works for you.
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Reply to Natasana
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Podiatrist. You don't want to risk infections.
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Reply to MJ1929
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Medicare pays for every 10 weeks for toenail cutting. They do get thicker as we age. I am having problems with my husbands.

Margaret in this forum recommends electronic side-cutters for toenail cutting. She says they work great. These are brand new ones u use.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Medicare benefits pay for some in-home podiatrist services. Check her benefits.
She may be available for routine podiatry services at home.
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Reply to AnnReid
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I would make an appointment with a podiatrist. They have the tools for those unwieldy nails! If you MIL would like a treat, then once those babies are hedged, then maybe a pedicure.
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Reply to Tynagh
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