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Whenever we go to visit my grandpa at the nursing home, we usually help him out on the small things like putting lotion on his dry skin or trimming slightly overgrown finger nails or just trimming his hair (aunt was a hairdresser). This time however, he asked us to trim his toenails. When we removed his socks, we found extremely dry skin that was flaking off with yellow scabs around his toes. The toenails had grown well over an inch of where they should have been trimmed back. They had started to bend with the curve of his toes and they were yellow with brown stripes. I'm assuming it was some kind of fungus. I couldn't believe that they had allowed it to get so bad. Especially when they see his foot every day when they are helping him to shower and dress. What can I do in the future to make sure this never happens? It is simply not acceptable.

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In NJ and DE a podiatrist is the only one who can do toenails. Staff is not allowed to but they should have brought the problem to the DON so she could have the Dr. come to the home. My Moms Dr. went to the NH. Medicare allows a Dr. Visit every 10 weeks. Figure nails can be done by staff.
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Might try a tepid foot soak with a bit of apple cider vinegar before trimming
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Where can I learn about medicare paid for podiatry? I take care of grandma's nails, including the toes but her big toes are armor plated monsters that seem to be growing up and not out. They just getting thicker and ticker. They are easily a quarter inch, 5-6mm, thick. I've tried using a wire cutter and I can barely scrap some of the nail off. A file seems to have no effect.
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If he is diabetic he can qualify for regular podiatrist visits, my dad gets one every 2 months to check his feet and to cut those big, thick yellow toe nails. He will never say a word so I just tell AL it's time for toes and they schedule. Good luck, also ask lots of questions about what you should expect as normal care and what needs to be requested. I have found that it is a don't ask don't tell kind of environment.
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So sorry that this is worrying you-it is a major problem for many people in both skilled care facilities and in the hospital. Most places in my experience, have a policy against doing toenail care. The feet frequently have poor circulation and therefore are prone to infection. So any little knick or cut, or using improperly sanitized equipment can cause infection.
As was mentioned by BarbBrooklyn, a podiatrist should be on staff. Having said that, unless this is a 5-star facility, I would plan to do it myself. But it is something to rattle the cages of the administration about. An email to the Director of Nursing or other administrator asking when your grandpa can have a visit by the podiatrist might be in order. And also, ask for someone to put lotion on his feet regularly in order to avoid the dry cracked skin that can also make him vulnerable to infection.
Best of luck to you
Margaret
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Yes, make sure he is on the podiatrist list. Very important
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Most nursing homes ( I'm in the US) have Medicare-paid podiatrist who visit every so often. Grandpa needs to have this service requested.

With my mom, often services were offered to her, as she was deemed competent. She would refuse them, saying " my daughter will take care of that". It took several months before we got this all settled.

No, i was so NOT going to shave her underarms or cut her toenails! I came to visit, not to work!
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I agree it is not acceptable When mother first came to her NH we went over the services offered, which included regular nail care. We were asked if she needed specialized nail care for those with very thick, hard nails, which costs extra. I said no , but if it becomes a problem let me know, and I will authorize it. Please talk to the staff about this problem and see what services they have for nail care. If they do not offer any, you may have to hire someone to come in, at least to begin with, to cope with this overgrowth, and the infection, and then do it yourself afterwards,  or continue the service . Good luck.
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Talk to the RN or if you need to the DON about foot care, it is the only way you can know what you should be doing about this. I know that toenails are not maintained by the staff in my mom's nursing home, those services must be paid for and they are taken care of by an outside provider. (Although even if that is the case there is no excuse for not mentioning something to the family before his feet got in such bad shape)
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