During the coronavirus pandemic, hand washing has been urged as the best way to stop the spread of the virus. Your parents may be washing hands often. One thing that isn’t getting as much attention is the CDC’s message that hand washing is a big part of hygiene, but you should also trim your fingernails.
It’s easier for germs and bacteria to get trapped under the nails. If your mom or dad have nails that extend past the tip of the finger, the nails need to be trimmed. Even with a nail brush, washing hands may not be done correctly if the nails are too long.
Sterilize Manicure Equipment Before Using It
Before your parents trim their nails, they should sterilize nail clippers, scissors, or files before using them. Do this by using a disinfecting wipe or by dipping them in rubbing alcohol. Dry with a paper towel.
How to Properly Trim the Nails
Your parents should trim their nails after a bath or shower. The nails are softer at this point, so they’ll be easier to cut. They should cut the nails straight across so that the nails are just before the end of the fingertip.
If your mom and dad cannot cut their nails, follow those steps but wash your hands first. After you’ve trimmed the nails, use an emery board or nail file to smooth any rough edges. Do not trim cuticles as they help prevent infection.
Moisturize When You’re Done
Once the nails are trimmed, apply a moisturizer. Older skin can be thin and dry easily. Moisturizer helps prevent dry, cracked hands. Frequent hand washing may be drying their hands out more than normal, so the moisturizer is essential.
Make Sure Your Parents Wash Their Hands Properly
You should also make sure that your parents are washing their hands properly. They should be using soap and working up a good lather for 20 seconds. The basic steps are to wet hands, apply soap, and work up a lather. They want suds getting up to the wrist, between the fingers, and under the nails.
A nail brush can help your parents scrub under their nails to remove any dirt and bacteria. After 20 seconds, which is two rounds of the Birthday Song, they want to rinse away all of the suds and let their hands air dry.
If you’re concerned that your parents are neglecting nail care or taking shortcuts when washing their hands, you need to talk to them. It’s the best way to stop the spread of coronavirus. If you live too far away to make sure they’re doing it correctly or if you are self-quarantined and cannot go help them, senior care services are the best solution.
Caregivers spend time with your parents when you cannot. They’ll have help with housework, grooming, and nail care. They also have companionship during the pandemic, which can help ease anxiety and loneliness. Call a senior care agency to discuss having caregivers help your parents until you’re able to.