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

Find Care & Housing
Podiatrist. You don't want to risk infections.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to MJ1929

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 😜
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Beatty
Bandy7 Nov 24, 2022
Lol Beatty. Maybe some p.t. is in order to increase reach to the wallet. :-)
When toenails are long, thick & curving, normally fungus is the cause. And fungus is very difficult to get rid of once it gets into the nailbed.

That fact aside, I would never allow anyone besides the podiatrist to touch my mother's toenails, ever. She was on blood thinners and had neuropathy in her feet and legs, so any slip of a sharp instrument could have and would have meant BIG trouble for her. Any tiny nick or blister she'd get required home health to be sent in for wound care, and took FOREVER to clear up. And she wasn't even diabetic. Just very old with poor circulation in her extremities.

Medicare pays for a podiatrist to cut your MILs nails (toe and finger) every couple of months (not sure the exact time frame), so that's the route I'd go if it were my MIL. I'd avoid the nail salon for the reasons I mentioned above. Especially with fungal type nails, which are very difficult to cut. Better safe than sorry, right? :)

Good luck!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to lealonnie1

I would definitely soak her feet for at LEAST an hour before the podiatrist appt. The thing about a podiatrist is they only have so many soaker tubs and time so they don't soak the toenails or calluses long enough before starting their trimming. Then they have like 10 minutes to do all their work.

My mother would come home from the podiatrist's office with her feet all bleeding and bandaged up. She couldn't put sneakers on for days. I'm shocked she didn't get infections.

It's not true that toenails thicken with age. My beloved MIL (God bless her) always told us to take care of your feet and teeth. When she died at age 90, she had all her own teeth and her feet looked like a 25-year olds! I'm not kidding. People just don't brush their teeth enough or take care of their feet. I'm just a Mom and caregiver and I've taken a pedicure course for caregivers. I'm 63 (as is my husband) and I give him and my daughters pedicures so they can properly take care of their feet.

There is a YouTube channel by the Meticulous Manicurist that has videos of elderly (and not so elderly) clients that she has totally transformed over the course of a year. Thick, curled, fungus toenails transformed. It takes a lot of work but it can be done. Here's her channel:
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to help2day

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! :)
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Bandy7
polarbear Nov 28, 2022
Agree, cuticle nippers are better. There are heavy duty nippers that can handle thick nails like those of my mom. When she used to go to nail salons, that was what they used to trim her nails after soaking.
See 2 more replies
My husband was bedridden and his toenails were a mess. I asked at the local nail parlor where I have my toenails cut and they could not (or would not) travel locally to our home. I found a woman who does nothing else; and she came to our home and cut his toenails, washed his feet and generally treated him like a king. It cost $95 and was worth every penny.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Marylu
southiebella Nov 29, 2022
I need someone like that. My mother's toenails are a disaster.
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.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Natasana
Tothill Nov 28, 2022
I worked for podiatrists for 11+ years.

Yes a dremel is one of the tools they use.
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.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Lymie61

This is a very good toenail clipper! Used with mom*s husband.

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.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to gladimhere

Nail salon probably won't be able to handle them. Try the podiatrist to deal with the nails initially and ask for advice on trimming them in the future.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to Taarna

See All Answers
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter