Older client manicure problems, help!

#1
I was called to do a manicure yesterday for an elderly client in her 80s. It was my first visit to her and was booked for a standard mani with regular opi polish. Her care company arranged it for her. The problem was that under her nails was a brown substance and alarm bells was ring as to what this was! I did the manicure and carried out the appropriate sanitary procedures before hand. It didn't smell but obviously turned my stomach. After I had finished I talked to the carer that was now downstairs and I asked her privately about the brown substance and she explained it was infact human waste (poo). I know doing a manicure on an older client comes with the obvious hazards but this was extreme! Obviously I have thrown away files and sterilised everything that was used. Problem is... She wants to book me regularly.... Advice would be welcome..
 

RosieR

Active Member
#2
Oh dear, how horrid for you!
Some elderly clients have bad eyesight and no sense of smell . Often it's us that really has to clean their nails for them.
It can't get any worse than what you dealt with so if you went again you would be prepared. It may have been a one off .
However if there's to be a next time - I would wash their hands with a decent nailbrush, hot water and penty of dettol soap at their sink before proceeding. ( yes wash them for them so you know it's done properly - say it's all part of the pampering!!! )

I had a client that worked for the milk marketing board and had very cow poo smelling hands. So that's what I did, thorough scrub at the sink and only then did she sit down at my nice clean station for her manicure.

If you don't want to do the job, you could tell the care team and I'm sure they would find a replacement or do her nails themselves.
Thee real difficulty is if you have been doing this client for years, and suddenly things go bad , that's when I have found it very hard to decide if I want to do that job again.
You have my sympathy and you must do what you feel is right and pray it's a one off.!
Good luck
 

#3
Thank you. I was thinking that actually.. To give her hands a good scrub first with a nail brush. I might go back and see what they are like next time now that I'm prepared.... Oh the joys!
 

ciderella71

Well-Known Member
#4
I’m wondering if the carer knew that’s what was under her nails couldn’t she have washed her hands or pre warned you?
 

Traveller75

Active Member
#5
I’m wondering if the carer knew that’s what was under her nails couldn’t she have washed her hands or pre warned you?
Exactly what I was thinking! Why aren't they checking and keeping this lady clean?
 

#6
I’m an ex nurse and I can tell you that it is the carers responsibility to clean under her nails on a daily basis. That’s awful that she should be in that state before your visit.
However, legally, carers cannot cut nails (or hair or toe nails) so asking the carers to do her manicure, as suggested above, is sadly not an option.
 

#7
I was thinking of calling the care home and explaining the situation to them. I know they can't cut nails but as you said they should be cleaning hands and under nails.
 

#8
I was thinking of calling the care home and explaining the situation to them. I know they can't cut nails but as you said they should be cleaning hands and under nails.
I think that’s a good idea. Try to speak to whoever is in charge as they are responsible for ensuring the care plans are enforced and obviously your clients general hygiene will form part of her care plan.
Good luck! x
 

ciderella71

Well-Known Member
#9
Regardless of her manicure this is sad and a concern that this lady is in this condition and carers know.
Are they allowing her to eat knowing this?!
 

RosieR

Active Member
#10
Hi Bohemianivy, I must have misread you OP and assumed your client was in her own home like 2 of mine ! Also that she has 2 or 3 visits per day from the care team. I can arrive at the clients house and the carer of that visit is just leaving or about to arrive when I am there. Sometimes we exchange a few words, sometimes not.
Silly me , being in a care home is very diferent situation, and as Ciderella says eating with faecal matter is unthinkable. I hope you have made the home aware of the disgusting matter and it will not happen again, you may have ruffled their feathers so to speak.
In my aunties care home they do have various activities that include filing and vanishing nails as a weekly afternoon activity. So some homes do and some don't. I know carers cannot cut nails, but filing with a personally labelled file in her room is ok at her home.
The home always gladly accepts my unwanted nail polishes from me and I am glad they are put to good use.
Hope you go on alright
RosieR
 
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