Everyone has germs. We as caregivers especially need to wash our hands properly and thoroughly to reduce the likelihood of spreading germs to our vulnerable seniors.
We are in the time of the year when families and friends gather – – actually, we are always in that time of year – – and with the colder weather people are closer. That means that even greater precaution is needed because it’s easier to keep from spreading things to more people for whom we care or picking them up our selves. So, yes, we need to wash our hands properly.
Washing Hands Properly
The Centers for Disease Control offer specific guidelines to help us practice good hand washing.
- Rinse your hands under warm running water and then apply soap.
- Lather the soap between your hands, scrubbing your fingers and the front and back of your hands; don’t forget under your nails.
- Wash with friction for at least 20 seconds. That is about as long as singing Happy Birthday to yourself.
- Rinse thoroughly under clean running water, dry your hands on a dry towel or allow them to air dry. Turn of the faucet handle with the towel.
When We Should be Washing Our Hands
In an effort to successfully face the cold and flu season and prevent the spread of germs, let’s talk about when to wash hands.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips:
- Wash your hands: Before you prepare food, during food preparation and after food preparation.
- Wash your hands: Before you eat.
- Wash your hands: Before and after you help a sick person or care for a wound or cut.
- Wash your hands: After you use the bathroom or change a diaper or help someone else in the bathroom.
- Wash your hands: After you cough, sneeze or blow your nose.
- Wash your hands: After you care for an animal or their waste including feeding them.
- Wash your hands: After you handle the trash.
If you and your senior remind each other of these special times and proper way to wash your hands, you may be able to prevent illness this season and throughout the year.
Oh, and did we say wash your hands??