Protecting the elderly residents in your care home

As we get further into the winter months and England are introduced to another lockdown, it’s increasingly imperative to protect others as much as possible. This is especially true for the older generations who are more at risk of contracting illness, which is why they get free Flu vaccines every winter! However, with COVID-19 lacking a vaccine and older people being at a much higher risk of dying once they catch it, it is important to ensure we are protecting the elderly.

Care homes were some of the hardest places hit during the first wave of COVID-19, so, with cases quickly rising again, are you ensuring the elderly people in your care are as safe as possible?

Here are 5 steps you can take to ensure you are taking every measure in protecting the elderly people in your care:

protecting care homes

1. Wash your hands

Washing your hands has been one of the most prominent messages throughout the Pandemic. This is because we touch most surfaces with our hands and then also touch our faces, therefore we are most at risk of contracting an infection in this way. If you think about it, it’s a wonder we don’t think about washing our hands more often in normal life! Wash your hands before you go to the care home, during, and after. The government recommend washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, regularly.

protecting the elderly

2. Wear a face mask & keep your distance

Wearing a mask is another of the government’s primary messages that has been prevalent throughout the emergence of COVID-19. By wearing a face mask, you can reduce the risk of transmission by up to 95%, making it a very worthwhile practice. Wear a face mask and try to keep your distance from residents in the care home as much as possible. The risk of infection is much lower if you are wearing a face mask and keep at least 2 metres apart. Therefore, this is an important measure to take to ensure protection of the elderly.

professional care home cleaning

3. Regular professional cleaning

Hiring a professional cleaning service will ensure your care home is the safest it can be, eradicating the virus on any surface. Getting a professional cleaning company to do the work for you means that you can rest-assured that the work will be done and your care home will be clean. Having regularly scheduled cleans every evening will ensure that your care home is clean of all bacteria for the next day. We would recommend booking a professional clean every day, ensuring that all bacteria is extinguished before the next day. This helps towards keeping the risk of infection down, as any bacteria left on surfaces from an infected individual would be quickly eradicated, helping towards protecting the elderly.

cleaning care homes

4. Regular sanitisation throughout the day

Whilst having your premises professionally cleaned daily is a huge step in the right direction, in order to protect your care home properly, you need to maintain this throughout the day. Cleaning surfaces with antibacterial spray or wipes regularly, especially in areas that are used more, will reduce the risk of infection and spread significantly, protecting the elderly people in your care.

Something important to consider when doing your own cleaning throughout the day is dwell time. Dwell time describes the amount of time you leave antibacterial spray on a surface for before you wipe it off to make it as effective as possible. It is advised that you should leave spray on a surface for 30-60 seconds before wiping off to ensure coronavirus is killed.

caring for the elderly

5. Have engaging conversations

One of the greatest things you can do for an older person, is to ask about their life and listen to what they have to say.  Loneliness, regardless of whether they are in a care home or not, is something senior citizens are especially vulnerable to. Being and feeling lonely, especially in older generations, has been proven to result in a serious decline in mental and even physical health. Therefore, connecting with the elderly people in your care is increasingly important, especially if they are unable to enjoy visits from family members due to COVID-19. This is an often overlooked measure to ensure the wellbeing and overall protection of the elderly.

These are uncertain and often frightening times, but by working together and supporting each other, we can come out of the other side of the Pandemic even stronger. By following these 5 steps you can ensure you are taking every measure to protect the elderly people in your care, reducing the fear and risk of infection hugely.

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