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Hand washing Awareness Week It’s National Handwashing Awareness Week and the perfect time to talk about the power of proper handwashing to prevent the spread of infection and disease. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “handwashing is like a ‘do-it-yourself’ vaccine and is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the spread of germs to others.” The CDC says that handwashing is a powerful tool in promoting wellness:
  • Reduces the number of people who get sick with diarrhea by 31%
  • Reduces diarrheal illness in people with weakened immune systems by 58%
  • Reduces respiratory illnesses, like colds, in the general population by 16-21%
Thankfully, hand washing is simple and using soap and water is still the best way to clean your hands. Doing so properly is as simple as five easy steps; wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry.
  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, your thumb, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds- the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will work. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do NOT eliminate all types of germs. As a caregiver, washing your hands should be the first thing you do upon entering the house, before preparing and eating a meal, and before touching the senior in your care. You should also educate and remind your loved one about the importance of handwashing, especially in these situations:
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
Home Care Assistance caregivers are trained in proper hand hygiene and other high standards of care. Our proprietary Home Care Assistance University provides continuous education for our caregivers on subjects ranging from chronic health conditions to safe transferring. We can help to educate your senior on proper hand hygiene and help them to remain as well as possible. When it comes to caring for seniors, Home Care Assistance provides the best, most reliable and compassionate caregivers in the industry, trained to enhance and ensure our client’s safety, health and wellness.
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