Community Blog

Hand-Washing and Influenza in Seniors & Caregivers

By Debbie Humphrey

‘Tis the season of cooler temps, lowered immune systems, nasty colds, debilitating flu bugs, and preventative flu vaccines. Now is the best time I can address these issues, because, not only are we observing National Hand-Washing Awareness Week, as well as National Influenza Vaccination Week,  but because protecting seniors, caregivers, and the general public is of the utmost importance this time of year.

Home Helpers ClearwaterHand-washing and flu vaccinations go hand-in-hand (pun intended), to protect from influenza in seniors and caregivers. We should all recognize and practice healthy hand-washing skills to prevent the spread of unwanted germs to our family members, friends and public; and in the case of healthcare workers and caregivers, to our patients.

Moreover, it is equally as important –if not more so – that everyone take time to wash their hands regularly throughout each day, not just after restroom breaks.

All it takes is one nasty transfer of unwanted germs to wreak havoc in a person’s life. I know. I have grown children now, and amazing caregivers who have experienced the spread of colds and flu, even after being careful and taking preventative measures to avoid these demons. The influenza vaccine is one way to help seniors prevent contracting the flu, but simple, thorough hand-washing also helps.

Everyone should wash their hands after using the restroom, obviously, but also after handling food; coughing; sneezing; before and after dressing wounds; changing soiled clothing or linens; handling garbage; touching your own or someone else’s hair or face; and after using and removing disposable gloves. I suggest you make a common practice of using the sanitary wipes provided by Publix, Winn Dixie, Walmart and many of your favorite stores, to sanitize shopping cart handles that are used by so many different people each and every day.

Please call me at Home Helpers, and we can advise about safe hand-washing practices, and the nearest locations for seniors to get a flu vaccine. My team of compassionate caregivers is happy to transport seniors to get vaccinations, and they are always willing to help the elderly in any way they can to keep them safe and healthy year-round!

We proudly serve seniors during the holidays in Clearwater, Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Tarpon Springs, New Port Richey, Trinity, Port Richey, Hudson and surrounding areas. Call today: 727.972.2539.