Community Blog

Using Hand Hygiene to Combat Germs When You're Away from Home

By Ketan Shah

May 5 is Hand Hygiene Day. In your role as a family caregiver you know how important it is for your aging parent to combat germs and take steps to avoid illness and infection that could threaten their health and well-being. The World Health Organization points out that the average person comes into contact with approximately 300 surfaces over the course of each half an hour throughout the day. During this time they encounter more than 800,000 germs. Combating these germs is vital for protecting your aging parent from the illnesses and infections that could have serious negative consequences for them. Encouraging them to wash their hands with soap regularly is a critical step in these efforts, but sometimes running water and soap are not available. When this happens, it is important that your parent is prepared to handle hand hygiene issues.

Use these tips to combat germs when out of the home:

• Bring surface wipes. Carry a small pack of surface sanitizing wipes with you when you go out of the home. You can then use these to clean off hard surfaces such as grocery store carts, door handles, public phones, or toilet handles.
• Use your debit card. Money picks up an incredible number of germs when circulating. Particularly during high risk seasons, cut down on the germs that you encounter by avoiding handling cash.
• Carry sanitizing gel. Alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel is the most effective means of removing germs when you do not have access to soap and water. Alcohol kills germs very quickly, but also promotes the regrowth of good germs. Pour a small amount into your palm and rub it all over your hands, including under the fingernails and around the wrists, ensuring that the entire hand surface is wet, and then rub until the gel is dry.

Starting senior care for your elderly loved one can be an exceptional way to help your aging parent achieve and maintain a higher quality of life as they age in place. A senior home care services provider can be with your senior on a customized schedule that is right for their needs. This means that they will have access to the care, support, assistance, and encouragement that is right for their individual needs when they need it, while still allowing you to remain at the forefront of their care. The highly personalized set of services this senior care provider can give to your loved one will be tailored not just to their challenges and limitations, but also to their personality, beliefs, preferences, and goals. This enables them to live the lifestyle that their desire and deserve and stay safe, healthy, comfortable, and healthy, while also encouraging them to maintain as much independence, activity, and fulfillment as possible. A senior care provider can be extremely helpful in encouraging your loved one to maintain good hand hygiene to protect their health and well-being as they age in place. This can include helping your senior to understand the importance of keeping their hands clean, offering valuable reminders for them to wash before and after key tasks throughout the day, and utilizing alternative techniques to keep their hands clean and their body protected from germs, illness, and infection.


If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Los Altos, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.