5 Tips to Help Prevent Infection
Posted October 24, 2017

Retirement communities in the Gurnee area have five tips to help prevent infection that work. These include proper hand hygiene, good oral habits, and immunizations.
People get sick; but when an older person catches a cold or gets infected with the flu, it can cause some life-threatening consequences. Preventing infection and the transmission of germs are key priorities among those that work with older populations, as many may have compromised immune systems that could make them especially susceptible to diseases, illnesses, and viruses. Senior Living Experts can help you find practitioners to offer preventative strategies for avoiding illness, and for preserving health and well-being for seniors.

Retirement communities in the Gurnee area have 5 tips to help prevent infection:

Preventing infection is a group effort, especially in communal living situations. Do what the hospitals, nursing homes, and healthcare facilities do to prevent the spread of contagions, germs, and infection- especially during times of healthcare crisis, such as during flu outbreaks.

1. Keep ‘em clean

Wash hands frequently and insist that providers and caregivers do the same; better yet, make sure they wear gloves. Make sure to follow techniques for hand-washing to ensure the prevention of germs and transmission of infectious diseases:

    • Lather your hands with a good amount of antibacterial soap.
    • Scrub vigorously for at least 20-seconds.
    • Rinse with fresh, running water until water runs clear.
    • Dry thoroughly, but use paper towels which are likely to have fewer germs than a hand-towel hanging in your kitchen or bathroom.

2. Brush and floss

Good oral care and hygiene is directly linked to the prevention of illnesses and infection. Plaque on the teeth can break-free and travel through the bloodstream, blocking arteries leading to your major organs. The result may be a heart attack, stroke, or dangerous blood-clot. There is a common misconception that seniors who wear dentures are excluded from the risks of poor oral and dental hygiene, which is simply untrue. Wash, brush, and soak dentures to prevent bacteria, rinse your mouth thoroughly after meals, and brush the inside of your mouth daily.

3. Get immunized

Immunizations are key in avoiding infectious illnesses and diseases, like an outbreak of influenza. Retirement communities frequently sponsor clinics and events that offer free or discounted immunizations and vaccines for seniors, which can make these healthcare options accessible and convenient. Regular visits to your doctor will pinpoint immunizations needed to prevent disease, while also sharing with you the risks or potential side-effects.

4. Do it like Dracula

Sniffling, sneezing, and coughing is inevitable; the problem comes from the transmission of germs from the hands of those that are ill to objects, fixtures, and people around them. Learn the ‘vampire-cough’ technique to avoid spreading germs through the air.
Cough and sneeze like Dracula:

  • Bend your arm at the elbow, across your mouth.
  • Cough or sneeze in the crook of your elbow to prevent germs from getting on your hands.
  • Make time to use a tissue, wash, and sanitize afterward.

5. Keep it contained

Retirement communities suggest avoiding contact with others who are struggling with illness or not feeling well. Furthermore, if you don’t feel well, stay at home and try to contain your germs until it passes. Contact your physician for recommendations and treatment. Retirement communities are screening staff for symptoms daily, which is key, as well as informing visitors of potential infection risk. Keeping infection contained until treated may be the best approach in communal living situations.
Also, staff or caregivers that are not feeling well should not be permitted to work or provide services until they receive an endorsement from a medical provider on or off-site. These individuals are exposed to a variety of individuals, illnesses, and bacteria daily; when their immune systems are jeopardized by a virus or illness, they could be contagious to the clients in their care. Retirement communities and acute-care settings have specific protocols in place that do not tolerate sick staff coming into these healthcare environments.

Worried about an epidemic? Talk to your healthcare practitioner about what the current concerns and outbreaks are in your region

There are times and situations that can cause concern regarding an outbreak or epidemic of an infectious illness. Maintain regular check-ups with your doctor- and make sure those that provide care also get a clean bill of health before working closely with your loved one. An infectious disease or illness can provide life-altering consequences for seniors or others with compromised immunity systems.
Senior Living Experts is available online to help connect consumers with the providers, services, and practitioners needed to improve health and overall quality of life. Let their support professionals assist you in finding residential, assisted-living, or acute nursing care for your loved one, or work with them to find caregivers in your area. Use these tips to mimic the protocols of healthcare settings and prevent the transmission of germs and spread of infection to keep your senior safe and well.

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