Visiting Angels Blog

The Importance of Good Hand Hygiene for Seniors in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties

Here’s how our home health aides help seniors in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Marina, CA maintain good hand hygiene and stay healthy

Seniors are more prone to colds and flu since the immune system weakens with age. If your loved one gets sick often, it is important to take preventative measures to lower the risk of common colds and flu – and the best, most effective measure they can take is to maintain proper hand hygiene.

A home health aide from Visiting Angels Central Coast can assist your loved one with personal care and hygiene tasks, from bathing to washing hands.

Colds Can be Dangerous for Seniors

Most people are unconcerned about the common cold, perceiving it as a mere nuisance. While this may be true for younger adults, seniors may develop complications as a result of the common cold. In older adults with chronic illnesses, the common cold can even cause pneumonia, a serious health threat for those 65+.

To prevent complications, older adults should focus on strengthening their immune system, which can be done in two ways: through nutrition and through physical activity. Seniors who have difficulties preparing meals and moving around their home should consider hiring a home health aide from Visiting Angels Central Coast who can assist with routine tasks and help them lead a healthier life.

In addition to eating a healthy diet and staying active, older adults should frequently wash their hands to prevent the spread of germs, which cause the cold. Germs can spread while eating, taking out the trash, using the toilet, petting cats and dogs, sneezing, coughing and many other ways.

Facts about Hand Hygiene

While washing hands is an activity most people perform several times a day, the unfortunate truth is that few do it right. Namely, hands should be washed for a minimum of 20 seconds with plain soap (a much better option than antibacterial soap) and clean, running water.

It is important to wash not just the palms of the hands, but the backs too, as well as between fingers and under the nails. When washing hands in a public place, it is recommended to close the tap with a tissue and dry the hands with a paper towel.

Use Hand Sanitizer when Needed

When your loved one has no access to soap and water, they can clean their hands with a hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol. A hand sanitizer is also a good solution for seniors with severely limited mobility – instead of struggling to get to the bathroom, they can use a sanitizer whenever they want to wash their hands.

Keep in mind, however, that a hand sanitizer cannot replace handwashing with soap and water. If your loved one has trouble moving around the home, an in-home caregiver from Visiting Angels Central Coast can provide mobility assistance and help them safely go from one room to the other.

Visiting Angels Home Health Aides Can Help with Hand Hygiene

Understanding how important it is to prevent the spread of germs among seniors, our caregivers are trained in good hand hygiene and they can ensure your loved one’s hands are as clean as they can be. A home health aide from Visiting Angels Central Coast can also assist your parent with home cleaning and disinfection, especially when it comes to frequently used items like phones, doorknobs and remotes.

Call our Scotts Valley, CA office today to learn more about our home care services and schedule your free consultation!

Each Visiting Angels agency is a franchise that is independently owned and operated. The Franchisor, Living Assistance Services Inc., does not control or manage the day to day business operations of any Visiting Angels franchised agency.