Did you know that we recently celebrated Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 11-17) here at TriCounty at Home?

It’s a week designed to mark a dedicated time and platform to increase awareness about patient safety among health professionals and the public. The safety of our clients is always our number one priority, but it’s nice to have a whole week to shine a spotlight on its importance and to spread this important message.

One of the most important steps our caregivers take to ensure the safety of your loved one is regularly washing our hands. The CDC calls hand washing a “do-it-yourself vaccine.” Hand washing helps reduce the spread of diarrheal and respiratory illness, and regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others.

Plus, as we age, our immune system weakens, which makes hand washing even more critical when you’re with older adults. It’s such a simple step to help ensure the safety of your loved ones.

The CDC recommends that you wash your hands…

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

Here are the 5 steps the CDC recommends when washing your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. We teach all of our caregivers a little trick to help them make sure they’ve scrubbed long enough: hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Here are a few more home safety tips for the elderly:

  • Consider a medical alert device – TriCounty at Home has partnered with Philips Lifeline, the most widely adopted, proven fall detection with AutoAlert service. To learn more, call 800-533-8954 ext 54513 or check out their website. Use program code: PF711.
  • Use a correctly measured walking aid
  • Remove or tack down all area rugs
  • Remove electrical or telephone cords from traffic areas.
  • Have sturdy rails on all stairs both inside and out
  • Ensure adequate lighting on staircases and make sure the steps aren’t slippery
  • Install nightlights where needed

Check our blog regularly to learn more ways to ensure the safety of your elderly loved one.

TriCounty at Home can help your loved one continue to live at home safely by providing the necessary assistance they need – whether that’s a few hours a week or 24/7 care. To learn more about our services or the Phillips Lifeline, give us a call at 610-621-1260.