Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals are taking extra precaution while sanitizing their homes or workplaces. The virus can live on surfaces in your home for multiple days, making the spread of it more likely. Unfortunately for older adults, the risk of contracting the coronavirus and experiencing the severe symptoms of it becomes exponentially more likely as you age. Therefore, elders’ homes should be decontaminated daily to ensure the health of both the resident and caregiver. Being more susceptible to life-threatening symptoms, older adults and their caregivers need to educate themselves on the proper way to clean and disinfect their homes.
Certain products, such as this list of EPA-registered disinfectants are must-buys for disinfecting the coronavirus. However, there are also some products that release volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and should be avoided. It is important to avoid these harmful chemicals. Also, mixing strong cleaning chemicals, like chlorine bleach, ammonia, alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, is strongly discouraged because of potential harmful interactions between them. At Home to Stay, our care professionals have taken all precautions to ensure our elder patients and staff are safe. Appropriate PPE, such as masks, gloves, gowns, and eyewear, are all essentials for our employees before entering any home, and you can be reassured that all cleaning products used by our personnel are safe and effective.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Disinfecting your home from the coronavirus can be tedious, but is essential to keep up with. The virus can live on any surface in your home and can remain a threat for multiple days if not cleaned properly and frequently. It is important to remember to wear proper gloves while cleansing your home to ensure your protection from harmful germs.
Washing hard surfaces with water and soap is recommended to reduce the number of germs before killing the virus with safe disinfectants. For soft surfaces, you should also use the combination of soap and water first, then see if the item is able to be laundered. If not, disinfectant may be used as well. When it comes to electronics, checking the manual for proper cleaning instructions is a good place to start. If the device does not come with instructions, then use wipes or sprays with at least 70% alcohol content and dry diligently. Surfaces in your home that get touched most frequently, such as doorknobs, keyboards, and faucets, should be disinfected daily due to the increased potential of viral germs populating that area. Finally, remember to wash your hands frequently for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Interacting with Someone with COVID
If someone you are caring for or someone in your home becomes infected with COVID, they should stay in a specific room and away from other people as much as possible. If available, the infected person should have a bathroom designated for them. If a separate bathroom is not an option, the bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected after each use. The caregiver should provide personal cleaning supplies for the ill person’s room and bathroom. Caregivers should follow the CDC’s guidance when interacting with persons COVID-19.
If you are caring for an elderly person with COVID-19 at home or in a non-healthcare setting, it is important to take all safety measures to protect them and yourself. Keep yourself educated and up-to-date on any new information regarding the virus so you can plan accordingly.