Although their demographic is not alone in the fight to stay healthy, seniors often times find themselves more prone to illness and more easily accessible to the spread of germs. Immune systems tend to deteriorate with age, and this combination can cause an increase in hospital visits, necessary medications, and an overall reduced quality of health. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget everyday surfaces are riddled with germs. The Bloomfield caregivers from Home Care Assistance share these 10 common germ magnets that can make seniors sick.
These are touched everyday by any number of people, and each of those people are carrying their own unique sets of germs and bacteria. Keeping a stack of cleaning wipes next to a door is an easy way to help keep these clean.
Whether it it’s in your home bathroom or attached to the kitchen sink, faucets are covered in germs. In addition to the daily germs we collect on our hands, these can also bring other materials, such as food particles into play, increasing your risk of illnesses.
- Garbage disposal
Similar to the kitchen faucet, garbage disposals carry tons of germs, bacteria, and waste. When cooking, a lot of raw food and materials are tossed down the disposal, and this can create a breeding grown for bacteria. Remember to wash hands thoroughly and soak the disposal stopper and sink mat in a bleach solution on a regular basis.
- Cleaning utensils
From your vacuum to your dirty rags, these tools are used to clean up the bacteria and germs you are trying so hard to avoid, so naturally they are an easy place to come into contact with germs. Keeping your house clean is important, but cleaning yourself up after the process can be equally as important.
- Soap dispensers
Similar to cleaning tools, soap is obviously used to wash your hands when they are dirty, meaning that the dispenser itself is going to be covered in germs! Some strategies to help avoid germs include pumping with your arm or using automatic dispensers where available (and purchasing one for your home) to help avoid the continuous cycle of spreading germs.
- Cell phone
It’s kept in your purse, car floor, backpack – virtually any available space, and the places you are keeping your phone are covered in germs. The phone is then being touched by your hands and rested against your face. This is a device often overlooked when cleaning but should be sanitized frequently.
- Steering wheel
This is another area that is often forgotten about when planning your cleaning route, but another one that should be cleaned frequently. Steering wheels are constantly collecting dust as well as whatever germs you happen to be carrying on your hands at the time, so they should be disinfected as often as possible. Keep disinfectant wipes in your glove box for a quick wipe down.
- Canes/Walking devices
Although not applicable to every senior, some use a cane or other type of aid to help them walk, and those devices are germ hotspots. Our hands transfer some of the most widely spread germs, so it is important to clean these walking aids often to help stop spreading bacteria.
From pillowcases to comforters, bedding material is covered with germs, and most people do not clean them as often as they should. It is recommended that sheets should be changed every week and cleaned properly to try and avoid the spread of germs.
They may help with our mental health, but books can also be full of germs as they are transferred between different people, different hands, and different locations. A quick rub down after usage or before passing them to someone else can help prevent the bacteria from being passed around.
This list is not all-encompassing, but it is a good start when thinking about how to help stop the spread of germs. We come into contact with so many items every day that it can be hard to remember how easy it is for bacteria to get around. By keeping this list in mind, you can help yourself and your seniors be more mindful of their surroundings and help keep everyone a little healthier.
Another way to promote your senior loved one’s health is with an hourly or live-in caregiver provided by Home Care Assistance of Bloomfield. Our caregivers are trained, compassionate, and make your loved one’s health and wellbeing their number one focus. For more information, call (248) 283-0835 to speak with a friendly Care Manager today.