The Importance of Sanitation in Aged Care Cleaning Practices
December 12, 2017
Reducing the likelihood of illness and infection in aged-care facilities is vital. Maintaining an aged-care environment that is consistently clean and sanitised is the first line of defense in protecting the health of this vulnerable population of residents. Not only does proper hygeinic practices and procedures reduce the risk of spreading infections and making seniors sick, but it also helps to keep the staff who work in these facilities healthy so they can provide these much-needed services.
What is Involved in Ensuring Aged-Care Facilities are being Cleaned Properly?
When it comes to ensuring seniors are well cared for, cleaning and sanitizing are an important part of the process. There are several areas of consideration when dealing with aged-care facilities that are of importance to the health of everyone involved. These processes include frequent and proper hand washing, cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and objects, changing linen and personal items on a regular basis, and using personal protective equipment.
Everyone knows that proper handwashing technique is an important part of stopping the spread of germs and microbacterium that can make seniors, and the employees who work with seniors very sick. Ensuring that staff are properly trained in handwashing techniques is the first line of defense against illness and outbreak in an aged-care facility.
Cleaning Surfaces and Objects
Regular cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces, including kitchens and bathrooms, is important to reduce the risk of illness and infection. Areas such as kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, and toilets all need to be cleaned thoroughly using the proper cleansers and sanitisers to remove harmful bacteria. Cleaning should be done on a regular basis, daily in some cases, and sanitizing should be done weekly or more, depending on the surface. For example, in the kitchen areas of an aged-care facility, all surfaces need to be sanitized before each meal is prepared. There are special rules that need to be followed in a kitchen that prepares meals for people, especially when dealing with seniors.
Changing Linen and Personal Items
Part of the fight against bacteria involves ensuring aged-care facilities are changing linens and personal items on a regular basis; especially if someone has become ill. This might mean changing toothbrushes or bedsheets to reduce the likelihood of the illness returning. Bacteria can live on personal items long enough to cause a second outbreak, so it’s important to maintain clean living areas after a person has been sick.
Personal Protective Equipment
When working in aged-care facilities, it is important to the health and safety of everyone involved that staff, and even residents, wear personal protective equipment in the event of an outbreak or potential outbreak. In everyday life, workers will wear personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks to prevent the spread of bacteria between themselves and aged-care facility residents; but during an outbreak, the importance of reducing the spread of infection is increased.
Sanitation is Vital to Aged-Care Facilities
Ensuring that every surface and work area has been sanitised is crucial to the health and safety of those who work and live in aged-care facilities. Companies who are contracted to clean and sanitize aged-care facilities must work to the highest standards, and it is important to work with a cleaning company that has quality assurance certification, such as ISO9001. This certification means that the company, and its cleaning staff, recognize and maintain high standards of cleanliness to ensure the wellbeing of those who work and live in the facilities they clean. Working with an experienced cleaning company ensures that sanitation processes are set up, and used on a regular basis to prevent the spread of infection, illness, and disease in aged-care facilities. It takes a great deal of work to ensure a facility is as clean as possible at all times, and that responsibility should not be left up to the inexperienced cleaners out there. When working in aged-care facilities, lives depend on a clean place to live and work.