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Worried about Catching an Infection as a Senior Citizen? Here Are Some Preventive Tips

If you are a senior citizen and need to stay indoors in keeping with government advisories this flu season, life could get monotonous. However, to keep yourself occupied and to stay healthy, you should use this phase to learn and adopt the best home and personal hygiene habits.

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How to Protect Senior Citizens from Infections | Cleanipedia

If you are over 60, you may have lower immunity than younger members of your family, making it all the more important for you to follow preventive measures this season. We suggest that you practise social distancing, even at home, in case other family members are stepping out for groceries etc. Also, you need to know how to sanitise correctly. Follow these useful preventive measures for yourself and your family. 

1) For Personal Hygiene

Practice good personal hygiene and ask all your family members to do the same. Make sure you wash your hands frequently using soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitiser. If you cook for yourself or your family, please wash your hands before and after making meals. Also wash them before and after eating, after using the bathroom, etc. 

Every time you cough or sneeze, make sure you cover your mouth with a tissue or your elbow (if a tissue is not available). Discard the tissue in the dustbin. 

If someone in the family is unwell, try and stay away from them as much as possible. If you have caregivers at home, ensure that they, too, follow these hygiene habits before helping you.   

It also helps if shared spaces, like the living room, bathrooms and kitchen, are airy and well-ventilated. 

2) For Surfaces 

Germs can travel up to 3 feet after a sneeze, spreading unwanted infections, and rest on different surfaces around the home. Hence, an important step towards protecting yourself is to ensure that all the surfaces in the room are cleaned and disinfected daily. Ask someone to help you, if needed. 

Surfaces that are touched frequently by you, such as tables, wheelchair, walker, spectacles, phone, books, medicine box, support handles, etc., should be cleaned and disinfected once a day. Also, high-touch common surfaces outside of your room, like switches, door handles, tables, bath fittings, toilet seats, telephones, laptops, etc. that are also used by the rest of the family, should be cleaned and disinfected too. 

All these surfaces can be cleaned with a regular household disinfectant and water. To clean your floor, use a suitable disinfectant, like a bleach-based (sodium hypochlorite) product such as Domex Floor Cleaner, which kills germs. Always test on a small hidden area and rinse to check compatibility first. Ask someone to help you clean and disinfect all surfaces.

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3) For Laundry

Not only surfaces, but clothes, too, can also retain germs. A good wash is the simplest way to ensure that your clothes are clean and germ-free. Washing clothes thoroughly with detergent is good enough to remove germs. It’s good to use a laundry sanitiser to make sure your clothes are thoroughly sanitised. You can try using Lifebuoy Laundry Sanitizer for this. 

If you use a washing machine, clothes should be washed using the appropriate water temperature setting, in accordance with the directions on the labels of laundry or clothing items. Ensure your clothes are dried in the sun before they are folded and stored. 

4) Personal Household Items

It is best if you have separate plates, glasses, cups, spoons etc. for yourself. Do not use utensils that are also used by other family members or caregivers. This will help avoid the spread of germs. Also, all these utensils and crockery should be thoroughly washed with a good dishwash detergent. For other household and personal items, such as your dentures, spectacles, spectacle cases, prayer bags, etc., use soap and water to disinfect them after each use.

Request your family members to cooperate with you and help you with any chores. And follow these simple tips to stay safe from infections this season. 

Sources:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-prevent-spread.html#precautions

https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

https://youtu.be/1APwq1df6Mw

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention.html

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/home/cleaning-disinfection.html

Top Tip

It’s good to give your surfaces a thorough wipe-down once in 2-3 days.

Originally published