Germ control is a critical element of being a family caregiver.
Helping your parent to combat the germs in the world around them is an important step in reducing the risk of them contracting an illness or infection that can rapidly become serious. Remember older adults have immune systems that are not as effective as those of younger adults, making them more vulnerable to illness and infection. They also have a more difficult time fighting off these illnesses and infections when they occur.
Practicing effective germ control includes taking these steps when you are caring for your aging parent. Effective germ control while caring for your parent reduces the risk for your senior, as well as for you. Protecting yourself from contracting illnesses and infections can further protect your parent by preventing these germs from returning it to them.
Use these tips to practice effect of germ control when you care for your parent:
-Avoid caring for your senior when you have been sick, or have been caring for children or someone else who has been sick. Utilize respite home care to provide temporary care for your parent while you recover, or get beyond the time of being contagious.
-Wash your hands regularly, and use waterless hand sanitizer throughout the day, particularly when you have come into contact with surfaces that might contain germs.
-If there is any question regarding whether you might have contracted germs, or your parent might have contracted germs, consider the use of medical masks.
-Wear latex gloves when performing care tasks that require you to come into physical contact with your senior.
-Never share items with your senior that come into contact with your mouth, and then your seniors mouth. This includes not sharing food and beverages, using the same lip balm, or other sharing
-If you need to cough or sneeze when caring for your parents, do not do so into your hand. Instead, use a tissue, or the curve of your arm.
Being in the sandwich generation, that is caring for your children at the same time you are caring for your aging adults, can be stressful.
You are balancing the needs of a growing family while also helping at your senior manage their own challenges and limitations. This can leave you feeling as though there’s not enough time in the day or energy in your mind and body to handle all of the tasks in front of you. When you are feeling like this, it’s time to turn the home care. An in-home senior care services provider can step into fill care gaps, provide your parent with companionship and support when you are unavailable, and give you the flexibility and time you need to maximize your efforts and give the most of yourself to all those who rely on you.