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Posts Tagged “Hand Washing”

Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria: Are You at Risk?

local in home senior care

Are you at risk for infection from antibiotic resistant bacteria?

Antibiotic resistant bacteria, also known as multiple drug resistant organisms (MDROs), are germs that have developed resistance to multiple antibiotics over the years due to overuse of antibiotics – when antibiotics are taken longer than necessary, or taken when they are not needed. These MDROs then develop and can go on to infect others.

New MDROs are constantly developing. They are mainly found in hospitals and long-term care facilities, typically affecting the elderly and patients who are severely ill.

MDROs are commonly spread from patient to patient at the hands of a healthcare worker, or when people come in contact with an infected person, such as touching a draining wound.  These germs can also be spread when a patient comes in contact with an object contaminated with the organism, such as on bedrails or IV poles.

So, are you at risk? The care team at Nightingale Homecare, your local in home senior care experts, identifies the top risk factors of becoming infected with antibiotic resistant bacteria:

  • People on long-term use of antibiotics
  • People with a severe illness or underlying disease such as diabetes, kidney disease or wounds
  • People who have invasive procedures such as dialysis, catheter insertions, drain tube insertions or IV therapy
  • People who have had repeated hospitalizations or a long hospital stay
  • People who are elderly or immune-suppressed

Serious MDROs have developed from common skin and intestinal organisms which have developed antibiotic resistance:

  • Staphylococcus aureus germs, including:
    • MRSA: Methicillin-resistant staph aureus
    • CA-MRSA: Community-acquired MRSA
    • VISA: Vancomycin intermediate-resistant staph aureus (very dangerous, rare)
    • VRSA: Vancomycin resistant staph aureus (very dangerous, rare, most difficult to treat)
  • Enterococcus germs, a family of intestinal organisms, including:
    • VRE: Vancomycin resistant enterococcus

All the organisms above can be spread by direct or indirect contact. To avoid the spread, follow these precautions:

  • In general, contact precautions should be used when patients have been identified with one of the MDROs listed above
  • Full long-sleeved isolation gowns should be worn by all those caring for the infected patient
  • You will need to assure that clothes do not come in contact with items that would likely contain a lot of germs (e.g., bathroom, bed linens)
  • The most important part of contact precautions is appropriate hand washing and wearing gloves

Contact precautions are indicated as long has the patient has symptoms (e.g. unhealed
infected wound, watery stools several times a day).

MDROs are difficult to treat because they do not respond to many common antibiotics, even the most powerful ones. There are some antibiotics that can help control MDROs in most people, and the doctor will try to find the best antibiotic for the MDRO.

To help lessen the impact of antibiotic resistant bacteria, everyone should advocate for antibiotic best practices and antibiotic stewardship. Only use an antibiotic for a true bacterial infection. A lot of infections are caused by viruses. Antibiotics do not work on viruses, and use of antibiotics in these instances can contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistant organisms.

For more information visit the CDC Antibiotic Resistance website or contact your local in home senior care experts at Nightingale Homecare any time at (602) 504-1555.

Prevent the Spread of Germs with These Handwashing Hygiene Tips

Prevent the Spread of Germs with These Handwashing Hygiene

Prevent the spread of germs with these tips from the best senior caregivers at Nightingale.

Being in close personal contact with our senior loved ones is all part of providing care for them, but it also increases the risk of sharing bacteria and viruses. At Nightingale Homecare, we’re dedicated to keeping seniors safe, healthy and well by doing our best to prevent the spread of germs, and the best way to accomplish this is through effective handwashing techniques. As elementary as it may seem, keeping hands clean through good handwashing hygiene is one of the most important steps we can take to keep our senior loved ones – and ourselves – from getting sick, as so many diseases and conditions are spread simply through unwashed hands. As a leading home care Phoenix, AZ agency, we’re pleased to share our top handwashing tips.

When to Wash Your Hands

  • Before and after caring for someone who is ill or presumed ill
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • Before, during, and after preparing a meal
  • Before eating
  • Before and after wearing gloves
  • Before and after caring for a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After touching an animal, feeding an animal or tending to animal waste
  • After touching garbage

How to Wash Your Hands

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

When You Don’t Have Soap and Water

Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them in most situations. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and might not remove harmful chemicals. Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

How to Use Hand Sanitizers

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the product over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.

Want more tips to help prevent the spread of germs, or additional resources related to providing the highest quality level of care for your senior loved ones? Call on the home care Phoenix, AZproviders at Nightingale Homecare! We’re always happy to help families improve quality of life for the seniors they love and offer a full range of personalized in-home care services to ensure older adults can safely age in place where they’re most comfortable: at home. Call us at (602) 504-1555 any time to learn more.