November is National Caregivers Month

We appreciate all that caregivers do to help seniors, especially in keeping them safe and healthy while in a rehabilitation facility or nursing home. To reduce the spread of infection, prevention is key and actively keeping good hygiene a top priority is an important part of an aid’s job.

Caring for the Elderly

Health risks increase with age and caregivers are conscious that even the smallest cut on a senior’s skin can be the perfect place for harmful bacteria to enter their body.  The weakened immune systems of many elderly people accelerates the spread of infection, so caregivers know it’s important to help stop the development of potentially dangerous bacteria amongst the senior community by teaching and practicing good hygiene.

Cellulitis3Watching for Common Dangers

Anyone working in a care facility knows that Cellulitis, a potentially serious skin infection, is so common that it accounts for 2% of all hospital visits by elderly people. Statistics show that 29% of those previously diagnosed with this infection will often have a reoccurrence within 3 years.  Typically caused by the bacteria streptococcus and staphylococcus, Cellulitis can develop into MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), which can be extremely dangerous.

Prime Targets for Infection

People with existing skin disorders, weakened immune systems and obesity, are prime targets for Cellulitis so caregivers are vigilant about looking out for the warning signs. The infection commonly occurs 70% of the time on the lower legs, creating a swollen red area that will feel hot and tender to the touch.  Once diagnosed, quick medical response is essential, as the infection can spread quickly to other areas; and skin anywhere on the body is susceptible.  At times it causes a fever and can even get into the bloodstream or lymph nodes.

clean handsAssisting with Treatment

A doctor will confirm diagnosis by the skins appearance, as well as a by taking a blood or wound culture test. Usually a prescription oral antibiotic is administered for 14 days; which the caregiver will oversee. They will also encourage the patient to elevate their legs to help prevent excess swelling and ease the pain in the affected area. In more severe cases where the oral antibiotic is ineffective, an elderly patient will be transferred to a hospital where an antibiotic will be given intravenously.

If you are a caregiver, who is committed to keeping everyone healthy and happy by spreading good hygiene throughout your facility, check out our range of hands-free products and services that are designed to protect and reduce the spread of potentially harmful bacteria.

 

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