The cleanliness of aged care facilities has been under a microscope more than ever in the past 2 years and for good reason. As the home of some of the most vulnerable populations, aged care facilities have a duty of care to patrons and their families to maintain the highest standard of cleanliness and sanitisation. With COVID-19 impacting the elderly at a hugely disproportionate rate, aged care facilities are one of the first industries to lockdown in the face of cases and outbreaks. The spread of illnesses in aged care homes typically runs through the residents quickly and impacts the entire organisation, including staff and even visitors.
The importance of cleanliness and sanitisation within these environments doesn’t end with the threat of the pandemic, and to keep staff consistent, residents healthy and visitors welcome, professional cleaning measures need to be taken. That’s where we come in.
The Industry-Specific Regulations Are Clear…
Every aged care facility will have its cleaning schedule and guidelines, but there are industry-specific rules that all must adhere to. If these guidelines are ignored, the consequences can be devastating. The unique atmosphere of having people from all different areas visiting immunocompromised or elderly patrons results in a difficult environment for the control and management of illness-causing bacteria. That’s why such strict guidelines exist. Daily, staff are responsible for many cleaning practices, including:
- Wiping all touched surfaces including reusable medical equipment with biofilm, where bacteria can last up to 19 touches.
- Use proper hand hygiene before work, in between tasks and after eating, for at least 20 seconds at a time.
- Staying home when sick and using cough etiquette.
- Use a professional cleaning crew regularly, especially in the instance of an outbreak or confirmed case.
- Use personal protective equipment when in contact with residents, including gloves, gowns, face masks and glasses.
- Have a clear cleaning schedule that details when each area was last cleaned.
- Use proper cleaning equipment that is proven to kill germs, such as HEPA filters, and Whiteley’s Viraclean® surface disinfectant which is a proven combatant of COVID-19.
- Keep a record of all cleans or engage with a professional cleaning company to manage this for you.
Cleaning in the aged care sector is always changing with updated guidelines and proactive solutions. As medical treatment changes so must the cleaning industry to keep up with what is best for the prevention of disease. Cleaning is often the first thing to cut when staff budgets get tight, or things get busier – but it certainly shouldn’t be. In addition to the previously mentioned guidelines, there are steps that managers of aged care homes can take to avoid cross-contamination and keep their homes safe from COVID-19 along with a range of other illnesses, these include:
- Regular staff training with professionals who are up to date with the latest advice
- Use the best cleaning products including vacuums with HEPA filters
- Use automatic floor scrubbers with a microfiber system that is regularly cleaned
- Changing wet cleaning items whenever needed
- Implement a colour coding system for reusable cleaning products
- Ensure correct dilution and correct laundering
- Conduct regular internal audits and investigations
Let Us Help You to Keep Their Loved Ones Safe
Loving families entrust their elderly family members into the care of aged care homes with the belief that they will be cared for. Aspects such as incontinence can increase the risk of infection and bacteria spread around these facilities, and as elderly people, patrons are already at a greater risk of contracting illnesses such as VRE, MRSA, and gastro, which result in more than just illness – but the need for extra resources, closures, staff risks and damage to the reputation of the home. It sounds simple, but ensuring the entire facility is regularly and deeply cleaned can be a difficult task for already busy workers.
Aged care is one of the few environments that require most of the cleaning to happen during typical business hours. As such, the cleaners become a part of the team, and the residents will get to know them just as well as their nurses. When using a team such as Cleanworks, you will get cleaners who are personable and the best people to be handling the delicate and vulnerable situations that are common in aged care. Your cleaner will understand how to be tactful and deal with spills quickly and properly to avoid both contamination and embarrassment. Additionally, your professional cleaner should understand how to keep the area safe while cleaning and work within a range of variables.
As a closed environment, it is simple to shut down an aged care facility in the case of an outbreak, but it remains a simple fact that residents can’t live shut in forever. Therefore, it is important for the workers of these facilities to be proactive and responsible in their hygiene practices. The team at Cleanworks is fully trained and equipped to deal with all your aged care cleaning needs, from implementing new systems to keeping track of your most intricate cleaning requirements. With our professional crew, you can rest assured that your residents and their families will be well cared for and kept safe from common and dangerous bacteria.
Get in touch today to chat with us about getting your aged care cleaning sorted.