Infectious Disease Care at an Assisted Living facility: Important Things to Know

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When your loved one is placed in an assisted living facility, it is important to ensure proper medical assistance is provided, especially in cases of infectious diseases. Therefore, it is important to know about the best ways of infection control in nursing homes before placing them in any of them. Here is all the information needed to ensure that your loved one is safe from contracting infectious diseases while living in the assisted facility.

What is Infection care at assisted living

People living in an assisted living facility are of considerable age, which means their organs and biological systems are much more sensitive. Such a situation leads to a reduced ability to fight infections and a decline in overall health. Such a precarious situation means that the staff at the assisted living facility needs to maintain an extremely high level of cleanliness.

Infections and Infection Prevention

Some ways that are useful in infection care are as follows:

  • Special focus on superbugs

Superbugs are named so due to their resistance to several different types of antibiotics. These are potentially dangerous for older adults living in assisted living homes. Therefore, the infection control nurse should use a multi-pronged approach to reduce the risk of infections.

  • Pay attention to UTIs

One more important area to focus on regarding infection control in nursing homes is minimizing the chances of residents suffering from urinary tract infections. In addition, residents with cognitive and memory issues need to be cared for the most in case of UTIs. They have a higher risk of contracting infections because absorbent products and catheters can cause sepsis or other serious infections.

  • Other serious infections

Some other common infections that are observed in an assisted living facility are:

  • Soft-tissue infections
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Influenza
  • Respiratory infections
  • Skin infections

Respiratory infections and influenza are quite common among long-term residents of an assisted living facility. Gastroenteritis and other such diseases have a higher chance of causing morbidities and mortality, especially in cases where the patient might suffer due to dehydration.

Also, skin and soft-tissue infections can be caused due to skin changes that can cause atrophy on the skin’s surface. Mostly, dry and itchy skin is the main point of entry for infection-causing bacteria to cause skin infections. If these infections are ignored for too long, they can harm the affected individual’s blood, bone, and skin.

Infections and Infection Prevention

There are a lot of nursing home infections that can occur among senior residents. Therefore it is important to ensure that proper safety precautions are taken to reduce the chances of any infection occurring or spreading to other residents. Some of the best ways to ensure that there is almost zero chance of infections occurring or spreading by any means are as follows:

  1. Depending on the infection, washing hands is the first step to reducing the risk of spreading. Also, the affected patient’s belongings should be limited to single-use and regular cleaning of the room they have been placed in.
  2. Vision-related infections can be handled by using single-use medications. Also, reducing contact with other residents until the symptoms reduce and ultimately go away is a good way to help in minimizing vision-related infections from spreading to other residents.
  3. Any skin or hair issues like lice on hair can be reduced with the help of hot water and medicated shampoos. Also, washing clothes and hair accessories with soap and hot water can help in minimizing the spread.
  4. Any diseases causing harm to the digestion of the senior resident can be done by proper nutrition and rest.
  5. Proper medication and rest can reduce the spread of other infections and diseases diagnosed by a doctor.

The above points help reduce infections and infectious diseases among the assisted living facility residents. In addition, the infection control nurse at the assisted living facility can help in infection control with the help of the points and measures mentioned above.

Things You Should Know About Infectious Disease Care at Assisted Living

When your elderly loved one is placed in an assisted living facility, there are some extremely important points you should learn. Doing so will help ensure that your older family members are properly looked after. Here are all the important points that will help you must know about infectious disease care at the assisted living facility:

  • Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection

Each room should be cleaned every day, and the cleaning staff should be provided with high-quality cleaning products that will help reduce the chances of infectious diseases spreading.

  • Personal Protective Equipment

The staff working at the assisted living facility should be provided protective clothing that will reduce the chances of having to deal with contact with bodily fluids or other related fluids.

  • Resident Placement

Any time a new resident comes to the assisted living facility, it is necessary to conduct a basic health checkup. If there are any pre-existing health conditions, the new resident will have to undergo proper medication and recuperate before interacting with other residents.

  • Respiratory Hygiene and Etiquette

Any resident or staff at the assisted living facility should follow basic hygiene rules when coughing or sneezing by covering their mouth and nose. Washing hands with soap and water or any other cleaning agent is also important.

  • Safe Injection Practices

When administering injections to residents, it is necessary to ensure that the used needles are disposed of properly. Doing so also reduces the chances of healthcare workers suffering needle injuries from disposed of medical waste.

  • Soiled Linen

When handling linen contaminated with blood or body fluids, it should be done to minimize the chances of direct contact. Protective clothing is a great help in this regard.

Other precautions like contact, droplet, and airborne types can help in infection control for the staff and residents of the assisted living facility. It is also a great help in ensuring that the older residents of the facility can live healthy and long lives.

Conclusion

All the information provided on everything one needs to know about infectious disease care in an assisted living facility has been provided. So before placing your elderly loved one in an assisted living facility, enquire about infection control in nursing homes. It will help you understand which assisted living facility is the best choice.

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