Caregiving at Home

1

Thinking About Home Care

2

Communication

3

Caring For Yourself

4

Setting Up Your Home, Safety and Body Mechanics

5

Preventing Infection in the Home

6

Normal and Abnormal Signs of Aging

7

Meeting Special Needs and Conditions

8

Death, Dying and Hospice Care

9

Providing Personal Care

10

Transfers and Ambulation

11

Basic Healthcare Skills

12

Healthy Eating and Hydration

13

Emergency Care

14

Medications

Chapter 5 Ė Preventing Infection in the Home

Maintaining a clean and healthy environment is important in every home, but it is especially critical in an ill or elderly personís home. Chapter 5, "Preventing Infection in the Home," explains the reasons that this is so important and why ill, older, or frail persons are especially susceptible to infection. This chapter describes how infection is spread and explains measures to guard against infection at home.

Chapter 5 explains Standard Precautions, which is a method of controlling infection which is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This method is used by healthcare providers to maintain a healthy environment. Even if you donít choose to strictly adhere to these rules in your day-to-day caregiving, being aware of them can help you monitor the work of others who are caring for your loved one.

"Preventing Infection in the Home" discusses the most effective method for washing your hands and lists when you need to wash them to ensure optimal infection control. This chapter describes the different types of personal protective equipment (PPE), including gloves, gowns, masks and goggles, and explains how and when to wear them. Special guidelines are presented for cleaning spills involving blood, body fluids, or glass. The chapter outlines the three levels of precautions used when infectious disease is present or suspected, are outlined here, and it gives examples of diseases with which they would be used, as well as some general guidelines for isolation procedures. HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and tuberculosis are discussed in more detail.

Chapter 5 includes housekeeping guidelines that will help you maintain a healthy environment in your home, including handling of body wastes and incontinence and extra precautions to take if an infectious disease is present. "Preventing Infection in the Home" will help you to create and maintain a safe, clean and healthy home for your loved one and the rest of your family.