During the holidays as we attend public events or family gatherings, we are exposed to an increased number of germs which can compromise the health of seniors.  The most effective way to prevent disease and stop the spread of germs is by handwashing. Each December the Centers for Disease Control  celebrates National Handwashing Week to highlight the importance of handwashing to prevent disease.

Caregivers can make a difference and help seniors incorporate handwashing in their daily routine.

Have moisturizing soaps available. Using soaps that moisturize the skin encourages seniors to wash their hands frequently.

Post illustrated reminders near handwashing areas. For seniors with memory challenges, posting an illustrated sign can provide gentle reminders to seniors to wash their hands before eating and after toileting.

Provide accessible hand sanitizer throughout the home. Hand sanitizers are an effective way to fight germs. Hand sanitizers are most effective when there is no visible dirt on the hands.

Talk to your friends and family.  Talk to your visiting friends and family about the importance of handwashing to maintain senior’s health.