Now that we’re a few months into the global pandemic that is Covid-19, life seems to be starting to settle back into a new normal. Unfortunately, that also means that many people are becoming more and more lax with keeping up the recommendations necessary to limit further spread of the virus.
When it comes to assisted living facilities, the need to remember proper and effective ways to keep the virus away from fellow residents is even more important! However, we know that it can seem overwhelming to try to remember them all. Here are some of the top tips to continue to limit the spread of Covid-19 in your facility.
Clean Your Phone
While a lot of focus is (rightfully) on hand washing and wearing masks, something that isn’t discussed as often is the importance of cleaning your phone. Our hands touch our phones hundreds of times a day, and those phones can hold onto and spread all kinds of germs, including Covid-19.
An easy way to clean your phone is with simple, easy to find alcohol wipes, as long as they contain at least 70% isopropyl alcohol. Just use one to wipe down your phone and your case a few times a day, and you’ll reduce the risk to both yourself and your fellow residents substantially! And remember, after touching your phone (or letting anyone else touch it), make sure to wash your hands too.
Limit Social Activities
With some communities loosening their restrictions, it can be exciting to consider getting back to your normal social schedule! These last few months have definitely been trying for people who love attending activities and having visitors, but try to remember that it’s for a good reason. Every social activity increases the risk of exposure.
If you need to have people over, make sure to follow social distancing guidelines. Try to stay at least six feet away at all times, and minimize physical contact like hugging or handshakes. Masks should also be worn at all times.
Self Monitor For Symptoms
While many assisted living facilities are performing their own health checks for Covid-19 symptoms, knowing them yourself and self monitoring is an additional way you can help limit its spread.
Take your temperature once a day, at least. While fever isn’t always a symptom, any unexplained fever should be reported immediately. Some people may have a fever without any other symptoms, but will still be symptomatic.
Respiratory symptoms are usually one of the first signs as well. A sudden cough or difficulty breathing is nothing to brush off. Unfortunately, Covid-19 has the ability to go from bad to worse very quickly. If you develop any respiratory symptoms, report them to the staff right away and self isolate until further notice. This is to protect you and your fellow residents.
Other symptoms to watch out for may include fatigue, muscle aches, and a loss of appetite. While many symptoms are likely due to other, non Covid-19 causes, they should all be reported immediately to be extra precautious. Think of it as saving a life!
Continue To Wash Your Hands
Handwashing continues to be one of the most important, if not the most important, tools in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. It is also one of the most underutilized.
Knowing the proper handwashing technique is key to removing all potential germs, especially prior to cooking, eating, etc. Wet your hands, apply soap, and rub vigorously for at least 20 – 30 seconds. A good way to remember this is to sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself twice. Not only is it a fun distraction, it’s also the perfect amount of time recommended by the CDC.
If handwashing isn’t an immediate option, hand sanitizer is an acceptable substitute. It needs to contain more than 60% alcohol to be effective, however, and is not a replacement for full handwashing. Make sure to rub your hands together thoroughly until all the sanitizer is dissolved, getting under your fingernails as well.
By remembering just a few, important tips, you can limit potential Covid-19 exposure to both yourself and your fellow residents. While the current times may feel stressful, knowing how to best fight back can be empowering and keep everyone safe and sound. Hang in there!