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Sanitizing and Disinfecting Tips For Seniors

by Frank Herold
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Before we get into the habits that will benefit seniors or anyone to avoid contracting and spreading germs, especially COVID-19, let's understand the difference between disinfecting and sanitizing. Even though when we say one or the other, most of us mean we want to get rid of or kill germs.

Related Blog: Everything You Need to Know About Wearing a Face Mask

 

Disinfecting vs. Sanitizing

"Disinfecting is meant to "kill" infected areas and remove microscopic organisms on surfaces." We want to disinfect to hopefully "stop the spread of diseases and viruses like colds and flu."

"Sanitizing is meant to reduce the growth of bacteria, fungi, and viruses." You may use your dishcloth to wipe off your counter, but you didn't "disinfect" it. You would need to use a "disinfecting" product.

 

Is Your Hand Sanitizer a Disinfectant?

You may already be worried that your hand sanitizer is not enough. "It's important to make sure any hand sanitizer you do use contains at least 60 percent alcohol," as you will find in an informative article on Rush

 

The Disinfecting Habits to Start and Continue

We are all learning that it's more important than ever that we all can play a part in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious illnesses. 

 

Carry a Disinfectant to Help Reduce Your Exposure to Germs

We know that our hand sanitizing liquid product needs to contain 60% alcohol. Whether you want to use wipes or liquid, it's a good idea to carry a disinfectant hand product along with you whenever you're out in public, especially if you must travel away from home.

  • Use a disinfectant wipe when you have to pump your gas. If you don't have one, use the blue towels that gas stations usually have at the pumps. If you're stuck without something to avoid direct contact, use your hand sanitizing gel/spray or wash hands after you're through pumping your gas.
  • When opening public doors, you can use a paper towel or tissue, if you don't want to waste your disinfectant wipes. Most stores have disinfecting stations to use, especially grocery stores.

 

The Best Practices for Grocery Shopping

Enjoying good food is a daily activity that is important to us all. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, there was worry about our groceries possibly carrying the virus. Even if it's not proven, it's still a good idea to plan your grocery shopping venture, and take the necessary precautions to help you from bringing unwanted germs into your home.

  • Take advantage of any special hours your grocery store may be offering seniors. Or, use curbside service with online ordering. 
  • Make a list, and spend as little time in the store as possible.
  • "Buy only 1-2 weeks worth of groceries at a time."
  • Don't forget your face covering or mask. Keep disposable ones in your car.
  • Observe social distancing, and be sure to follow the arrows for no-pass shopping.
  • Be sure to disinfect the cart or basket handle.
  • Don't forget to clean or wash your reusable shopping bags.
  • Immediately wash your hands when you get home, before and after you put your groceries away.
  • "Clean, separate, cook, and chill" your groceries.
    • Although no evidence of spread through packaged foods, you can certainly wipe them down if you want more peace of mind.
    • Clean your fruits and vegetables by rinsing them under your tap water.
    • Refrigerate and freeze items that can go bad.
  • Be sure your fridge and freezer temps are accurately set.
  • After your groceries are put away, wipe down your kitchen surfaces with a disinfectant spray or wipe. 

 

Keeping Your Home Clean and Disinfected

The CDC has a lot of recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting a household. "Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily in household common areas (e.g. tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, phones, tablets, touch screens, remote controls, keyboards, handles, desks, toilets, sinks)."

Even after we get to put this crisis behind us, it's good to be conscientious about helping to mitigate the spread of germs. If we all take extra precautions, we may be able to reduce the spread of colds and flu that plague us every year. 

At Sarasota Bay Club, we're in this together, and we're so proud of our staff and residents coming together and keeping everyone's well-being at heart. When you're looking for an luxury retirement community with exceptional people, Sarasota Bay Club is the place to call home.

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