Aged care facilities have a duty of care to ensure that the cleanliness and sanitation within their facility is maintained to the very highest of standards. Not only do proper cleaning practices and procedures reduce the risk of spreading infections and illness to the vulnerable elderly residents, it also helps to keep the staff who work in these places healthy so they can continue to provide their services. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are highly experienced and certified to clean in an aged care environment. Read on for our guide to the importance of keeping these facilities clean and the cleaning challenges that may be faced on a daily basis.
Aged Care Facilities Must Adhere to Strict Industry-Specific Regulations
Aged care facilities are bound by their own cleaning standards, and for good reason. A delicate environment where, if standards aren’t strictly adhered to, consequences can be detrimental. Few other industries are subject to both audits and unannounced visits to inspect their compliance to defined standards, and the facility’s accreditation and ability to continue accepting new residents may be impacted if they are found to be in breach.
Proper Cleaning Reduces the Risk of Illness and Infection
Elderly adults are more susceptible to sickness and infections, and even minor ailments can be fatal to their weakened and vulnerable immune systems. Common bacteria that can be found in aged care environments include VRE, MRSA, C.difficile and gastro, and when an outbreak of these types of infections occurs, there are significant costs involved including extra resources, closure of facility areas, extra staff and reputational damage. Regular cleaning and sanitizing of high-touch surfaces and work spaces is one of the most important ways of reducing the risk of illness and infection. Areas such as kitchen benches, bathroom sinks, toilets and doorhandles all need to be cleaned regularly and thoroughly using the proper cleansers and sanitisers to remove harmful bacteria.
The main touch-points that must be cleaned and sanitised in a resident’s room include:
- Light switches
- Basin and taps
- Bedside tables
- Bed and bed railings
- Transport trolleys
- Windows and drapes
- Objects such as medicine cups, remote controls, phones, walking frames
What Are the Challenges of Cleaning in Aged Care Facilities?
Working around people – cleaners become part of the facility’s everyday world, so much so that residents may see a cleaner as often as nurses or other staff. This means that aged care cleaners must be able to interact with the residents and their visitors appropriately, they must also show tact and discretion in regards to the privacy of residents, understand the importance of cleaning up spills and other hazards in a timely manner and know when to call for medical assistance.
Daytime cleaning – aged care is one of the few industries which requires most cleaning work to happen during the day, as opposed to many industries where cleaning is preferred after hours. This creates a few challenges, such as the continual flow of people in and around the area being cleaned increasing the risk of cross-contamination, slips, trips and falls. Unlike cleaners in other industries, cleaning staff in aged care homes are unable to rush through their tasks while no one is around, instead they must navigate far more variable elements including residents, staff, visitors, objects and equipment. As such cleaners must have a high awareness of their personal movement as well as the positioning of cleaning equipment like vacuums, brooms, buckets, power cords and other cleaning tools.
Ensuring that every surface and work area has been cleaned and sanitised is of utmost importance to the health and wellbeing of those who live, visit and work in aged-care facilities. At Cleaning Edge Solutions, we are highly experienced in cleaning aged-care facilities, we work to the highest standards, and have the quality assurance certification, ISO9001. Our cleaning staff are trained in cleaning standards designed to mitigate and manage the risk of the spread of disease or infections. Contact us today for more information or for a free quotation.