According to the Center for Disease Control, handwashing is your best defense against the spread of germs.
The CDC recommends washing your hands before, during, and after prepping food; before eating; before and after caring for a loved one; before and after treating a cut or wound; after using the toilet; after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; after touching an animal or animal waste; after touching garbage; or after changing a diaper or cleaning up after a child.
Also consider washing your hands after touching surfaces in a public space; before and after work; and after using public transportation.
What is the best hand washing technique?
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – the same amount of time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday song twice.
- Wet your hands.
- Apply soap and lather well.
- Scrub your hands, including the backs of your hands and in between your fingers. If you’re wearing a ring, make sure to scrub underneath it!
- Rinse your hands well.
- Dry your hands.
If you do not have access to soap and water, consider a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover your hands with the hand sanitizer and rub your hands together until your hands are dry.
Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, but especially with unwashed hands.
For more information on the science behind washing your hands, visit:
This time of year can be challenging for those who have a terminally ill loved one. If this friend or family member is in hospice, the holiday season may feel “off” or a little less joyous this year.
While there are certainly challenges you will have to face, there are still ways you and your family can celebrate the season with your loved one in hospice. We’re here to provide you with some encouragement to navigate this time of year.
Coordinate with hospice staff.
Those working in hospice are not just there for the patients during this time, they are also there for the families. Hospice staff serve as a crucial resource for trying times like these and are more than willing to assist. They can help coordinate visiting schedules to work around holiday events, offer suggestions for support groups, and make arrangements for any holiday traditions you’d like to celebrate with your loved one. Among many other tasks, hospice staff are there to aid you this holiday season.
Adjust your holiday traditions.
While it may seem difficult to change any holiday traditions you have to better suit your loved one in hospice, just know that it will be wroth it. Including your loved ones in these traditions is what the season is all about, so making certain they are a part of some of the traditions you enjoy the most will bring everyone closer together and create a special meaning this year.
Above all, enjoy time with your loved ones.
We know this may sound hard – maybe even impossible. It’s important to use this time to bring everyone together and create memories while you can. Surrounding yourself with friends and family can serve as a reminder that you are not alone in this process.
We’ll leave you with this question – What’s your reason for this season? Is it to cherish another holiday with your loved one?
Your loved one can no longer do the many tasks they once could. They now depend on you for many of these things. The easiest solution may be to simply take over and make decision, but it’s important to be respectful of your loved ones. As a caregiver, you want to protect your loved one’s dignity and sense of self-worth.
Put yourself in their shoes. Imagine if your independence had slipped away. You can no longer drive, walk, or get out of bed. These once simple tasks now require help from someone else. How would this make you feel? You may feel frustrated. This loss of freedom would most likely cause you to want to keep control over as much as you possibly could.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
- Put yourself in your loved one’s place. How would you want to be treated if you were being cared for?
- Educate yourself on your loved one’s condition. This can prepare you for what’s ahead.
- Help them do what they can on their own for as long as possible. This will give them a sense of control.
- Talk openly and honestly with your loved one. Try to involve them in decisions and be a good listener.
- Be flexible. Try an accommodate reasonable requests if you can.
- Give positive feedback if your loved one does a task on their own.