Our Blog

Standard Precaution & Its Importance for Bay Area Caregivers

by Amy, February 20, 2016

bay area caregivers

It's important that home caregivers, whether family members or those hired from an in home care providing service understand standard precaution, what it is, and why it's so important. If you're a caregiver for a senior or elderly individual in the Bay Area, we want to clarify what standard precaution is and why you should be concerned about it.

Standard precaution is simply the basic level of infection control. Whether with a senior, or with someone of any age, it is important to engage in certain precautions to prevent or control the spread of infections, which is simply the transmission of microorganisms from the source of an infection, whether recognized or unrecognized. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that home caregivers take certain precautions in the care of patients, regardless of whether an individual has been diagnosed with any disease or condition, or what their presumed infection status is.

What are the steps that should be taken in order to control infections and prevent their being spread, either in an elderly individual or to others? The CDC recommends:

  • Washing hands prior to and following contact with someone who has or potentially has an infection
  • Wearing masks, gloves, and gowns when touching or being exposed to a person's body fluids
  • Wearing of protective items mentioned above when dealing with mucus membranes, wounds (non-intact skin or rashes), body fluids, or blood

When washing hands before or after contact with someone who may have an infection, it is vital to wash fingers, palms, wrists, the back of the hands, under the nails and between fingers. Additionally, gloves should be used when hands come in contact with materials that are, or could be, potentially infected, and also when hands are visibly soiled. Proper hand hygiene also involves the use of sanitizers when hands are not contaminated or have not come in contact with infected areas.

Similar to standard precaution, universal precaution is the practice of controlling the spread of infection by treating specific body fluids and all blood as if an infection (such as HBV, HIV, or other pathogen spread through blood) were present, even if it is not. This involves wearing masks, gowns, gloves, and other protective equipment when coming into contact with these fluids.

Reducing the risk or spread of infection is extremely important, particularly in seniors who are more prone to serious illness. At Care Indeed, our home caregivers are highly trained and dedicated to practicing safety when it comes to the possible instigation or spread of infection. In addition to exceptional care and help with everyday tasks, you want your loved one to remain as healthy as possible. Our Bay Area caregivers take every safety precaution to ensure the risks of infection are kept to a minimum.