Taking care of a sick family member in the house can be challenging. Not only do you have the added responsibility of tending to their needs, but it also adds to your household chores. It is common for them to leave germs behind that can also make others in your home ill.
It’s important to keep your family healthy by taking precautions against illness and infection. Your home should be a place of comfort and safety for everyone. So follow these tips to keep your home healthy, clean, and free from spreading germs.
- Avoid Sharing Items Between Family Members
Many households already practice this even when someone isn’t sick because it is a good practice. For example, avoid sharing your clothes, linen, towels, and other personal items with each other. This is a particularly good practice if some members are exposed to harmful chemicals or toxins or spend a lot of time outdoors, which might bring germs.
This practice can certainly reduce the impact of secondhand exposure to certain diseases. Take the deadly cancer Mesothelioma, for example. It is caused by asbestos exposure and still doesn’t have a cure. It also posed a danger to the families of those who worked with asbestos. Asbestos fibers could be found on workers’ hair, clothing, shoes, and tools when they returned home after work. This elevated the likelihood of developing the different types of mesothelioma and other cancers among family members exposed to the harmful material.
2. Wipe down Surfaces with Disinfectant Wipes
Wipe down door handles, light switches, remote controls, and other items frequently touched throughout the day. Make sure to disinfect surfaces after someone has been ill or exposed to an infectious disease like flu, colds, or stomach bugs. This will help prevent the spread of germs across your home when someone is sick. Furthermore, it’s best practice to change your regular cleaning products with antimicrobial cleaners that kill bacteria and viruses.
3. Cover Coughs and Sneezes
Coughing and sneezing are natural ways our bodies fight off infections. Unfortunately, these actions also spread germs from one person to another. The best way to avoid passing around germs is to cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze. Wearing a mask over your face when you feel a cold is also helpful. Furthermore, if you notice someone is coughing or sneezing nearby, move away from them rather than trying to catch what they’ve just coughed up.
4. Use an Air Purifier in the Bedroom
An air purifier is a great way to reduce airborne particles that get trapped in the air and can be circulated through your home. Be sure to purchase an air purifier with HEPA filtration, as it is the most effective filter for trapping harmful particles. However, be cautious about buying an ozone-based air purification system, as it’s known to cause respiratory problems.
5. Keep a Sanitizer at Every Entryway to the House
A good rule of thumb is to keep a bottle of disinfectant spray next to every entryway to your house. Doing so ensures everyone entering your home removes their shoes or boots before walking inside. Additionally, disinfectant wipes near the front door can be used to wipe down hands and objects before being brought into your home. Also, keep one near your sick loved one’s bedside so they can easily wipe their hands and face before they eat or drink anything.
6. Remove Shoes at All Entryways
Its best practice to remove your shoes and put them aside in a designated area outside the house. As mentioned earlier, shoes can quickly become contaminated with bacteria and other pathogens. Before bringing them into your home, you’ll need to be diligent about wiping them down with disinfectant wipes. It’s also important to remind your family members to do this.
7. Have Family Members Stay Away From Sick Individuals
Family members exposed to someone ill should avoid spending time together until they are no longer contagious. This prevents the spread of infection to others and helps reduce the risk of developing serious complications. Be sure to tell anyone you know who has been exposed to the illness to wash their hands frequently and avoid touching shared surfaces.
8. Disinfect Common Touchpoints within Your Home
Common touchpoints within your home can quickly become contaminated with germs and bacteria. Be sure to disinfect frequently touched areas such as light switches, remote controls, appliances, and more. Make sure you follow the instructions on the product to ensure proper disinfection.
9. Keep Contaminated Items Outside Of the Household
If you need to store contaminated items, place them in a separate room where they won’t come in contact with any other household products. This will reduce the number of germs and bacteria that remain in your home and prevent cross-contamination. One easy way to do this is to place contaminated items in a plastic bag and dispose of them later. Alternatively, you can label the things clearly, so they don’t accidentally end up in a basket or drawer.
10. Encourage Family Members to Eat Nutritious Meals
Eating nutritious meals can boost your immune system and make you less susceptible to illness. Focus on foods that contain plenty of vitamins and minerals to ensure your body has everything it needs to fight back against infections.
11. Use a Neti Pot Daily
A neti pot is a small teapot designed to rinse out your sinuses. This allows you to flush out excess mucus and eliminate bacteria and other microorganisms that may be present in your nasal passages. Using a neti pot regularly will help you to breathe more freely and reduce the likelihood of developing a respiratory infection.
12. Open Windows Daily
Fresh air is a wonderful way to clear your head. Opening windows daily helps circulate fresh oxygen and enables you to get a better night’s rest. This is because fresh air encourages the release of melatonin and serotonin, two hormones known to promote relaxation.
Keeping your house healthy while caring for a sick loved one doesn’t need to be complicated. By following the tips above, you can limit exposure to germs and keep your family protected from disease. You can also take steps to prevent the spread of infection to others, which is especially important if you live in a larger household.