Cancer patients usually face an uphill battle fighting to fix their compromised immune systems. One of the critical areas of support they can get involves cleaning their surroundings.
As such, this article seeks to focus on house cleaning for cancer patients.
By the end of this article, you should be able to know where to focus on, as well as how to avoid cross-contamination.
These are a few of several areas we’ll be discussing. So, without further ado, let’s begin!
Cleaning And Disinfection During Chemo
As you read through this article, you’ll find these two words; cleaning and disinfection mentioned a lot. Now, these may be taken to mean the same thing but that isn’t the case.
Cleaning only gets serves to remove some germs as well as other impurities from surfaces.
Asides from the removal of these germs, cleaning never kills them. Disinfection on the other hand is a much thorough strategy to remove and kill germs.
For disinfection to be effective, it must be done using EPA-approved disinfectants or products.
Best Ways to Clean and Disinfect
House cleaning for cancer patients includes both cleaning and disinfection. For such approaches to be effective, you’ll need to take certain steps such as reading and understanding all instructions on product labels.
This is followed by pre-cleaning before the actual cleaning.
During pre-cleaning, you’re to wipe off dust and debris before the main cleaning event. Cleaning involves washing surfaces with soap and water where necessary.
Consider wearing gloves when disinfecting surfaces. Certain disinfectant products are best kept off your skin. After the cleanup and disinfection, wash your hands after taking off the gloves.
All cleaning products and disinfectants should be properly closed and stored after use.
Suitable Cleaning Procedures During Cancer Therapy
Whenever cancer is diagnosed, it casts a heavy burden and stress on families.
Such families will need all the help they can get including cleaning services. This type of cleaning is more targeted than most others due to the health implications involved.
There are basic touchpoints (also known as critical control touchpoints) that need to be focused on. The aim is to limit the spread of germs as much as possible. Successfully achieving this helps the cancer patient’s condition stable.
Such targeted hygiene should focus on computer keyboards, doorknobs, microwave knobs, and buttons, light switches, refrigerator handle, handrails, and armrests (only for non-porous surfaces).
Other focus areas should include faucet handles landline telephones, cupboard handles, toilet handles, and TV remotes. These are critical areas that witness a lot of touch or contact by members of the family.
As such, being able to maintain hygiene limits the spread of germs.
Protecting Cancer Patients
Remember that the immune system of the cancer patient is suppressed. As such, you’ll need to do more to protect them when cleaning around.
One of the ways to do this is by being conscious of your health status.
If your cleaning technicians are going to be involved, they should be encouraged to report any anomalies regarding their health status. Cases such as colds or sniffles may end up adversely affecting the cancer patient.
As such, taking the needed precautionary measures such as the wearing of masks is recommended.
A cleaning technician experiencing slight health challenges should be excused from the job. This helps keep both the cancer patient and the cleaner safe from germs.
Another way to keep a cancer patient safe during house cleaning is by washing your hands thoroughly whenever they come in contact with contaminated items. Washing should be done with soap and water.
It isn’t enough to wash your hands though. You’ll need to have them dry as wet hands easily spread germs.
Cross-Contamination Is A Possibility
House cleaning for cancer patients is a delicate task that requires all the caution you can muster. Certain areas of the home may have more germs than others.
Apart from that, you want to adopt independent cleaning approaches for such areas.
Parts of the home such as the bathroom and other areas cannot be cleaned using the same towels. Also, not all towels are ideal for such a job. You’ll need to get microfiber towels of the best quality to perform this task.
The best way to avoid cross-contamination during cleaning is by using color-coded towels. In other words, a certain towel color should be used for the bathroom area while the other can be used for other parts of the home.
It’s important to immediately wash and disinfect these cleaning towels after each cleaning session. These are dried and ready to use for the next cleaning session. Another way to avoid cross-contamination of surfaces is by using disposable paper towels. These present lesser risks.
As a cleaning technician, you need to be wary of where your hand goes.
In normal circumstances, your hands will likely touch your face several times. This includes your nose and eyes.
During cleaning for cancer patients, you’ll need to be more cautious as there are lots of germs lying around.
These germs can easily find their way to your face when your hand movement isn’t restricted during cleaning. This can be difficult to control but necessary. You’ll need to consciously avoid your hands touching your face often.
The shoes or shoe covering you put on during house cleaning should be changed for different areas of the home.
For example, shoes or shoe covering worn for bathroom or toilet cleaning should be different from those used for other areas of the house.
Best Cleaning Products For Cancer Patients
Not all cleaning products are ideal for house cleaning when cancer patients are in the picture.
Commercial cleaning products would do just fine for basic cleaning not involving sick patients. Most cleaning agents containing chemicals may end up affecting cancer patients.
So, what can be used instead of these cleaning products? There are several non-chemical alternatives to consider.
These are safer cleaning products that pose zero health risks to the patients. Examples include aqueous ozone, dry steam vapor, and electrolysis cleaners among several others.
House cleaning for cancer patients is a delicate task that requires all the caution you can muster.
You should always remember that these patients have a weak immune system as such cleaning should be done in a way that doesn’t compromise their health and also keeps the cleaner safe.