Senior living facilities and retirement communities have recently become popular for older individuals. It also serves those that require additional care, which cannot be provided by the family members. A major selling point of senior living facilities is the level of hygiene and cleanliness. You need to pay attention to regular cleaning if you want your residents and staff members safe.
This post will throw light on the type of cleaning services required in a senior living community.
Cleanliness in Retirement Homes Is Non-negotiable
Seniors are at a greater risk of infection and illnesses because of their compromised and weaker immune systems. However, germs are particularly harmful to them in senior living facilities since most elderly people spend their time in communal spaces. They get exposed to other people in these areas.
Often, senior living communities are concerned with keeping their residents healthy and happy. It can be challenging to control the number of germs your residents come in contact with. A recent study found that seniors are more susceptible to infection even though they spend half their time resting or sleeping. Strep throat, influenza, and cold viruses are a few concerns that can easily spread through coughing, touching, and sneezing.
Residents and their families routinely criticize senior care facilities for being unsanitary or dirty. Infections in long-term care facilities and staff turnover are directly related. Most nursing staff and caregivers don’t prefer working in a facility that is not kept clean and sanitized.
Facility managers have a major responsibility to ensure that the facility is kept hygienic and clean to prevent sickness among seniors. Hiring professional cleaners is a wise decision. This is especially true if you don’t want to invest thousands in maintaining an in-house cleaning crew and equipment.
Whether you have an in-house cleaning crew or hire a professional cleaning team, they should align with the guidelines and policies of the following:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
- Association for the Health Care Environment (AHE)
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
Senior Living Facility Cleaning Services
The type of cleaning remains the same for any community and long-term living facility regardless of the size of the facility, frequency of cleaning, type of cleaning, and whether special equipment is needed or not. However, the scope of services may change. The most basic cleaning and disinfection services include:
- Cleaning: Sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming
- Dusting: Light furniture and dust bunnies
- Trash removal: Recycling bins and trash cans
- Janitorial: Toilet cleaning and floor scrubbing
- Bathroom cleaning: Showers, toilets, bathrooms, tubs, and sinks
- Laundry: Laundry rooms, washers, and dryers
- Other services: Pest control
These are a few services that should be part of the senior assisted living facility cleaning routine:
Cleaning of Resident Rooms
There are different structures for retirement communities. Certain retirement communities have private apartments whereas others have a more hospital-type arrangement. Nursing stations are closely situated to the sleeping areas of residents in both types of senior living facilities. Frequent cleaning of rooms is necessary to provide residents with a high quality of life.
Certain elderly residents prefer bi-weekly cleanings, while others want a weekly cleaning. The cleaning staff should be flexible and considerate of the needs of the senior. Regular cleaning is important since it prevents the spread of germs within the senior living community. This should be among the top priorities of the management.
You should be sure to train the cleaning staff on the type of products used. In the case of commercial cleaning contractors, you should inquire whether the cleaning products used are safe for elderly residents. Seniors can quickly develop allergies and breathing problems because of harsh chemicals.
Cleaning of Kitchen and Dining Area
This is an important area within any long-term care facility. The residents usually utilize this time for socializing. Tables, countertops, and other hard surfaces must be kept spotless. This will prevent any unnecessary spread of germs. You should ensure the kitchen is clean as well. Germs can infect food items during meal preparation causing an outbreak.
There are health codes in place that vary as per the state where a senior assisted living facility is located. It is recommended to employ a cleaning provider with enough information regarding health code regulations. You can ensure the dining area and kitchen are up to the required legal standards this way. You may leave your retirement community or nursing home open to legal liability.
Cleaning of Bathrooms and Toilets
Sinks, faucets, showers, drains, door handles, and switches should be wiped down daily. It is a good idea to use electrostatic sprayers to coat the fixtures and surfaces in a thin film of disinfectant. Any appliances, such as washing machines should be cleaned regularly as well.
Cleaning of Sporting Areas and Gym
There may be an outdoor sporting area or fitness center in the senior living facility. These areas must be kept clean to ensure current residents enjoy them regularly. Gyms and sporting areas are a hub for germs and other infections. You need to employ the right method of cleaning and disinfection to make these areas germ-free.
Senior living facilities cannot be exposed to mold and mildew. You can give your property a fresh look by power washing the interior and exterior walls of the retirement community. This can keep it free from stains, scratches, and dirt. In the case of facilities located in areas with severe weather, quarterly power washing is recommended. Annual power washing works for others. You should make sure to retain the services of a commercial cleaner with experience in power washing assisted living facilities.
You should keep an eye out for costly maintenance issues. A commercial cleaning team will let you know if they come across anything that can prove to be a major repair in the future. For instance, professional cleaners will notify you if they notice a stain from water damage or if there is a texture change in the walls. This is generally not possible with an in-house cleaning crew. You can save on paying for potentially costly repairs by catching these in time.
The cleaning Staff Needs Proper Training
The cleaning crew must have proper training in using the right techniques and products. Seniors have the same fragile constitution as children. Harsh chemicals in their bedsheets or during floor care may bring on a coughing or sneezing fit. Their skin is highly susceptible to irritation and allergies.
Training and orientation should clearly explain the harms and effects of different cleaning solutions. All disinfectants and cleaning solutions used should be EPA-certified. There is also a real risk of Covid-19 spreading within senior care facilities. It is recommended to use the disinfectants mentioned within List N.
Cleaning a resident’s room or common area is not straightforward. Several factors need to be taken care of. For example, the cleaning crew should not use the same cleaning gloves in different rooms. They should ideally throw the gloves, wash their hands, and wear new ones when moving from one space to another.
Professionals have industry knowledge and access to innovations. Your staff members won’t have access to industry-grade cleaning solutions. The cleaning solutions you use may harm the floors and carpet if used regularly.
Cleaning Schedules Should Not be Rigid
Cleaning schedules in long-term care facilities cannot be rigid. Several factors need to be considered. Some residents may not want their rooms cleaned at a particular time of the day. OSHA guidelines recommend creating a cleaning schedule after adhering to the following:
- Residents should have the choice to ask for or refuse a cleaning service
- The privacy of residents should be prioritized
- The cleaning schedule should not encroach on the individuality or dignity of any senior resident
Your team should be flexible enough to take the resident’s wishes into account. Certain seniors have an allergy to certain chemicals. Different chemicals should be used around such residents.
Benefits of Hiring a Commercial Senior Living Cleaning Service
You can make sure your facility looks clean and great when you hire a reputable cleaning service. Your company should have experience in cleaning senior living facilities though. They should know the necessary steps to take to maintain a clean, safe, and healthy environment for residents. These are a few benefits of working with the pros:
- Improves indoor air quality
- Reduces the spread of germs
- Residents feel safer when commercial cleaners are responsible for disinfection
- Cheaper than maintaining an in-house cleaning crew in most cases
- Regular cleaning ensures the facility remains spotless and safe
- Enhances overall reputation
Speak With an Experienced Cleaning Contractor for Your Senior Living Facility Today
You can ensure a safe environment and good quality of life for your residents by maintaining a clean senior living residence. Hiring Servi-Tek to take care of your senior living facility will make it more attractive to potential residents. Our cleaning staff is trained on the special needs, requirements, and procedures involved. Schedule an appointment today by calling (866) 454-6185 or using our online form.