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Germ Magnets That Can Make Seniors Sick

As we age our immune systems weaken, meaning seniors need to take extra care to avoid germs that can easily make them ill. While washing your hands well and often will go a long way to avoiding illness, there are specific places around the home to watch out for. Home Care Assistance of Summit urges seniors and family caregivers to be mindful of the following germ magnets.

The Bed

The bed, especially the pillows, can harbor germs like staphylococcus or dangerous fungi. To keep the bed germ-free, wash bed linens at least once a week in hot water with a hint of bleach.

Kitchen Counters

When preparing food, tiny droplets raw meat juice can spread over the countertop, which can breed an abundance of germs. Use a disinfectant cleaner to wipe down kitchen surfaces after handling raw meat. Mix one-part chlorine bleach to 10 parts water for inexpensive cleaner that helps keep germs at bay.

Bathroom Surfaces

Flushing a commode sends germs such as E. coli up to three feet away. To keep germs inside the toilet, close the lid before flushing. Keep toothbrushes inside a cabinet to avoid transferring those germs to the mouth, and at least once a week clean all bathroom surfaces with a disinfectant.


Because they hold moisture, sponges are one of the top breeding grounds for germs. Put kitchen sponges in the dishwasher to disinfect them or soak them weekly in a disinfectant cleaner. In the shower switch to nylon net body scrubbers, which are far more hygienic, and replace them every few months.

A little knowledge and diligence goes a long way toward keeping a senior’s home germ-free. If your senior loved one is no longer able to handle regular housekeeping, consider an hourly or live-in caregiver in Summit who can assist with light housework, grocery shopping, and transportation to and from appointments or errands. Home Care Assistance provides ongoing training for all caregivers, offers flexible scheduling, and never requires you to sign a long-term contract. For more information or to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation, call (908) 450-9400.