What are the cleaning standards of Australian aged care facilities?
Quality aged care services are becoming more and more crucial. Not only because Australia has an aging population, but also because there is a Royal Commission looking into the quality of our elderly care. While aged care service providers benefit from increased demand, they must also meet the specific standards set.
In this article, we’ll go over the cleaning standards of Australian aged care facilities.
Why is cleanliness so important in aged care?
Cleanliness is particularly important in elderly care for several reasons. The elderly are more vulnerable to infections due to chronic illnesses and compromised immune systems. Infection control is a priority, whether in spill management, food handling or regular cleaning.
Well-trained commercial cleaners can help you meet and exceed the cleaning standards for Australian aged care facilities.
The assessment of cleaning standards in Australian aged care
Since 1 July 2019, Australian government-funded aged care providers must meet new quality standards. Out of the 8 standards outlined, standard 5 focuses on the physical space provided for residents. Service providers must provide a “safe, clean, well maintained and comfortable service environment”. This also includes the furniture, fittings, and equipment at your facility.
The quality standards are monitored and assessed by the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission. To remain accredited, service providers are audited regularly. The commission will look for evidence that shows you have arrangements in place to maintain the service environment.
Cleaning standards – what you should be doing
Formalising your cleaning procedures is important to make sure nothing is overlooked. Detail both the responsibilities of your cleaning contractors and your internal staff.
Your daily routine cleaning processes should cover the following:
- Disinfection of high touch surfaces
Disinfect high touch surfaces regularly. This includes beds, doorknobs, light switches, tables, dressers, and windows.
3. Bathroom sanitisation
Bacteria thrive in moisture, which is why it’s essential to sanitise bathrooms and other moisture-exposed areas daily. Scrub all fittings and sanitise toilets, showers, bathtubs, and sinks. Clean residents’ private bathrooms daily and communal bathrooms multiple times a day.
5. Spill management
Have a procedure in place to deal with spills immediately, as bodily fluids create a high risk of infections. Remove the bodily fluid spill and dispose of it correctly to prevent any infection from spreading. Then, disinfect the affected surface and rinse with water.
7. Waste management
Any waste bins should be emptied regularly to prevent bacteria growth. A specific concern in elderly care is the disposal of clinical and pharmaceutical waste. Return leftover pharmaceuticals to a pharmacy to be properly disposed of. Single-use sharps must be placed in an appropriate container and disposed of safely.
9. Personal protective equipment
Any staff that comes into contact with elderly residents must practice rigorous personal hygiene. Hand washing is especially important. Staff should also wear the correct protective equipment, such as gloves and masks when using chemical cleaners. When dealing with bodily fluids, protective equipment should be used to prevent infections.
- Regular cleaning of surfaces
Surfaces at your facility can harbour all types of bacteria, germs, and pathogens. They can then be transported throughout the facility as people move through it. To keep surfaces hygienic, clean them with warm water and a neutral detergent daily.
- Floor cleaning
Dry mop floors first to get rid of dust, then wash with warm water and detergent. Avoid vacuuming unless the area is well ventilated, consider using microfibre cloths or steam cleaning instead. Any carpeted areas should also be steam cleaned periodically to kill pathogens and dust mites.
- Laundry and linen
The residents’ linens should be changed at least weekly, or more often if they become soiled. Transportation, cleaning and storage procedures that ensure hygiene must be in place. For example, linen with bodily fluid spills should be bagged separately.
- Cleaning equipment sanitisation
The cleaning equipment itself must be sanitised and disinfected each day. Wash and dry mop heads between uses, and clean mop buckets after each use.
A clean elderly care facility is good business
Once the cleaning procedures are in place, remember to keep records of them: both the techniques used, and the activities carried out. The procedures should be reviewed and audited regularly.
These requirements are in place for a good reason, the health, and safety of our elderly citizens. Meeting and exceeding cleaning standards is not just necessary for safety, it’s also good business. The easiest way to meet the standards of cleanliness is to leave it to the professionals. A quality commercial cleaning service helps you keep staff, residents, and visitors happy.
At Innova Services, our cleaners are continuously trained in best-practice cleaning methods. Experts in the requirements of elderly care cleaning, we deliver the highest standard of cleanliness. Reach out to our team to discuss how we can help your health care business meet and exceed cleaning standards.