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The Carer’s Guide to Hand Care

Apr 13 2017, 10:14 AM

As a carer, you understand how to relieve the pain and symptoms those in your care are experiencing on a day to day basis. You deal with serious ailments, can assist with the everyday requests of the person you are looking after and are able to cope with the reality of someone being completely dependant on you.

Your strength and determination is inspiring, and this is why it’s so important you take time to care for yourself too, when you have time to breathe. Your wellbeing is imperative to ensuring you provide the highest level of care, whether you are living with a relative or working in a dedicated nursing home.

Your hands are on the front line when providing care, as you use them to clean, lift and carry every single day. So, we've created this guide on how to look after them properly:   

When to wash hands
You understand the importance of hand washing, but ensure you clean them immediately after the following tasks:

If your hands are not visibly dirty or you have not come into contact with substances that could put you at risk of infection, then you can use anti-bacterial hand sanitiser for quickness and ease.

Protective gloves can help
A caring role requires a great deal of cleaning work and this is one of the toughest things for hands. That’s why we recommend wearing lightweight, disposable gloves when carrying out such tasks – it also prevents infections or harmful germs from spreading too.

When to wear protective gloves:

Types of protective gloves:  

If your care role requires you to provide bed baths or assist patients with washing, a wash mitt is also an excellent tool to have. A waterproof liner in the mitt ensures your hands are protected from the soap and water while also protecting you from cross contamination if the person you are caring for should have any open sores or an illness.  

Moisturiser is good to have on hand
A pump dispenser moisturiser is always good to keep close by, not only for your patient but for your hands too. E45 cream is one of the best brands to have in easy reach, as it soaks in quickly and is gentle on skin. Try to take a moment to moisturise your hands at the end of the day or, if you have time, after each wash with soap and warm water to retain moisture and ensure they don’t crack due to dry skin.  

Keep cuticles in check
It’s very easy for the skin around our fingernails to become tough and hard with regular use, causing it to rip and be painful if it dries out too much. Therefore, a cuticle softener is an excellent product to use regularly. These usually come in oil form with a drop on each cuticle all you need to be rubbed into the skin, this will ensure you don’t suffer any soreness while working, as the oil reduces the likelihood of them tearing.

For those working in the care industry or taking on a caring role for a relative or close friend, hand care is a top priority. Take note of these tips and keep your hands in good condition to ease your comfort and ensure those in your care are looked out for too.

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