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Home Care Matters

October 2019

Infection Prevention is Everybody's Business

The cold and flu season is upon us again and each of us has an important role to play in preventing infection.

Unfortunately, seniors and caregivers are two of the most likely groups of people to get sick. Older adults have weaker immune systems and so do most caregivers (due to lack of sleep and chronic stress). And because you spend a lot of time together, you’re more likely to pass germs back and forth.

Even so, there’s still a lot that you can do to reduce the chances that you or your older adult will get sick and to reduce the length or severity of an illness. Basically, the goal is to boost the immune system and reduce exposure to germs.

10 infection prevention tips to reduce risk for seniors and caregivers

1. Wash or sanitize hands thoroughly and often
Hand washing is the key! Frequent hand washing with regular soap is an effective way to get rid of cold and flu germs.

Using regular soap is fine because rubbing the hands together for at least 20 seconds is what eliminates germs – long enough to sing the Happy Birthday song twice. Make sure to clean under the nails, backs of hands, between fingers, and wrists.

If you can’t get to soap and water often enough, use hand sanitizer to kill cold and flu germs. This may be a good option for older adults who can’t easily get up to wash their hands.

2. Get preventative vaccines 
Getting a flu shot reduces the risk of getting the flu. It also reduces the severity of the illness and protects against complications – both especially important for seniors. And when you get a flu shot, you reduce the risk that you’ll get sick and infect your older adult.

Two vaccines are specifically designed for people 65 and older – the “high dose” and “adjuvanted” flu vaccines. 

People who are 65 years of age and older should also be up to date with pneumococcal vaccinations to protect against pneumococcal disease, such as pneumonia, meningitis, and bloodstream infections. Pneumococcal pneumonia is an example of a serious flu-related complication that can cause death. Talk to your doctor to find out which pneumococcal vaccines are recommended for you. You can get the pneumococcal vaccine your provider recommends when you get the flu vaccine.

To learn more about infection protection, click here.
Need help for yourself or someone in your care?

For more information, call us at (855) 867-4692 or click here for more about EveryStep's hospice or home care options.

EveryStep’s hospice and home care programs provide care and support to patients, family members and their caregivers through chronic or serious illness, recovery or rehabilitation. Our experienced and compassionate staff can assist family caregivers in understanding the importance of nutrition, exercise, social ties, mental and spiritual health, and how all these things can contribute to well-being for individuals of all ages.

November is National Caregivers Month

As we enter November, EveryStep would like to take the time to honor the dedication and compassion of family caregivers. 

We recognize the challenges that you face each day when caring for your loved ones. 

Being a family caregiver can be a tough, but rewarding task. As a family caregiver you are never "off the clock," but EveryStep is here to support you. 

The experts at EveryStep can provide the support and coordinated care your loved one needs to continue living independently following an illness, injury or medical condition. 

Our staff will individualize care plans with other healthcare professionals and caregivers. 

EveryStep Home Care offers rehabilitation services; infusion/IV therapy; wound and ostomy care; physical, occupational and speech therapies; medication management; disease management; patient care coordination; and post-surgical care. The program is certified by both Medicare and CHAP (Community Health Accreditation Partner). 

EveryStep Home Care is now available throughout 20 central, south-central and southern Iowa counties: Adams, Appanoose, Adair, Boone, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Polk, Ringgold, Story, Taylor, Union, Warren and Wayne. 

For more information on EveryStep Home Care, click here.

Know a family caregiver? 

Consider doing something special for them this month. Click below to read a few ways you can easily assist someone in your life. 
10 Reasons Helping a Family Caregiver Will Be the Best Thing You Do This Month!

A Special Recognition 

EveryStep president and CEO, Tray Wade, was recently recognized with Volunteer Iowa's Nonprofit Staff Leadership Award at the Iowa Nonprofit Summit. 

The award is part of an annual state of Iowa initiative which honors exceptional practices, achievements, and impact of nonprofit organizations and professionals, philanthropic organizations, national service and volunteer programs, and local collaborations for their efforts to address community challenges.

From its locations in Des Moines and Creston, EveryStep Home Care offers in-home care and support to patients recovering from illness or injury.

EveryStep Home Care is offered in 20 Iowa counties:  Adams, Appanoose, Adair, Boone, Clarke, Dallas, Decatur, Jasper, Lucas, Madison, Marion, Marshall, Monroe, Polk, Ringgold, Story, Taylor, Union, Warren and Wayne.   

To learn more, call EveryStep Home Care at 515-558-9591 or visit

Please contact EveryStep Home Care if you or your loved one answer “yes” to two or more of the following questions:

  • Have you or your loved one been recently hospitalized?
  • Were you or your loved one diagnosed with a new illness or disease?
  • Have you or your loved one had a recent medication change?
  • Do you or your loved one need physical, occupational or speech therapy services?
  • Are you or your loved one at risk for falls?
  • Do you or your loved one have concerns with safety at home?
Let us help you today. Our team of professionals are with you at every step, visiting you or your loved one in the comfort of home.
Click here for more information about EveryStep Home Care

Upcoming Events 

November 14
5 - 8 p.m.
EveryStep Giving Tree thrift store 
3300 100th St., Urbandale, IA
EveryStep Care & Support Services: We are a family of non-profit health care and support services offering compassion and guidance during life's most challenging moments.
Copyright © 2019 EveryStep, All rights reserved.

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