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Opinion on carer -Carers UK Forum

Opinion on carer

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
I'd appreciate other people's opinion on the following matter. I found my carer sorting out hats and scarfs by lying them on the stairs. The stairs are not dirty in the sense they get hovered once a week but people go up and down with outdoor shoes so they are not the cleanest surface either. I found a newly washed woolly hat lying on the stairs. OK. I'm not going to be licking the hat or any of the scarfs so there's no risk of gastroenteritis but it's just the thought of E coli and dirt on my neck and hair that would make me not even think of placing clean clothes on floors. She didn't know where else she could sort out the scarfs etc. I thought putting something on the stairs like cling film, or otherwise using the table but she looked at me as though I was suffering from OCD. Am I being unreasonable here? Is placing clothing on floors the done thing? PS I've washed my hat again.

Ellen, if you don't like it, it is fair enough for you to say, but I wouldn't be worried. There are bacteria everywhere, all the time, and you cannot avoid them, so try to not to worry about it so much. I am sure you have plenty of other things to worry about xx
I hope that you don't sort your clothes by placing them on the floor in your hallway.

It's not just bacteria and viruses, but dirt. Why do we teach young people to pick up their clothes from the floor in their room? It's not just tidiness. It's about avoiding bacteria and mould which can make the clothes smell and spoil the fabric. BTW, bacteria on the skin can cause infection and if you're out of luck, sepsis, viruses from poo on the bottom of your boots can cause norovirus which can survive on surfaces for a long time. If you touch the contaminated area and then use the same finger to wipe something from your eye, you are likely to be unwell for a few days. Gastroenteritis from bugs can be avoided in over 80% of cases. Unless you enjoy clearing up diarrhoea and vomit, it's probably worth keeping a few hygiene rules, the first of which is to avoid infection by the faecal/oral route. So yes, there are lots of bacteria around and some are good for us but some are not and if you have an immune compromised person, it's a good idea to keep to basic guidelines. In fact, after a few hours, I can't think of a single good reason to sort clean clothes by placing them on the floor.

I'm not as defeatist as you are. Most nasties can be avoided. (I'm medical and helped with the HPA press release on norovirus a few years ago. Don't think most people follow the advice, ergo outbreaks galore).

My impression is that sensible people don't sort out clean clothes on the floor. The 'don't worry' argument is not relevant here. I'm not worried. I'm totally baffled that anyone sorts clean clothes on the floor. Just baffled. I had a private message consistent with my feelings.
I am a Biochemist, and have spent a significant amount of time working with all kinds of nasties (the main medium I used for genetically engineering new biotherapeutic cancer drugs was E.coli), so there is not a lot I do not know about about the good and bad they can do.

My don't worry comment was because I thought you were concerned about the health implications. Sorry if I misinterpreted that.

As for dirt, I suppose people fall into two camps; those that are bothered and those that are not. I have 5 children, 3 boys that are still at home, and dirt is an everyday thing for us. If a hat or coat falls off the peg and the younger one runs across it before it's been hung back up, it gets a quick shake, not a wash. The house is hoovered once a week, the floors swept daily, and that will do for us. I could have the hoover and broom constantly on the go and my house would still never look spotless, so with the busy life I am currently having to lead, I have chosen to not let it worry me. In comparison to some things, it really is not important to us. Even for all our dirt and grime, a sickness bug hits us once in a blue moon. And for the record, even in my unkempt house, we do still sort the clean washing out on the floor, as it is the only space big enough to sort out the washing for a family that is so big it generates 3 loads per day :blink: :silly:

I think the important thing to come from this post though is if you are not happy with the way a carer is doing something, then tell them. We all have our own little ways, and if it is really important to you, then ask them to change how they do it, rather than keeping quiet and creating more work for yourself. Carers are supposed to help lessen the burden on us, not make more work for us.
I agree there is little risk of catching a bug but I just don't like clean clothes being dumped on a dodgy floor when there's a table, chairs, etc etc. Also, we're talking about sick individuals, not healthy boys. It's a completely different ball game. It's about how much care you take, given the circumstances as well as common sense. What is ok for a healthy family may not be right for dying individuals. Which is the case here. Just been told there's nothing they can do for me on the NHS. I have to get worse and then they might try deal with symptoms. Grrrr. Suddenly a daft carer doesn't matter much.
Unfortunately we do often seem to be the bottom of the pile in terms of looking after ourselves :( Try not to over do it - you need to look after yourself too.
Yes, in fact a bit of dirt is a vital part of our normal daily healthcare regime: - it contains loads of useful bacteria that help us to stay healthy. That's why kids need to play in it, otherwise they get sick.
Just my tuppance worth - I'd be the first to say that a bit of dirt boosts our immune systems (just as I well I think that, as housework ain't my fave occupation!!!), but on the other hand I do think it's bizarre to use the stairs as a sorting place for clothes of any kind!!! Why didn't she use the bed? Or the top of a chest of drawers? Is there really no other flat raised surface in the property?

I suppose if you're going to use the floor, then put down a sheet or something first, unless maybe the floor has just been freshly hovered?
My thoughts exactly, Jenny. Thank you.
Is there plenty of space elsewhere for the careworkers to sort the clothes? If so, I agree it's an odd place to do it and as they provide a service for you, then I expect they won't make the same mistake again.
Regarding other people's habits, I too have raised a large family. I never thought once about mould or bacteria on clothing, clothing was picked up for tidiness, no other reason. Unless there was a direct risk of hand to mouth infection of dangerous bacteria, I certainly wouldn't have worried - ordinary washing of clothes and proper hand washing should be sufficient. They never had Norovirus and neither did my hubby or myself.

I think this is very much an individual opinion. You may think this opinion strange but I find worrying about clothing that won't go in my mouth strange too. Each to their own as they say!
I was also immunocompromised last year, during and after chemotherapy. Hand washing was the rule, and no visitors with snuffles or upset tums. I had no problems.