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My mom is at her home and lives alone. She has Leukemia and Congestive Heart Failure, and I'm her primary caregiver. How do I protect her from my cold? I know to wash my hands a lot, but what about the air? Will wearing a dust make help? Is there another alternative?

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Pam, great idea about airing out the house. How I wish I could get my parents to do the same thing. When delivering groceries to my parents house I would leave the door wide open to get some fresh air, but within seconds Mom would be closing the door... she didn't want flies in the house... [sigh]
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Thanks, everyone.
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OH and if you have forced air heating/cooling, change the FILTER.
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Air out the house. Grandma would air out the house weekly, even in the dead of winter. Clean all touch surfaces-- door handles, faucets, remotes, phones. The germiest item in a home is - believe it or not-- the TV remote.
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For your next cold [hopefully it will be awhile before you catch the next cold] have in stock lot of Lysol type wipes. As soon as you get that scratchy throat, start wiping everything down that you know your Mom will be touching. Even the spray Lysol.

Mask are good as long as it doesn't scare Mom or makes her feel anxious. Tuck tissues in your pockets and sleeves to catch those occasional sneezes, or sneeze into your elbow [why didn't someone think of that idea 50 years ago]. And if you and Mom like chicken soup, have it frequently.

Sunflo, my Mom is the same way when it comes to washing her hands... she thinks just a couple second of water from the tap is all she needs. She never uses soap in public restrooms. I soap up like I am going into surgery :P
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PS. Encourage mom to wash her hands thoroughly and sanitize her hands before putting on hand lotions, etc. --all before eating and often.

Elders can be lax about thoroughly washing hands including wrists and between fingers. I monitor my moms hand washing when I can.. She thinks I'm obsessive but she barely dips her hands in the water. I remind her, we won't eat til everyone washes hands with soap and water.
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great question and timely?! You are on the right track. If you are running a fever, consider hiring outside help for a couple days or ask a friend or neighbor to help mom.

If that's not possible, wear a mask and wash hands before and after handling food, utensils, TV remote, etc. Wash, dry, use hand sanitizer...then prepare food, touch mom, etc. maybe even wear rubber gloves for moms protection. Use anti microbial wipes for door handles, cabinet knobs, remotes, etc to protect mom before you leave and during time you are symptomatic.

She might have been exposed anyway before you got sick, but these precautions will minimize the number of germs present in the environment and therefore reduce her risk of exposure.

And don't forget to encourage her during this time and flu season to eat healthy and stay hydrated with orange juice, etc.

Same goes for you. If you are sick, minimize her exposure to your home and family members until you are all better.

Feel better soon!
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