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Better housekeeping tools in nursing homes

October 29, 2012
by Kathleen Mears
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A few months ago when I was in a nearby university hospital a male housekeeper cleaned my room with something different. The device looked like a push mop but it had a receptacle in the handle that held the cleaning water. He explained after each room was cleaned the changed the pad and the cleaning water were changed. I was impressed and liked the idea that my room was not cleaned with the same pad and water as the room next door.

I have lived in two nursing homes for over 16 years and at both facilities housekeepers still use dust mops, brooms and string mops to clean. I guess these tools can do an adequate job. But they can make messes and cannot easily clean up something quickly.

Each week here the maintenance man uses a stand on, floor scrubber which he weaves quickly up and down the hallways making quick work of the floors. But I have not seen that scrubber used for smaller jobs. Instead, housekeepers use mops and buckets to clean up large spills in the dining room.

I would think there must be an easier way. Today, for home use, we have spinner mops that pick up large spills. There has to be something similar for institutional or commercial use. Even a smaller mop would make cleanups easier.

Housekeepers need cleaning products which will saturate and pick up thickened food on eating services.

Thickener is sticky and difficult to remove from tabletops and painted walls.

Nursing homes where I have lived have been slow to use microfiber cleaning cloths and dusters which do a better job. I understand the economics of using string mops and rags. But residents in nursing homes frequently have breathing problems and cleaning better allows them to breathe better.

A vacuum cleaner similar to an electric broom could be used for floor dusting. It would easily pick dirt and insect and spider eggs from floors at the same time. That would help decrease the pest population and possibly chemicals might not have used as often.

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Kathleen Mears

www.ltlmagazine.com/blog/kathleen-mears

Kathleen Mears has been a nursing home resident in Ohio for 20 years. She is an incomplete...