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Nighttime housekeeping is disruptive

May 13, 2013
by Kathleen Mears
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At 4:30 a.m., after a nurse brought my usual medication, I heard what sounded like the facility dog whining. I thought he followed the nurse into my room and got stuck when she left and shut the door. I put on my call light on and when the aide entered I asked her to let the dog out of my room. She laughed, said the dog was not in my room and told me the noise was maintenance stripping the hall floor. I laughed and told her I had no idea they were doing the hallway.

The second night of floor cleaning was noisier. It sounded like maintenance was using a drill to remove the built up wax around the doors. As I laid there trying to ignore the shrieking buzz and go to sleep, I wished nursing homes had flooring that could be cleaned more quietly.

Ever since I moved to a nursing home I thought regulations required them to have white or off-white floor tiles. The light flooring looks bright when it is clean, but it is difficult to keep that way. Therefore, every few months floors are stripped and waxed. It is a messy job that takes several hours. The wax has little scent but some residents and staff still get headaches from it.

I know from watching floors being stripped and waxed that there are times when staff and residents cannot walk on them. Even though halls are usually done at night, some residents cannot get where they want to go. Also, staff has a more difficult time doing their job. The other night when the hallway was wet, aides walked around the outside of the building to get to the residents at the end of the hall. In addition a nurse avoided marring the floor by checking on a resident in her stocking feet.

I know floor tiles are easy to replace. But I think a floor tile that is easier to clean and does not require waxing would be better for the residents in so many ways. It would also make it easier for maintenance to clean. I think steam cleaning floors would be more sanitary, environmentally friendly and cost effective.

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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...