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Nursing2015

June 2004, Volume 34 Number 6 , p 14 - 14

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    Working in home health care, I often visit an elderly woman whose home is cluttered and filthy. She's mentally alert and seems comfortable with her living conditions, but I'm not. Yesterday when I offered to help her clean up or find a cleaning service, she got offended and told me to mind my own business .

    I don't mean to be a busybody, but I'm naturally concerned about infection control and other health issues. What's the best way to handle this? —E.R., MICH

    Figure. No caption available. First, assess the situation from your patient's perspective. Clearly she doesn't view the mess as a problem—and it's her home.

    Although you can't make her change her housekeeping habits, you should insist on having a clean work area so you can maintain infection control. Make sure you take what you need to create a clean field for your work; for example, a 12×12-inch ...

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