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Getting to Know Holiday’s Enhanced Cleaning Protocols

Our housekeeping team takes pride in their work. They uphold the highest standards in cleanliness and sanitation in our senior apartments and common areas. They keep our retirement communities clean and cozy with a caring touch. They truly cherish the people who live within a Holiday senior living community. 

Housekeeping at Holiday independent living communities extends beyond custodial, janitorial, and housekeeping tasks. It embodies the enhanced sense of well-being that is the very essence of superior resident safety, service, and satisfaction that our residents have come to expect. You can feel safe knowing that all of our associates are thoroughly screened and pass background checks. 

“I just really like the staff here, and I like the housekeepers and servers,” said resident Susie Johnson of Montvale Estates.“I’m really partial to a couple of them. They’re so nice. It’s just good people here.”

If you’re interested in the nitty gritty of what’s involved in our cleaning process, read on to learn about our five-step cleaning process that’s in place to ensure utmost cleanliness and safety. 

The Five Step Cleaning Process

Step 1: Prepare 

Cleaning staff take care to make sure their equipment and the space they’re cleaning is prepared. They wear protective equipment like face masks, aprons or gowns, and wash their hands for 30 seconds with soap and water before putting on disposable gloves to clean. 

Ready to enter the space, the cleaning team follows CDC guidelines, which recommend opening doors and windows and using ventilating fans to increase air circulation before beginning to clean and disinfect. 

Step 2: Clean

The next step is to remove dust and debris so we can properly disinfect. All surfaces are wiped down to tackle dirt, grease, dust, and germs. Our housekeepers clean surfaces like kitchen counters, bathroom surfaces and fixtures, mirrors, televisions, and chrome. We also wipe, dust and clean furniture and lamps, making sure to avoid personal items. 

Carpets are vacuumed and floors are swept. Fresh towels and bed linens are provided, and we remove and launder old ones with the highest recommended heat setting. We make the bed, empty the trash cans, and leave a weekly supply of toilet paper.  

Once a month, we sweep senior apartment patios, clean the air conditioner and heat filter, wash windows, and defrost and clean the refrigerator.

Step 3: Sanitize

There’s a difference between cleaning and sanitizing. Cleaning is removing  germs and dirt from surfaces. For example, using a soapy sponge to wipe off a kitchen countertop or stovetop. Sanitizing is using  chemicals to reduce the number of germs and bacteria on a surface. For instance, spraying a chemical disinfectant on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs.

Proper sanitizing is more important than ever. Our cleaning team uses top-of-the-line disinfectant and sanitizer solutions approved by the EPA. To property disinfect, we spray these solutions on all surfaces, and let the solution stand for three minutes. This allows time for the chemicals to effectively sanitize and kill as many germs as possible. Your housekeeper will sanitize all hard surfaces, counters, tubs, showers, commodes, sinks, and high-touch areas like  door knobs, light switches, and electronics. 

Step 4: Final check

After cleaning and sanitizing, our housekeepers complete a checklist for each room to make sure everything has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. This includes double-checking that high-touch surfaces were sanitized and correcting anything that was missed.

Step 5: Finishing and restocking

After each apartment cleaning, we wash cleaning supplies at the highest recommended heat setting. We empty and sanitize the vacuum cleaner and disinfect cleaning tools. Our housekeepers dispose of or wash any personal protective gear like aprons and gloves. They restock their cleaning supplies and wash their hands for at least 30 seconds before putting on gloves and moving onto the next room. 

Common Area Cleaning

Common areas become an extension of your home and get the same TLC that we give to our senior apartments. The dining room, activity rooms, common restrooms, stairwells, hallways, entryways, and other community spaces are thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 

We use the same five-step method we use for our apartments while cleaning our common areas.  All hard surfaces are cleaned and sanitized. High-touch areas like light switches, door handles, remote controls, handrails, thermostats, gym equipment, and table tops are given extra attention. 

Housekeepers complete their final checklist and always leave out cleaning supplies that guests can use. These cleaning supplies include disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towels, gloves, and extra hand soap.

COVID-19 Cleaning Protocols

Holiday Retirement has been around for 50 years, and we are well-versed in emergency preparedness. While we already had long-standing infectious disease protocols in place when the pandemic broke out, we took extra steps to enhance our protocols in light of the unprecedented challenges the virus presented. Increasing the frequency we clean and adding more aggressive sanitizing was part of our response to COVID-19, which is one of the reasons we have a 59% lower infection rate than the national average.

“Our housekeeping staff should be totally, totally commended,” said Kristin Woods, regional director of sales for Holiday Retirement. “They’re cleaning constantly and everywhere. We’re talking all the way down to elevator buttons, sanitizing the hand rails, any nook and cranny you can think of to keep the residents safe.”  

At minimum we’re sanitizing seven to eight times a day. Every hard surface is disinfected. We have staff dedicated to researching new, innovative ways we can keep our communities safe. They are testing several high-tech, surgical-grade sanitizing products in some of our independent living communities, with hopes of rolling them out across all Holiday senior living communities. 

Johnson, who moved into Montvale Estates in August of 2020 says she feels confident with the safety protocols in place.“They have the protocols in place about the masks, and [they] take your temperature. They take it a lot,” she said. “Anytime you come in and out, they're taking your temperature. They have all the protocols in place, and they don’t have any cases of COVID at all because they’re on top of it. It’s a very safe place to be.”

All of our staff, including our cleaning team have taken a pledge to stay safe outside of work so we can keep residents safe inside our communities. This means social distancing, wearing masks, following travel restrictions, washing hands frequently, and staying home if they are feeling ill. Take a virtual or in-person tour today to learn more about our cleaning and safety protocols. 

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