CDI Resident and Family Education
Clostridium difficile Toolkit for Long-term Care Facilities
To help prevent the spread of CDI to other residents and to family members it is imperative to explain the purpose of instituting Transmission-Based Precautions. Hand hygiene education and enforcement among the resident, visitors, and family is important. Educational materials should be provided to help explain the resident’s condition.
The CDC has several educational materials about C. difficile for residents and visitors. These may be found at the following websites:
- CDC: Clostridium difficile Infection Information for Patients
- CDC's Vital Signs: Making Health Care Safer; Stopping C. difficile Infections (PDF)
- CDC: FAQs about Clostridium Difficile (PDF)
Sample Education for Family Members
Clostridium difficile (Kloss-STRID-ee-um dif-uh-SEEL), or C. diff, is a germ that can cause watery diarrhea, nausea, and belly pain. C. diff is contagious, so hospital and nursing home staff take steps to keep it from spreading to others. These steps, or precautions, may be different depending on the type of the facility your loved one is staying in. So don’t be alarmed if the precautions in the nursing home aren’t the same as they were at the hospital even if your loved one has the same infection!
In a nursing home, there is more flexibility because this is your loved one's home. Staff will still wear gloves and gowns if there is a risk that your loved one's infection could spread to others, but it may not look the same as it did in the hospital. The most important way to prevent the spread of C. diff is for you, your loved one, and staff to wash hands frequently with soap and water.
What to expect at [Facility Name] if your loved one has C. diff: [Facility can fill in specific policy or procedure information]
What you need to know while visiting your loved one:
- Wash your hands! Washing your hands is the most important step to preventing the transmission of C. diff. Soap and water is preferred over hand sanitizer for preventing spread of C. diff.
- Keep an eye on kids, make sure they wash their hands and aren’t putting their fingers in their mouths.