We’ve got to hand it to older Aussies

New research reveals over-65s have been most vigilant about maintaining good hand hygiene since this time last year.

But … some worrying habits are emerging among other groups, according to the Dettol Winter Hygiene Reports reveals. Many are failing to heed government advice to stay home when unwell and a lot of us aren’t washing our hands nearly enough.

The research found:

  • The biggest decline in hand hygiene frequency compared with last year was among 18 to 24-year-olds (16 per cent), while 65 to 74-year-olds reported the greatest increase (61 per cent).

  • Handwashing and/or sanitising was most frequent among older age groups, with over-75 reporting they do so at least four to five times a day (85 per cent), followed by 65 to 74-year-olds (80 per cent).

  • A quarter of Aussies aged 65 to 74 and over 75 (23 per cent and 26 per cent respectively) perceive shaking hands with someone to be a germ-ridden activity versus only 13 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds.

  • Only one in three Aussies is most likely to practise good hand hygiene after sneezing or blowing their nose.

  • Almost one in four would still attend an important work meeting in person if feeling unwell.

  • Nearly a fifth of Aussies (19 per cent) admit to only washing or sanitising their hands two to three times per day, falling far short of recommendations.


Official advice is to:

  • Carry instant hand sanitiser on you and in the car so you can maintain good hygiene practices on the go.

  • Always cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when coughing or sneezing, and practise good hygiene immediately after.

  • Always stay home when feeling unwell, or if you have a sniffle.

  • Follow your local government health advice.


This is good advice, Janelle Ward. Recently suggested to someone they should wash their hands before

having an imminent meal, and had my head bitten off in a very angry and hostile reaction.

A surprising and irrational response, as though I had somehow insulted them. With spoilt brats like

that around, it is no wonder we have the many diseases that have been circulating forever within society.

Hygiene is paramount in preventing disease. I thank you for raising this matter.

So sad to hear this about getting your head bitten off when trying to help them be hygiene aware.  The reason we have so many viruses going around is that people do not always do this.   I still wipe down Supermarket trolleys and carry sanitiser with me tpoo.

Sorry to hear that Early. Agree hygeine is very important, sad to see some don't agree.

A good article - well done us oldies.  As I worked in the medical field  I have always maintained good hand hygiene and taught my kids and grand-kids it.    Sadly some of the younger generation think they know it all and this kind of information does not apply to them.  Sad indictment.



For many years we have carried 'wet-wipes' to wipe trolley & basket handles and inside areas in supermarkets after seeing many people cough, sneeze into their hands when holding handles, plus small children standing, sitting in trolleys, all filthy habits from 'the great unwashed generation'.
Add the unwashed hands leaving public toilets, and note the uncovered hairy heads and faces of food handlers.
Go one step further and use a pen or key to push lift buttons.

Hope you steam clean your computer keys!

Thankyou for supportive comments. Actually, the brat I was referring to was a seventy year old woman!

But, as Janelle's article indicated, there still seem to be some oldies who are not too fussed about hygiene.

The lesson for me is to be more careful about how I make suggestions or even recommendations to other

people who may not be on the same page. I guess setting an example may be most effective.


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