Protect Resident Health
Your residents feel their best when they feel at home. Preventing the spread of infectious disease in long-term care homes (LTCHs) and retirement homes is critical for the health and wellbeing of residents and health care workers. Immune and respiratory systems weaken and become more susceptible to illness as people age, making airborne viruses and bacteria a primary concern for seniors. By controlling the spread of bacteria and viruses, retirement homes can help to reduce the chance of residents becoming ill, especially during flu season.
The Importance of Fresh Air
A study exploring the presence of pollutants and the physical health of elderly population in retirement facilities found that airborne particles were found to be responsible for bouts of wheezing, coughing and loss of breath, while harmful gases contribute to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and shortness of breath in residents. The effect of these pollutants were seen with even low levels of particles and were even more pronounced in environments with poor ventilation and air cleaning.1 This is due to our body’s reduced ability to cope with poor indoor air quality as we get older.
Protect your residents from airborne pollutants by eliminating lingering ‘stale air’ by supplying fresh, filtered air into the building. Providing a high Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is the driving force behind the need for make up air units, whether for the removal of contaminants in the air or providing a comfortable temperature, the correct application of a properly sized make up air unit can help to ensure your residents are comfortable and safe.
Air Conditioners are Now Mandatory in Long Term Care Homes
On July 17, 2020, the Ontario government announced a redesigned funding model for the long-term care sector per the Modernized Funding Model.2 This new model will improve and modernize the standard of living within long-term care homes including mandating installation of air conditioning within new and renovated long term care homes. Both for-profit and not-for-profit long-term care homes will be eligible to access the government funding to install air conditioning units. Ontario Premier Doug Ford stated , “Our seniors deserve nothing less. They deserve a place that feels like home, a place that is safe and comfortable.”3 Glen Kenny, a human and environmental physiology professor at the University of Ottawa, says that seniors have a difficult time regulating their body heat, “What this means is that the body just continues to store heat throughout the day, because (elderly people) have an impaired ability to dissipate heat, they are not as responsive at early stages of exposure to it.”4 This leaves many seniors susceptible to heatstroke, which can cause low blood pressure and heart failure.
Healthy Hand Hygiene
Public Health recommends frequent handwashing to help combat the spread of disease. Having a continuous supply of hot water ensures residents and staff are able to maintain proper hand hygiene to keep them safe. Enercare offers tankless electric water heaters for handwashing that can be installed at point-of-use for on-demand hot water use for handwashing and sanitization.
Ensuring a comfortable and healthy environment starts with having a reliable HVAC partner who understands the needs of your retirement community. With an average of over 25 years of industry experience, our frontline team of technicians are licensed at the highest levels with Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) as well as the Ontario College of Trades. Enercare is committed to working with Long Term Care and Retirement Homes to ensure the health and wellness of building occupants.
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