Senior living has taken on a new meaning for many, with new communities centered on how to create a vibrant, active community for people to live and thrive in as they get older. But for many, the choice to have to place a loved one into a long-term assisted living facility is difficult. Depending on the level of care needed - from skilled nursing homes to assisted living facilities, it is important to find a facility that can meet the needs of the individual.
Families making the choice to place a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living facility often focus their research on available social activities, friendliness of staff, or the comfort of the space. However, with the growing concern over hospital-acquired infections and community-acquired infections, the ability for a facility to effectively clean and disinfect on a regular basis to prevent and/or control infections is becoming a more critical factor in that decision.
infections in assisted living facilities
While there is no comprehensive system of collecting all data on outbreaks in long-term care facilities, the CDC indicates that up to 3 million serious infections occur in assisted living facilities each year. A recent study by Columbia University School of Nursing, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, reported that between 11-59% of nursing home residents are "colonized" with certain types of "superbugs." In other words, residents have germs on their skin, but have not yet become infected. This is especially dangerous for a population that is already susceptible to illnesses due to their age and fragile immune systems.
Efforts are underway to build a more comprehensive approach to addressing this public health issue in assisted living facilities. Facilities are being educated on strategies, such as improved stewardship over the use of antibiotics, better infection prevention and other control mechanisms. Prevention efforts include the establishment of policies and standard practices, including hand washing by all personnel and the use of appropriate disinfectants for cleaning.
ultraviolet light for disinfection
While these methods are critical component of an overall strategy, facilities need additional tools to help protect those entrusted into their care. Many cleaning methods rely on the diligence of staff to properly follow the instructions on disinfectants to ensure they are killing germs in a space. Bacteria and viruses can often last for weeks or months on surfaces, if not handled properly. However, there is now an option that provides an additional layer of defense against these germs.
Violet Defense Technology has a proven, cutting-edge solution for facilities that is still cost-effective. The new Surface & Air Germ Elimination (S.A.G.E.) UV line of products uses pulsed xenon technology to effectively kill bacteria, fungi, mold, and viruses in minutes. The S.A.G.E. UV whole room units are perfect for common spaces and individual rooms. These units can be built in for on-demand cleanings or deployed as a mobile unit to enhance existing cleaning protocols. For more information, contact Violet Defense to find out how we can help assisted living facilities do more to protect the health and well-being of loved ones entrusted in their care.