The Health and Safety of a Retirement Community Start with the Floors
Millions of people live and work in America’s nursing homes and residential care communities, per statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Each facility is expected to provide a safe and healthy environment where residents, team members, and visitors can avoid risks associated with communal living.
Not surprisingly, stopping the spread of disease among those with compromised immune systems is paramount for long-term care building managers. As such, consistent cleaning and disinfection routines are part of the normal workflow. However, some spaces, including floors, may be overlooked in favor of sanitizing door handles, equipment, and other surfaces. This can lead to reduced indoor air quality, and both hard and textiled floors can become breeding grounds for pathogens like norovirus, which most commonly breaks out in skilled nursing facilities and hospitals.
Slips and falls are also considerations in the nursing facility market. For that reason, floors must at least meet Underwriters Laboratories expectations for traction. After all, the greater a floor’s slip resistance, the safer the atmosphere for individuals with limited mobility and their caregivers. MilliCare provides performance coating options for hard flooring, some of which allow for an anti-slip protective grip. This enables people to come and go from a nursing home facility without losing their footing due to slippery surfaces.
But dirty hallways, stained carpets, and slippery exits aren’t just health hazards: They turn away people and earn retirement communities and nursing homes poor grades and rankings. Residents’ family and friends put cleanliness at a premium when choosing a facility; according to a Clorox survey, 71 percent of consumers make it a top factor. Twenty-one percent associate bad smells at nursing homes with an increased likelihood of a loved one getting sick from poor hygienic practices.
Of course, knowing these facts is only one part of the equation. The more important aspect is taking measures to facilitate cleaner, more sanitized floors.
Analyzing retirement community flooring needs
Most skilled nursing or related facilities include a variety of floor types, including carpeting, tile, and hard surfaces. Therefore, every building’s flooring must be carefully evaluated to determine the best way to keep it looking good and functioning well.
Although carpets are often relegated to community gathering spaces at nursing homes (rather than throughout all the living areas), they tend to absorb particulate, sand, dust, and more. In fact, up to 79 percent of the dirt in a carpet is incredibly abrasive, giving the pile a worn appearance.
Plus, carpeting emits volatile organic compounds, which can lead to respiratory issues and other health problems in both children and adults. Consequently, carpets should not only be vacuumed regularly with high-filtration systems, but they should also be deep-cleaned using a dry polymer, low-moisture system like milliCare’s. By reducing the water required, mold growth is prohibited and floors can be immediately used after cleaning. Additionally, milliCare’s environmentally responsible solutions ensure toxins won’t be released into the carpet fibers or into the air.
In terms of harder surfaces like tile, milliCare immediately reduces the need for grout replacement. Even foul-smelling grout can be revitalized to like-new condition. Again, milliCare’s technicians rely on proprietary extraction methods to extend flooring life span without compromising the health of humans or even visiting or resident pets. Grout can then be recolored to beautify areas, as well as sealed to make future cleanups more successful.
Making residential care facilities healthier, happier homes
Retirement communities, senior centers, and assisted-living facilities play an important role in active aging. If you’re committed to creating an atmosphere where residents can feel at home and live as robustly as possible, give milliCare a call. One of our trained, certified team members would be happy to help map out a plan that ensures your floors make a wonderful, healthy impression on every stakeholder, from your newest resident to the nurses on call.