Odor in Senior Living healthcare facilities is not just something that slightly inconveniences guests, patients, and staff. Nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and hospices view the dilemma as a substantial problem, and rightfully so. The odor caused by human waste, bacteria and cancer treatment in these environments has historically been ineffectively dealt with. Harsh chemical cleaners are commonly used but more often than not, the odor they fill the air with is not any better than that which they are meant to mask. In many cases, care facilities will fall into the permanent grasps of a deeply unwelcoming scent due to a combination of dangerous bacteria and harsh cleaning products repeatedly appearing within their walls over the course of many years.
Bacteria from human waste, illness, and other less than inviting substances, as well as the often toxic chemicals used to clean such waste, don’t just cause unpalatable experiences for the senses, they can also be seriously dangerous and have a link to a larger underlying problem - ineffective solutions that can have real consequences. And who would they pose the most danger to? The elderly and the sick; a vulnerable group of people who are already likely to be within these care centers due to persistent health problems of their own.
Effective sanitation is also about more than just safety. People in nursing homes, long-term care, and hospice facilities, are not likely to be at their best and will often spend their last days in these facilities. Although this may be well known to them, there is no need to facilitate a somber environment by exposing all residents, staff, and guests to an odor indicative of the unpleasant realities that surround them. Safety is always a number one concern when dealing with healthcare facilities, but the dignity of the patients should be held to an equally high standard.
A fresh, lively smelling environment can boost the morale of the residents, staff, and of the family and friends who come to visit their loved ones. If treating patients in care facilities, like they are more than just nameless patients is important, then the cleaning products used around them should reflect this mindset.
The Great News is that new technologies have come on the market that are making a huge impact in odor remediation. Company’s like GenEon Technologies (the author of this blog) have refined Electrochemical Activation (ECA) space and have created products that can help solve this problem. Some ECA technologies, like GenEon’s, create surface safe Sanitizing/Disinfecting/odor killing solutions that have low to no Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) and is effective at remediating the odors and germs that can cause odors which can be prevalent in some facilities. This well researched solution has been recommended by the CDC as a preferred method of sanitization. Per the CDC, “…the concept of electrolyzing saline to create antiseptics or a disinfectant is appealing because the basic ingredients (salt and tap water) are inexpensive and the end product does not damage the environment…” CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) Guideline for Disinfection and Sterilization in Healthcare Facilities, 2008”