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How to Create a Comfortable Long-term Care Facility

How to Create a Comfortable Long-term Care Facility

According to the United Nations, in 2018, for the first time, the number of people age 65 or older outnumbered the number of children under age five globally. Additionally, data reported by World Population Prospects: the 2019 Revision details that by 2050, one in six people in the world (16%) will be over age 65, up from 9% in 2019. As people age, many of them move to long-term care facilities that can adequately manage their needs.

So, how do you make a comfortable nursing home? Long-term care facilities that put effort into designing and maintaining beautiful, clean environments can uphold the satisfaction of current residents and attract new residents to support their bottom line. Read on to uncover best practices that will keep your assisted living facility layout in top shape.

A New Look for Long-term Care Facilities

Like many other industries, the long-term care space has been greatly impacted by the pandemic. It suffered staggering losses and worse, many COVID-19 deaths occurred among people living in these communities. This has forced experts to rethink the design of these facilities to enhance resident health, safety, and comfort.

For example, larger facilities have been shown to have greater infection rates, potentially leading to a trend of smaller facilities being constructed in the future. One architectural expert also suggests that creating a wider range of shared areas is essential, as it allows for social interaction among residents with various needs but can also enable social distancing if needed. Additionally, single-occupancy rooms with ensuite bathrooms, rather than multi-bedroom units with shared washrooms, can further reduce the spread of germs and improve privacy.

Many long-term care facilities are also old and outdated. Some emerging nursing home design requirements include revamping interiors with adequate lighting, HVAC systems to support indoor air quality, hygiene stations and home-like interior elements. In many cases, designers choose carpet for these facilities, as this type of flooring is comfortable, reduces noise, provides a pop of color and can better cushion falls that might occur. Whether your facility is considering the installation of new carpet or simply wants to uphold the look of carpet currently in place, it is important to have a carpet care strategy that supports cleanliness.

A Long-term Approach to Carpet Care

Proper carpet maintenance removes soils that negatively impact the look of interior spaces and helps prolong the lifespan of these aesthetic flooring assets. Regardless of the long-term care facility floor plan, there are numerous steps that facilities can take to keep carpet in like-new condition. These steps include:

  • Install entrance matting – Entrance matting keeps most outdoor contaminants like snow, salt, and mud from making its way onto carpet by scraping it from people’s shoes as they enter your facility. Make sure that entrance matting can accommodate several footfalls to maximize the amount of soil that it captures.
  • Vacuum often – Vacuuming is essential for removing the soils that your entrance matting has captured, as well as addressing any dirt, dust and other allergens and soils that may have become embedded in carpet fibers. Assess the size of your facility and your cleaning team’s bandwidth to determine your vacuuming frequency. Certain areas, like lobbies and dining areas, may require daily vacuuming while hallways and other shared spaces like libraries and multimedia rooms can be vacuumed once per week.
  • Regularly perform low-moisture encapsulation cleaning – Low-moisture encapsulation is an effective, affordable, and sustainable approach to carpet care because it can be performed easily, quickly, and quietly, just like vacuuming. With an encapsulation machine and chemistry, your cleaning staff can ensure that carpet maintains a consistent appearance year-round. Set a schedule so that frequently trafficked areas are addressed regularly. Additionally, clean resident rooms if organic stains arise, like those from vomit or feces, or a new person is moving in.
  • Address spills and spots as quickly as possible – Spills are bound to happen in these environments. Thankfully, with a smart approach to stain removal in place, your staff can prevent these accidents from permanently discoloring or damaging your carpet. When a spill is identified or a spot uncovered, agitate the appropriate chemistry into the affected area of carpet. There are different formulations for different types of stains, so be sure to have a range of solutions at hand.

Cleanliness Creates Comfort for Residents and Visitors

To run a successful operation, long-term care facilities must create welcoming spaces for residents and their loved ones. Cleanliness is a major factor that will continue to be high on the list of deciding factors for those considering moving into a long-term facility, and makes an impact on those currently living in these buildings. This is because cleanliness can give people peace of mind about their health and safety. By incorporating the best practices above, managers can ensure that their carefully curated environments always look their best.

Long-term care facilities must prioritize cleanliness to protect residents, employees, and visitors. Carpet care is a fundamental area of every cleaning program. Contact the Whittaker sales team at 800.422.7686 or sales@whittakersystem.com to learn how low-moisture encapsulation can transform your approach to carpet care.

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