Disinfection Technologies in Senior Living

The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has turbo-charged the adoption of safety technology in senior living. Chief among those are disinfection technologies that make the air and surfaces in senior living communities cleaner.

Well before the coronavirus pandemic, safety protocols were deeply instilled in senior care operations, but technology advancements are giving senior living communities another layer of protection. Not only do medical-grade air purifiers promise cleaner air, but electrostatic disinfection extends coverage and reach of cleaning solutions, leaving no surface untouched.

Electrostatic Spraying Technology

A game-changer in settings such as senior living, electrostatic spraying technology creates a magnetic attraction between disinfecting chemicals and targeted surfaces.

Traditional cleaning methods such as mopping take time and do not always offer total coverage of surfaces, often leaving behind germs in hard-to-reach places. Moreover, most cleaning methods require staff to physically touch and wipe down every surface to remove undesirable pathogens.

Use of electrostatic technology to dispense cleaning solutions is significantly more effective than traditional sanitation methods by ensuring an even coating and total coverage of all surfaces. In fact, manufacturers’ tests have shown that this method of dispensing fluids can be up to ten times as efficient as conventional cleaning.

The safe and compliant use of disinfectant chemicals in an electrostatic application will:

  • Positively charge and cling to surfaces, including awkward-shaped objects such as the spokes of a wheelchair
  • Reduces the time it takes to completely disinfect surfaces by 50% compared to conventional methods
  • Improve infection control and the spread of viruses such as influenza, MRSA, HIV and others

Air Filtration and Purification Systems

While electrostatic application of disinfectant can more effectively remove germs from surfaces, what about the air?

Pandemic and seasonal influenza viruses can be transmitted through airborne particles, so advancements in air filtration and purification technology are becoming a top-line defense against illnesses in senior living facilities.

Air purifiers work by capturing airborne particles and sanitizing them using High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters, ultraviolet (UV) light and ionizers.

According to experts, HEPA filters are able to trap 99.97% of air particles that are larger than 0.3 microns in size. Most aerosolized infectious droplets are approximately 5 microns in size. By comparison, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is believed to be between 0.6 to 1.4 microns, meaning HEPA filtration leaves room for improvement.

An advanced method called multi-filtration technology claims to be the most effective at sanitizing air by blending cellular biology with filtration technologies. HVAC systems that offer multi-filtration features destroy viruses in the air as well as mold, pollen and other contaminants by combining HEPA filtration, bi-polar ionization and UVC sterilization.

According to Consumer Reports Chief Science Officer James Dickerson, HEPA filters are very efficient at catching coronavirus-sized particles, but the particle must first physically travel through the filter. The faster an air purifier can cycle air through the filter, the better its chances of catching virus particles.

Bipolar Ionization in Senior Living

Because HEPA filtration traps, but does not kill harmful pathogens, the most sophisticated systems on the market combine HEPA filters with bipolar ionization to offer the highest level of protection against airborne contaminants and pathogens.

According to BusinessInsider.com, bipolar ionization could be a secret weapon against COVID-19.

Bipolar ionization works by producing positively and negatively charged ions that split molecules in the air and surrounding unwanted air particles. The ions produce a chemical reaction in cells that inactivate the harmful effects of viruses. The positive and negative ions also have microbicidal effects on pathogens, which reduce the infectivity of a virus.

It’s all very scientific, yet very beneficial to older adults who may be more susceptible to the harmful effects of pathogens.

Ultraviolet-C light (UVC) in Air Purification

A proven germicide, studies have shown that ultraviolet-C light (UVC) can also destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 by mutating the DNA and RNA of the virus to prevent it from replicating.

Air purification systems that incorporate UVC claim to offer more protection against airborne viruses by destroying pathogens suspended in the air even before they travel through the HVAC system.

It also offers benefits to those living with other respiratory disorders such as asthma, allergies, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease—common conditions found in older adults who reside in assisted living communities.

Advanced air purification technology can reduce airborne infections by deactivating harmful substances like bacteria, mold, allergens, and viruses.

At Sonata Senior Living, residents and family members rest assured knowing Sonata employs electrostatic spray disinfection and other technologies to ensure a safe and healthy environment. Our investment in safety technology, as well as our Sonata Safe Signature Program, provide peace of mind to the families we serve.

To learn more about Sonata Safe, contact us today→ or schedule a visit →

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